1921
Volume 60, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645

Abstract

To determine whether malaria perpetuates within isolated Amerindian villages in the Venezuelan Amazon, we surveyed malaria infection and disease among 1,311 Yanomami in three communities during a 16-month period. Plasmodium vivax was generally present in each of these small, isolated villages; asymptomatic infection was frequent, and clinical disease was most evident among children less than five years of age (odds ratio [OR] = 6.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.4-29.2) and among persons experiencing parasitemias > or = 1,000 parasites/mm3 of blood (OR = 45.0, 95% CI = 5.5-370.7). Plasmodium falciparum, in contrast, was less prevalent, except during an abrupt outbreak in which 72 infections resulted in symptoms in all age groups and at all levels of parasitemia, and occasionally were life-threatening. The observed endemic pattern of P. vivax infection may derive from the capacity of this pathogen to relapse, while the epidemic pattern of P. falciparum infection may reflect occasional introductions of strains carried by immigrants or residents of distant villages and the subsequent disappearance of this non-relapsing pathogen.

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/content/journals/10.4269/ajtmh.1999.60.767
1999-05-01
2017-09-20
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