In endemic areas, children develop slowly and naturally anti-Plasmodium antibodies and become semi-immune. Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine + amodiaquine (SPAQ) is a new strategy to reduce malaria morbidity in West African young children. However, SMC may impact on the natural acquisition of anti-Plasmodium immunity. This paper evaluates the effect of SMC with SPAQ on antibody concentration in young children from Niger.
The relationship between malaria and malnutrition is complicated, and existence of one may predispose or exacerbate the other. We evaluated the relationship between malaria parasitemia and nutritional status in children living in communities participating in a cluster-randomized trial of biannual azithromycin compared with placebo for prevention of childhood mortality. Data were collected during the low malaria transmission and low food insecurity season.
Rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) for malaria are common, but their performance varies. Tests using histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2) antigen are most common, and many have high sensitivity. HRP2 tests can remain positive for weeks after treatment, limiting their specificity and usefulness in high-transmission settings. Tests using Plasmodium lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) have been less widely used but have higher specificity, mostly due to a much shorter time to become negative.
Biannual mass azithromycin administration to preschool children reduces all-cause mortality, but the mechanism for the effect is not understood. Azithromycin has activity against malaria parasites, and malaria is a leading cause of child mortality in the Sahel. The effect of biannual versus annual azithromycin distribution for trachoma control on serological response to merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP-119), a surrogate for malaria incidence, was evaluated among children in Niger.