Volume 49, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The age-specific prevalence of parasitemia among residents of six villages in northeastern Irian Jaya, Indonesia, has been measured for a period of five years. All study subjects were transmigrants from Java living in Irian Jaya for three weeks to 72 months, depending upon the village and point of measurement. Fifteen separate estimates of prevalence were obtained from 4,554 Giemsa-stained thick blood films from 91 to 701 people (mean sample size = 304) among the six villages. The prevalence of parasitemia among people who had lived in Irian Jaya for less than one year did not decrease as a function of age, except in one village at eight months. In contrast, after 16 months to two years or more of residence, the prevalence of parasitemia decreased markedly with increasing age beyond 6–10 or 11–15 years. Social, behavioral, or entomologic characteristics of these populations did not explain the decreasing prevalence of parasitemia with age. An age-dependent naturally acquired protective immunity appeared to develop in all of these villages after 1–2 years of exposure to hyperendemic malaria.


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