[Update on the epidemiology of malaria in French Guiana].

Abstract : The last study describing the epidemiology of malaria in French Guiana was published 20 years ago. Yet French Guiana in the Americas along with Mayotte in the Indian Ocean is the only French territory with persisting endemic malaria. The purpose of this study is to provide an update based on official malaria surveillance data as well as on information from hospital records and various field surveys that have been carried out in recent years. Due to recurrent problems in collecting thorough, continuous, and consistent data, exact determination of incidence by plasmodium species has always been difficult in French Guiana. These problems include not only the remote location of endemic areas and intense unpredictable migration patterns but also poor data collection methods that do not always ensure consistency and homogeneity. Another factor hindering thorough collection of conventional epidemiological data is the requirement for rapid effective treatment in remote regions. The overall incidence of malaria in French Guiana appears to have remained stable since the beginning of the decade with an average of 3,920 case reports per year for an incidence rate of 20 per thousand, noting that three fourths of the 206,000 inhabitants of French Guiana live outside of endemic areas. Overall involvement of P. falciparum and P. vivax appears to be equal with P. malariae accounting for only 2.6% of cases. Trends in recent years indicate an increase in the number of cases involving P. vivax especially in the eastern zones, i.e. in the Oyapock focus where annual incidences in children have reached up to 500 per thousand and in the whole region located between Saint Georges and Cayenne. Conversely a decrease in endemic levels has been observed in western areas, especially for P. falciparum in the upper and middle focuses of the Maroni. Most zones now causing problems are located near migration points, particularly in relation with clandestine gold panning activities. In the coastal strip where the three main cities with most of the population are located, most reported cases are imported but local cases may occur. In general local transmission in these areas has been promptly controlled but trends indicate that incidence of these events may be rising. Anopheles darlingi is still recognized as the main vector but its role in transmission is less obvious in eastern areas where increasing evidence suggests that other species may contribute to maintaining endemic levels. These findings indicate that the extensive resources deployed in this French territory (public financing, health care network, public awareness campaigns, and training of health care personnel in diagnosis and treatment of malaria) have helped reduce the number of severe cases in an unfavorable epidemiological setting.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 5, 2011 - 9:16:43 PM
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  • HAL Id : pasteur-00583514, version 1
  • PUBMED : 19499726

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Bernard Carme, V. Ardillon, R. Girod, C. Grenier, M. Joubert, et al.. [Update on the epidemiology of malaria in French Guiana].. Médecine tropicale : revue du Corps de santé colonial, 2009, 69 (1), pp.19-25. ⟨pasteur-00583514⟩

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