Asymptomatic Malaria and its Challenges in the Malaria Elimination Program in Iran: a Systematic Review

  • Gholmreza Hassanpour Center for Research of Endemic Parasites of Iran, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Mehdi Mohebali Center for Research of Endemic Parasites of Iran, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Hojjat Zeraati Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Ahmad Raeisi Center for Research of Endemic Parasites of Iran, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Hossein Keshavarz Center for Research of Endemic Parasites of Iran, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Keywords: Malaria, Asymptomatic infection, Elimination

Abstract

Background: The ob­jective of this study was to find an appropriate approach to asymptomatic malaria in elimination setting through a systematic review.Methods: A broad search was conducted to find articles with the words ‘malaria’ in their titles and ‘asymptomatic’ or ‘submicroscopic’ in their texts, irrespective of the type of study conducted. The Cochrane, Medline/PubMed, and Scopus databases, as well as Google Scholar were systematically searched for English articles and reports and Iran’s databases- IranMedex, SID and Magiran were searched for Persian reports and articles, with no time limitation. The study was qualitatively summarized if it contained precise information on the role of asymptomatic malaria in the elimination phase.Results: Six articles were selected from the initial 2645 articles. The results all re-emphasize the significance of asymptomatic malaria in the elimination phase, and empha­size the significance of diagnostic tests of higher sensitivity to locate these patients and perform interventions to re­duce the asymptomatic parasitic reservoirs particularly in regions of low transmission. However, we may infer from the results that the current evidence cannot yet specify an accurate strategy on the role of asymptomatic malaria in the elimination phase.Conclusion: To eliminate malaria, alongside vector control, and treatment of symptomatic and asymptomatic pa­tients, active and inactive methods of case detection need to be employed. The precise monitoring of asymptomatic individuals and submicroscopic cases of malaria through molecular assays and valid serological methods, especially in regions where seasonal and low transmission exists can be very helpful at this phase.

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Published
2017-06-13
How to Cite
1.
Hassanpour G, Mohebali M, Zeraati H, Raeisi A, Keshavarz H. Asymptomatic Malaria and its Challenges in the Malaria Elimination Program in Iran: a Systematic Review. J Arthropod Borne Dis. 11(2):172-181.
Section
Review Article