Expert opinion: Is screening for malaria necessary among asymptomatic refugees and immigrants coming from endemic countries?Archived
This article assesses the findings of a recent Canadian study which measured malaria prevalence among recently arrived asymptomatic refugees.
Monge-Maillo B, López-Vélez R.Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2011 May;9(5):521-4
This article assesses the findings of a recent Canadian study which measured malaria prevalence among recently arrived asymptomatic refugees (Matisz CE, Naidu P, Shokoples SE et al. Post-arrival screening for malaria in asymptomatic refugees using real-time PCR. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 84, 161-165 (2010). A total of 324 refugees were screened for malaria, obtaining a global prevalence of 3.1% by PCR.
ECDC comment: Although malaria is now essentially limited to tropical countries there is a small potential for its reappearance in countries where it was previously eradicated and Anopheles mosquitoes are present, including Europe, where a large number of imported cases are reported every year. Given malaria’s potential impact on individual and public health out of the tropics where it affects mainly mobile population groups, such as travellers, immigrants and refugees who can be exposed at their countries of origin or transit, the authors suggest implementation of malaria screening among refugees and immigrants even if asymptomatic. In this study, the prevalence of malaria among screened asymptomatic refugees was 3.1%. Screening needs to be performed in specialized centres where PCR is available. However, the high cost of PCR and the necessary infrastructure can limit such a measure. On the other hand, pre-departure administration of malaria treatment has clearly been cost effective in some studies and reduced significantly the incidence of malaria. This study may help elaborate more specific protocols for screening and treatment of infectious diseases in these mobile populations. However, more studies of the prevalence on infectious diseases, including P. falciparum or P. vivax (as well as other plasmodium species) malaria, in recently arrived immigrants and refuges are needed to guide specific public health interventions which will vary between countries based on the number of the refugees and immigrants hosted and their country of origin.
Severe Plasmodium knowlesi malaria in a tertiary care hospital in Sabah, Malaysian BorneoArchived
30 Jun 2011 - 56 adult patients with PCR confirmed P. knowlesi malaria from Sabah are described. 22 (39%) of these had strictly defined severe malaria including respiratory distress, acute renal failure and shock.
Artemisinin resistance: the clock is tickingArchived
16 May 2011 - Artemisinin resistance in falciparum malaria has emerged in western Cambodia exactly where chloroquine resistance arose 50 years ago. Similarly to the resistance to chloroquine that spread to Africa, the experts are wondering whether artemisinin resistance will spread as widely. In such a case the consequences would be disastrous.
Case Report: Imported Plasmodium knowlesi Malaria in a French Tourist Returning from ThailandArchived
16 May 2011 - The authors describe a case of imported Plasmodium knowlesi infection in a French tourist acquired in Thailand. The patient had spent a three month beach holiday on the west coast of Thailand including a one month stay on the Island of Ko Payam.