Plasmodium falciparum Incidence Relative to Entomologic Inoculation Rates at a Site Proposed for Testing Malaria Vaccines in Western Kenya

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  • Kenya Medical Research Institute and U.S. Army Medical Research Unit, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Naval Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya

Relationships between Plasmodium falciparum incidence and entomologic inoculation rates (EIRs) were determined for a 21-month period in Saradidi, western Kenya, in preparation for malaria vaccine field trials. Children, ranging in age from six months to six years and treated to clear malaria parasites, were monitored daily for up to 12 weeks to detect new malaria infections. Overall, new P. falciparum infections were detected in 77% of 809 children. The percentage of children that developed infections per two-week period averaged 34.7%, ranging from 7.3% to 90.9%. Transmission by vector populations was detected in 86.4% (38 of 44) of the two-week periods, with daily EIRs averaging 0.75 infective bites per person. Periods of intense transmission during April to August, and from November to January, coincided with seasonal rains. Relationships between daily malaria attack rates and EIRs indicated that an average of only 7.5% (1 in 13) of the sporozoite inoculations produced new infections in children. Regression analysis demonstrated that EIRs accounted for 74% of the variation in attack rates. One of the components of the EIR, the human-biting rate, alone accounted for 68% of the variation in attack rates. Thus, measurements of either the EIR or the human-biting rate can be used to predict corresponding attack rates in children. These baseline epidemiologic studies indicate that the intense transmission patterns of P. falciparum in Saradidi will provide excellent conditions for evaluating malaria vaccine efficacy.