Malaria is long known as a deadly vector borne infection, caused by five parasite species of the coccidian genus Plasmodia that are present in as many as 85 countries. Despite significant progresses have been achieved to control the infection by early diagnosis and artemisinin combination treatment, insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual spraying, malaria still represents a major public health issue in many endemic low-income countries. New diagnostic tools of higher sensitivity and specificity are now available for use in endemic countries to better guide diagnosis and treatment. In particular, highly sensitive rapid antigenic tests are now available and the loop-mediated isothermal amplification is a very promising and highly sensitive diagnostic tool. After 2015, decreasing morbidity and mortality trends have been stagnating because of limited funding, emergence of parasite and vector resistance to drugs and insecticides respectively and, recently, by the disrupting effect of COVID-19 pandemic. The incomplete knowledge of the complex immunity of malaria infection has slowed the development of an effective vaccine. However, in 2021, the RTS-S vaccine, however of suboptimal protective efficacy, has been made available for routine use in children above 5 months of age. Population movements has increased the chance of observing imported malaria in non-endemic areas, where malaria competent vectors may still exist.
Keywords: Malaria; epidemiology; immunity; treatment; vaccine.