Malaria Prevalence among Young Infants in Different Transmission Settings, Africa

03 Jul 2015

Serign J. Ceesay, Lamine Koivogui, Alain Nahum, Makie Abdoulie Taal, Joseph Okebe, Muna Affara, Lama Eugène Kaman, Francis Bohissou, Carine Agbowai, Benoit Gniouma Tolno, Alfred Amambua-Ngwa, NFaly Bangoura, Daniel Ahounou, Abdul Khalie Muhammad, Stephan Duparc, Kamal Hamed, David Ubben, Kalifa Bojang, Jane Achan, and Umberto D’Alessandro

Emerging Infectious Diseases

DOI: 10.3201/eid2107.142036

Photo: Prapann/


The prevalence and consequences of malaria among infants are not well characterized and may be underestimated. A better understanding of the risk for malaria in early infancy is critical for drug development and informed decision making. In a cross-sectional survey in Guinea, The Gambia, and Benin, countries with different malaria transmission intensities, 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). 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.

View the full article on the CDC website.