Among the Plasmodium species that infect humans, P. falciparum has been largely studied in malaria endemic areas. However, P. malariae infection is less documented among the human population. This study aimed to monitor the prevalence and distribution of P. malariae in Southern Benin. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in rural localities in the Ouidah-Kpomasse-Tori Bossito (OKT) health district in Southern Benin from June to October 2019. Socio-demographic data were collected using a questionnaire, while malaria infection data were obtained on the one hand by microscopy diagnosis and, on the other, by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Based on microscopy, the prevalence of P. malariae mono-infection and coinfection of P. falciparum, P. malariae was respectively 2.3% and 1.2% in the OKT health district. This prevalence was higher (P < 0.01) than that reported by Damien et al. (2010) 10 years ago in the same study area with 0.7% and 0.3% of P. malariae and P. falciparum/P. malariae, respectively. Based on PCR analysis, P. malariae prevalence was 14.1%, including 5.2% of mono-infection and 8.9% of mixed infection with P. falciparum. Sub-microscopic Plasmodium infections were high (30.6%) and more pronounced in older participants (>20 years). The present study revealed that P. malariae increased in the OKT health district with a high prevalence of submicroscopic infection. Since our results provide valuable evidence of increasing P. malariae infection, the National Malaria Control Programs (NMCPs) must consider P. malariae when designing future measures for effective control and malaria treatment.
Keywords: Ouidah–Kpomasse–Tori Bossito; P. malariae; Plasmodium; Prevalence; Rural inhabitants.
© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.