Volume 81, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


As the goal of malaria elimination from Sri Lanka is currently being pursued, this study was planned to determine the prevalence of asymptomatic malaria infections. Five health areas in Trincomalee and Kurunegala districts that reported high prevalence in the recent past were purposively selected. The smallest administrative units (GN divisions) having high malaria risk within each area were identified. From these divisions, 20% of the population was randomly selected for blood smear examination and in a 50% sub-sample polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was performed. A population of 3,730 from 13 GN divisions was sampled. Thick and thin Giemsa-stained blood smears were negative for malaria parasites. The PCR carried out in 50% of the study sample was also negative for malaria parasites. The findings illustrate the absence of asymptomatic carriers in previously high transmission areas and it appears that achieving malaria elimination in Sri Lanka by 2015 is feasible.


Article metrics loading...

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

Full text loading...



  1. Anti Malaria Campaign, 1986. Annual Administrative Report of the Anti-Malaria Campaign. Colombo, Sri Lanka: Ministry of Health.
  2. Najera JA, Kouznetsov RL, Delacollette C, 1998. Malaria Epidemics Detection and Control Forecasting and Prevention. WHO/MAL/98. 1084. Geneva: World Health Organization.
  3. Anti Malaria Campaign, 1995. Annual Administrative Report of the Anti-Malaria Campaign. Colombo, Sri Lanka: Ministry of Health.
  4. Annual Health Bulletin, 1994. Colombo, Sri Lanka: Ministry of Health.
  5. Anti Malaria Campaign, 2006. Annual Report of the Anti Malaria Campaign, 2006.
  6. Kodisinghe HM, 1991. An analysis of the distribution of symptomatic and asymptomatic malaria in the Kurunegala district. M.Sc Thesis, University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
  7. Gunawardhane DM, 1998. A micro-epidemiological study of malaria in southern Sri Lanka, including aspects of clinical disease and immunity. PhD Thesis, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
  8. Walsh PS, Metzger DA, Higuchi R, 1991. Chelax 100 as a medium for simple extraction of DNA for PCR-based typing from forensic material. Biotechniques 10: 506–513.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Tham JM, Heelee S, Tan TMC, Ting RCY, Ursula KAK, 1999. Detection and species determination of malaria parasites by PCR: comparison with microscopy and with Parasite-F and ICT malaria Pf tests in clinical environment. J Clin Microbiol 37: 1269–1273.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Barker RH Jr, Banchongaksorn T, Courval JM, Suwonkerd W, Rimwungtragoon K, Wirth DF, 1992. A simple method to detect Plasmodium falciparum directly from blood samples using the polymerase chain reaction. Am J Trop Med Hyg 46: 416–426.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Brown AE, Kain KC, Pipithkul J, Webster HK, 1992. Demonstration by the polymerase chain reaction of mixed Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax infections undetected by conventional microscopy. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 86: 609–612.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Makler MT, Palmer CJ, Ager AL, 1998. A review of practical techniques for the diagnosis of malaria. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 92: 419–433.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Snounou G, Viriyakosol S, Jarra W, Thaithong S, Brown KN, 1993. Identification of the four human malaria parasite species in field samples by the polymerase chain reaction and detection of a high prevalence of mixed infections. Mol Biochem Parasitol 58: 283–292.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Snounou G, Viriyakosol S, Zhu XP, Jarra W, Pinheiro L, do Rosario VE, Thaithong S, Brown KN, 1993. High sensitivity of detection of human malaria parasites by the use of nested polymerase chain reaction. Mol Biochem Parasitol 61: 315–320.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Rubio JM, Benito A, Berzosa PJ, Roche J, Puente S, Subirats M, Lopez-Velez R, Garcia L, Alvar J, 1999. Usefulness of semi-nested multiplex PCR in surveillance of imported malaria in Spain. J Clin Microbiol 37: 3260–3264.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Rubio JM, Benito A, Roche J, Berzosa PJ, Garcia ML, Mico M, Edu M, Alvar J, 1999. Semi-nested, multiplex polymerase chain reaction for detection of human malaria parasites and evidence of Plasmodium vivax infection in Equatorial Guinea. Am J Trop Med Hyg 60: 183–187.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Kodisinghe HM, Perera KLRL, Premawansa S, Naotunne T, Wickramasinghe AR, Mendis KN, 1997. The Parasight-F dip-stick test as a routine diagnostic tool for malaria in Sri Lanka. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 91: 398–402.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Fernando SD, Karunaweera ND, Fernando WP, 2004. Evaluation of a rapid whole blood immunochromatographic assay for the diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria. Ceylon Med J 49: 7–10.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Palmer CJ, Lindo JF, Klakala W, Quesada J, Kaminsky R, Ager AL, 1998. Evaluation of the OptiMAL test for rapid diagnosis of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum malaria. J Clin Microbiol 36: 203–206.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Neeru S, Saxena A, Neena V, 2000. Field evaluation of the ICT Malaria P.f/P.v immunochromatographic test for the diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax infection in forest villages of Chhindwara, Central India. TM & IH 5: 765–770.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 22 Jan 2009
  • Accepted : 30 Jun 2009
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