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Free Content Inland valley rice production systems and malaria infection and disease in the savannah of Côte d'Ivoire

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In sub-Saharan Africa, lowlands developed for rice cultivation favour the development of Anopheles gambiae s. l. populations. However, the epidemiological impact is not clearly determined. The importance of malaria was compared in terms of prevalence and parasite density of infections as well as in terms of disease incidence between three agroecosystems: (i) uncultivated lowlands, ‘R0’, (ii) lowlands with one annual rice cultivation in the rainy season, ‘R1’ and (iii) developed lowlands with two annual rice cultivation cycles, ‘R2’. We clinically monitored 2000 people of all age groups, selected randomly in each agroecosystem, for 40 days (in eight periods of five consecutive days scheduled every 6 weeks for 1 year). During each survey, a systematic blood sample was taken from every sick and asymptomatic person. The three agroecosystems presented a high endemic situation with a malaria transmission rate of 139–158 infective bites per person per year. The age-standardized annual malaria incidence reached 0.9 malaria episodes per person in R0, 0.6 in R1 and 0.8 in R2. Children from 0 to 9-year-old in R0 and R2 had two malarial attacks annually, but this was less in R1 (1.4 malaria episodes per child per year). Malaria incidence varied with season and agroecosystem. In parallel with transmission, a high malaria risk occurs temporarily at the beginning of the dry season in R2, but not in R0 and R1. Development of areas for rice cultivation does not modify the annual incidence of malarial attacks despite their seasonal influence on malaria risk. However, the lower malaria morbidity rate in R1 could be explained by socio-economic and cultural factors.

Keywords: Côte d'Ivoire; malaria morbidity; rice cultivation systems; savannah

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1:  Institut P. Richet, Bouaké, Côte d'Ivoire 2:  Institut de Médecine Tropicale du Service de Santé des Armées, Marseille, France 3:  CERDI/CNRS, Clermont-Ferrand, France 4:  WARDA, Bouaké, Côte d'Ivoire

Publication date: May 1, 2003

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