Plasmodium falciparum and P. malariae: infection rates in the population of Northern Imbo Plain, Burundi

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Hermann Nimpaye
Desiré Nisubire
Joseph Nyandwi


Background: Burundi is cited among countries where malaria remains endemic. Notably, malaria is highly endemic in Imbo region, a lowland lying astride Lake Tanganyika. Among key malaria riposte interventions includes the promotion of Long-Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs), but its incidence rate has not reduced. In this paper, we present the distribution of malaria species in 2 settings within Imbo region by accounting for the seasonal variations and the mostly infected populations.
Methods: The study was conducted from 2 Health Care Centres of Murambi and Rugombo in Cibitoke District, Northern Burundi. Blood samples were collected on blood slides and the samples were used to confirm the presence of malaria parasites by microscopy.
Results: The study observed an average malaria parasite prevalence of 32.5% across the selected site. Majority of patients 459(95.2%) were infected by P. falciparum while 8(1.7%) patients were infected by P. malariae. Patients from Murambi were more infected than those from Rugombo. P. falciparum was the most highly prevalent specie in the 2 localities. High prevalence was observed in children aged between 2 and 5 years. Among older participants P. falciparum still predominated and mixed infections were rather the least prevalent.
Conclusion: This study showed that P. falciparum and P. malariae are the most parasites involved in malaria morbidity in North Imbo region. The transmission of P. falciparum was observed year-round. Patients in Murambi are most exposed to malaria infections than those in Rugombo. Further research at large scale including entomological studies is required to better understand the relationship between Entomological Inoculation Rates (EIR) and malaria transmission levels in this setting.

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