The Seroepidemiology of Malaria in Middle America

I. Longitudinal Studies on Populations in a Low Incidence Area of El Salvador

McWilson Warren Central America Research Station, Bureau of Tropical Diseases, Center for Disease Control, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, San Salvador, El Salvador

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William E. Collins Central America Research Station, Bureau of Tropical Diseases, Center for Disease Control, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, San Salvador, El Salvador

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Jimmie C. Skinner Central America Research Station, Bureau of Tropical Diseases, Center for Disease Control, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, San Salvador, El Salvador

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Ana Julia Larin Central America Research Station, Bureau of Tropical Diseases, Center for Disease Control, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, San Salvador, El Salvador

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Serologic profiles were established using the indirect fluorescent antibody test in a longitudinal study of six villages in an interior area of El Salvador. Positive serologic responses as well as active cases found through the voluntary collaborator posts occurred primarily in adult males, suggesting that much of the malaria experience in the study area resulted from exposure of this segment of the population in more malarious areas where they traveled to engage in temporary agricultural labor. Malaria incidence was generally low but transmission potential apparently varied markedly even over relatively small distances. Serologic profiles reflected the malaria experience in the population sampled, but many localities were widely dispersed and samples taken from village centers were found in some cases not to be representative of the entire locality population in terms of malaria exposure. The indirect fluorescent antibody technique was found to reflect the malaria experience in the population segments examined. When these data were correlated with the surveillance data from the voluntary collaborator posts, the epidemiology of malaria in the study area was more thoroughly understood.

Author Notes

Present address: Bureau of Tropical Diseases, Center for Disease Control, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30333.

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