Ecuador plans to eliminate malaria by 2020, and the country has already seen a decrease in the number of cases from more than 100,000 in 2000 to only 618 in 2015. Around 30% of malaria infections in Ecuador are caused by Plasmodium falciparum. Most malaria population genetics studies performed in Latin America, especially in the Pacific Coast, indicate a high clonality and a clear structure of P. falciparum populations. It was shown that an outbreak of P. falciparum in northwest Ecuador was the result of a clonal expansion of parasites circulating at low levels in the country or re-invading Ecuador from neighbouring territories. However, general characteristics of P. falciparum circulating in the northwest coast of Ecuador have not been determined. The main goal of this study was to genetically characterize the population structure of P. falciparum in coastal Ecuadorian localities bordering with Colombia.
The network of diagnostic services for malaria is weak in San Lorenzo, and socio-economic, political and historical factors hinder the implementation of the universal malaria elimination strategy based on diagnosis and treatment.
Fine-scale differences in endophagy and exophagy, and temporal differences among months and hours exist in biting patterns among mosquito taxa in southern coastal Ecuador.
This finding suggests a transition in the cause of fever from malaria to other illnesses, such as dengue.
This study documents the establishment of multiple anopheline species in high altitude regions of Ecuador, often in areas where malaria eradication programs are not focused.