Inland valley rice production systems and malaria infection and disease in the forest region of western Côte d'Ivoire.Malar J. 2013 Jul 10; 12:233.MJ
This study aimed to determine the epidemiological impact of rice cultivation in inland valleys on malaria in the forest region of western Côte d'Ivoire. The importance of malaria was compared in terms of prevalence and parasite density of infections and also in terms of clinical malaria incidence between three agro-ecosystems: (i) uncultivated inland valleys, (R0), (ii) inland valleys with one annual rice cultivation in the rainy season, (R1) and (iii) developed inland valleys with two annual rice cultivation cycles, (R2).
Between May 1998 and March 1999, seven villages of each agro-ecosystem (R0, R1 and R2) were randomly selected among villages pooled by farming system. In these 21 villages, a total of 1,900 people of all age groups were randomly selected and clinically monitored during one year. Clinical and parasitological information was obtained by active case detection of malaria episodes carried out during eight periods of five consecutive days scheduled at six weekly intervals and by cross-sectional surveys.
Plasmodium falciparum was the principal parasite observed in the three agro-ecosystems. A level of holoendemicity of malaria was observed in the three agro-ecosystems with more than 75% of children less than 12 months old infected. Geometric mean parasite density in asymptomatic persons varied between 180 and 206 P. falciparum asexual forms per μL of blood and was associated with season and with age, but not with farming system. The mean annual malaria incidence rate reached 0.7 (95% IC 0.5-0.9) malaria episodes per person in R0, 0.7 (95% IC 0.6-0.9) in R1 and 0.6 (95% IC 0.5-0.7) in R2. The burden of malaria was the highest among children under two years of age, with at least four attacks by person-year. Then malaria incidence decreased by half in the two to four-year age group. From the age of five years, the incidence was lower than one attack by person-year. Malaria incidence varied with season with more cases in the rainy season than in the dry season but not with farming system.
In the forest area of western Côte d'Ivoire, inland valley rice cultivation was not significantly associated with malaria burden.