Serological Malaria Survey in the Ethiopian Highlands

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  • Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, NIAID, National Institutes of Health, Chamblee, Georgia 30341

The indirect fluorescent-antibody (IFA) test was used to examine serum samples from 1,141 residents of 11 villages in north-central Ethiopia for the presence of antibodies to malaria parasites. The antigens used were Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium ovale, and Plasmodium vivax. Positive serologic responses were obtained with one or more of these antigens for 36.7% of persons living at elevations of 6,000 feet or less; whereas only 4.3% of serum specimens from persons living at elevations of 6,300 feet or higher had positive responses. Positive responses were found more often in serum from males than from females; this may be owing to the work habits of males, which exposes them to greater chance of infection. In general, serologic results correlated with parasitologic findings and suggested that P. falciparum was the most prevalent species, followed by P. ovale and P. vivax.

Author Notes

Present address: Central America Research Station, c/o American Embassy, San Salvador, El Salvador.

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