An Evaluation of Malaria Fluorescent Antibody Patterns in Several Remote Island Populations of the New Hebrides, Solomons, Western Carolines, and New Guinea

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  • Laboratory of Central Nervous System Studies, National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke, and Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Vector Biology and Control Division, Bureau of Tropical Diseases, Center for Disease Control, Bethesda, Maryland 20014

From a representative sampling of several remote populations living on the Banks and Torres Islands (New Hebrides), the Eastern and Southern Districts of the Solomon Islands, the Western Caroline Islands (U. S. Pacific Trust Territory), West New Guinea (Indonesia), and Papua New Guinea, 752 sera were examined for fluorescent antibodies to the four species of human malaria, and the results were compared to already published parasite survey data based on blood smears and medical examinations. Antibody prevalence data confirmed the presence of significant endemic malaria among most of the visited islands in the New Hebrides, and a variable but smaller amount of malaria in the Solomons. On those islands known to be free of malarial vectors, data were compatible with importation of self-limited infection by travelling residents. Malarial infection occurred in from 40% to 100% of the New Guinea villages that were visited, and was entirely absent from the Western Caroline Islands. The actual proportions of malarial species in endemic areas were not accurately reflected by relative antibody titer levels to the different species, possibly due to unpredictably high heterologous antibody reactions following multiple mixed infections.

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