MIGRATION AND MALARIA IN EUROPE

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Begoña Monge-Maillo
Rogelio López-Vélez *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Rogelio López-Vélez | rlopezvelez.hrc@salud.madrid.org

Abstract

The proportion of imported malaria cases due to immigrants in Europe has increased during the lasts decades, being the higher rates for those settled immigrants who travel to visit friends and relatives (VFRs) at their country of origin. Cases are mainly due to P. falciparum and Sub-Saharan Africa is the most common origin. Clinically, malaria in immigrants is characterized by a mild clinical presentation with even asymptomatic o delayed malaria cases and low parasitemic level. These characteristics may be explained by a semi-immunity acquired after long periods of time exposed to stable transmission of malaria. Malaria cases among immigrants, even those asymptomatic patients with sub-microscopic parasitemia, could increase the risk of transmission and reintroduction of malaria in certain areas with the adequate vectors and climate conditions. Moreover imported malaria cases by immigrants can also play an important role in the non-vectorial transmission out of endemic area, by blood transfusions, organ transplantation or congenital or occupational exposures. Probably, out of endemic areas, screening of malaria among recent arrived immigrants coming from malaria endemic countries should be performed. These aim to reduce the risk of clinical malaria in the individual as well as to prevent autochthonous transmission of malaria in areas where it had been eradicated.

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