Volume 35, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Malaria is prevalent throughout coastal and lowland Papua New Guinea. Recent changes, including a shift from predominance of to , appearance of chloroquine-resistant and decreased effectiveness of vector control programs have been observed. Epidemiological features of malaria were studied through four six-month surveys of a population of 16,500 in Madang Province from 1981–1983. Baseline data on parasitology, splenic enlargement, serology, hemoglobin levels, prevalence of 4-aminoquinolines, utilization of mosquito nets and incidence of fever were collected for use in future evaluation of malaria control measures including possible field trials of an antimalarial vaccine. Prevalence of parasitemia (all species, all ages) varied from 35.0% to 42.7% over the four surveys each of which covered a random sample of 25% of the population. The ratio of parasite species was: 70: 25: 5 in the dry seasons, shifting slightly in favor of during the wet seasons. Intense year-round transmission was indicated by decreasing parasite prevalence and splenic enlargement with age, low density asymptomatic parasitemias and high prevalence of antimalarial antibodies (i.e., >80% of the population over five years of age was ELISA-positive). Levels of endemicity varied geographically, presence of 4-aminoquinolines in urine samples was relatively common (12.7% positive) and chloroquine resistance was widespread (81.6% in vitro, 46.6% in vivo).


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