Volume 65, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


A widespread reduction in Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte prevalence could reduce malaria transmission. After infection with P. falciparum, a variable proportion of people are found to be gametocytemic. We analyzed risk factors associated with gametocytemia at presentation and 7 days later. We enrolled 1,198 children in 2 antimalarial drug trials between September and December 1998. The children were assigned to 1 of 4 treatment groups: chloroquine only; pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine (PSD) only; PSD combined with 1 dose of artesunate; and PSD combined with 3 doses of artesunate. By the time of enrollment, 200 (17%) of 1,198 children were gametocyte carriers. Three independent risk factors were associated with gametocytemia at enrollment. Children with anemia were more likely to carry gametocytes, whereas children with fever (> 37.4 degrees C) or high parasite densities (> 100,000 parasites/microL) were less frequently gametocyte carriers. Children with at least 2 of the risk factors were 4 times more likely to be gametocytemic than children with < 2 risk factors (odds ratio [OR], 4.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.7-7.1). Seven days after the start of treatment, 355 (37%) of 466 assessable children were found to be gametocyte carriers. Children treated with PSD alone had a significantly higher risk of being gametocytemic by Day 7 compared with children in the other 3 treatment groups. In the subgroup of children who had no detectable gametocytes on enrollment, the effect of treatment with PSD + 3 doses of artesunate was most marked. Nineteen (10%) of 198 children treated with PSD + 3 doses of artesunate became gametocytemic, in contrast to 184 (57%) of 321 children treated with PSD alone (OR, 12.7; 95% CI, 7.3-22.1). Early treatment with highly effective antimalarial therapy has the greatest chance of preventing gametocytemia. The choice of a first-line antimalarial drug for uncomplicated malaria should not only take into consideration the ablation asexual parasitemia but also the suppression of gametocytemia.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error