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Does radical cure of asymptomatic Plasmodium falciparum place adults in endemic areas at increased risk of recurrent symptomatic malaria?

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A cohort of 197 adults in Kassena-Nankana District (northern Ghana) was radically cured of malaria parasites to study subsequent incidence of malaria infection. During the following 20 weeks of the malaria transmission season, 49% experienced clinical attacks associated with Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia. In a group of 202 adults identically followed-up 1 year later without being treated, only 38% experienced such episodes (log-rank test for equality of survivor functions, P=0.035). Clinical attacks in radically cured individuals presented with lower parasite densities but more symptoms. Randomized studies are needed to test the hypothesis that radical cure of P. falciparum enhances the risk and severity of subsequent clinical malaria attacks.
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Keywords: adults; malaria; radical therapy; recurrent symptomatic malaria; treated and untreated groups

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Navrongo Health Research Centre, Ghana, 2: School of Public Health, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana, 3: Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Legon, Ghana, 4: Swiss Tropical Institute, Basel, Switzerland

Publication date: July 1, 2002

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