Estimates of the changing age-burden of Plasmodium falciparum malaria disease in sub-Saharan Africa

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Abstract

Estimating the changing burden of malaria disease remains difficult owing to limitations in health reporting systems. Here, we use a transmission model incorporating acquisition and loss of immunity to capture age-specific patterns of disease at different transmission intensities. The model is fitted to age-stratified data from 23 sites in Africa, and we then produce maps and estimates of disease burden. We estimate that in 2010 there were 252 (95% credible interval: 171-353) million cases of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa that active case finding would detect. However, only 34% (12-86%) of these cases would be observed through passive case detection. We estimate that the proportion of all cases of clinical malaria that are in under-fives varies from above 60% at high transmission to below 20% at low transmission. The focus of some interventions towards young children may need to be reconsidered, and should be informed by the current local transmission intensity. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

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Griffin, J. T., Ferguson, N. M., & Ghani, A. C. (2014). Estimates of the changing age-burden of Plasmodium falciparum malaria disease in sub-Saharan Africa. Nature Communications, 5. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms4136

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