Background: Yemen remains the country with the highest malaria transmission within the Arabian Peninsula and a source of imported cases to neighbouring countries. Methods: This study collected samples from individuals resident in a valley in Western Yemen as a baseline to examine infection prevalence for a future trial. As well as rapid diagnostic test (RDT) and microscopy, a filter paper blood spot was collected for molecular and serological analyses. Results: Samples were collected from 2261 individuals from 12 clusters across a study area of approximately 100 km2. Plasmodium falciparum infection prevalence was 12.4, 11.1 and 19.6 % by RDT, microscopy and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), respectively. RDT and microscopy did not detect 45 % of infections present, suggesting many infections were low-density. Infection prevalence and seroprevalence were highly heterogeneous between clusters, with evidence of higher exposure in clusters close to the wadi. The mean multiplicity of infection (MOI) was 2.3 and high heterozygosity and allelic richness were detected. Conclusions: This highly diverse parasite population suggests a high degree of transmissibility and coupled with the substantial proportion of low-density infections, may pose challenges for malaria control and elimination efforts.
Cook, J., Grignard, L., Al-Eryani, S., Al-Selwei, M., Mnzava, A., Al-Yarie, H., … Drakeley, C. (2016). High heterogeneity of malaria transmission and a large sub-patent and diverse reservoir of infection in Wusab As Safil district, Republic of Yemen. Malaria Journal, 15(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12936-016-1249-y