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Absence of Asymptomatic Malaria Infections in Previously High Endemic Areas of Sri Lanka

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  • 1 Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Colombo, Sri Lanka; Anti Malaria Campaign, Colombo, Sri Lanka; Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Colombo, Sri Lanka

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.

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