Serign Jawo Ceesay a Higher Scientific Officer & Research Coordinator working with the Disease Control & Elimination Theme is the first author of a recent publication entitled “Malaria Prevalence among Young Infants in Different Transmission Settings, Africa”, funded by the Medicines for Malaria Venture and Novartis Pharma AG which was awarded to Professor Umberto D’Alessandro.
As part of Serign’s research, the primary aim of the study reported in this paper is to have a better understanding of the risk of malaria in early infancy, critical for drug development and informed decision making. Thus, reducing the burden of malaria among infants which is not well characterised and may be underestimated.
This cross-sectional survey was conducted in Guinea, The Gambia, and Benin, countries with different malaria transmission intensities. The result from this publication show the overall prevalence of malaria among infants <6 months of age was 11.8% (Guinea, 21.7%; The Gambia, 3.7%; and Benin, 10.2%). Seroprevalence ranged from 5.7% in The Gambia to 41.6% in Guinea. Mean parasite densities in infants were significantly lower than those in children 1–9 years of age in The Gambia (p<0.0001) and Benin (p = 0.0021). Malaria in infants was significantly associated with fever or recent history of fever (p = 0.007) and anemia (p = 0.001).
The key findings of this study, indicate that more targeted preventive interventions, adequate drug formulations, and treatment guidelines are needed to address the sizeable prevalence of malaria among young infants in malaria-endemic countries.
The power of partnership “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton