Background: Focal screening and treatment (FSAT) of malaria infections has recently been introduced in Peru to overcome the inherent limitations of passive case detection (PCD) and further decrease the malaria burden. Here, we used a relatively straightforward mathematical model to assess the potential of FSAT as elimination strategy for Plasmodium falciparum malaria in the Peruvian Amazon Region.
Methods: A baseline model was developed to simulate a scenario with seasonal malaria transmission and the effect of PCD and treatment of symptomatic infections on the P. falciparum malaria transmission in a low endemic area of the Peruvian Amazon. The model was then adjusted to simulate intervention scenarios for predicting the long term additional impact of FSAT on P. falciparum malaria prevalence and incidence. Model parameterization was done using data from a cohort study in a rural Amazonian community as well as published transmission parameters from previous studies in similar areas. The effect of FSAT timing and frequency, using either microscopy or a supposed field PCR, was assessed on both predicted incidence and prevalence rates.
Results: The intervention model indicated that the addition of FSAT to PCD significantly reduced the predicted P. falciparum incidence and prevalence. The strongest reduction was observed when three consecutive FSAT were implemented at the beginning of the low transmission season, and if malaria diagnosis was done with PCR. Repeated interventions for consecutive years (10 years with microscopy or 5 years with PCR), would allow reaching near to zero incidence and prevalence rates.
Conclusions: The addition of FSAT interventions to PCD may enable to reach P. falciparum elimination levels in low endemic areas of the Amazon Region, yet the progression rates to those levels may vary substantially according to the operational criteria used for the intervention.