Submicroscopic malaria cases play role in local transmission in Trenggalek district, East Java Province, Indonesia

Heny Arwati, Subagyo Yotopranoto, Etik Ainun Rohmah, Din Syafruddin

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Background Trenggalek district is a hypoendemic malaria area with mainly imported cases brought by migrant workers from islands outside Java. During malaria surveillance in 2015, no malaria cases were found microscopically, but some cases were positive by PCR. Therefore, a study was conducted to prove that local malaria transmission still occur. Methods The adult villagers were invited to the house of the head of this village to be screened for malaria using aseptic venipuncture of 1 mL blood upon informed consent. Thin and thick blood films as well as blood spots on filter paper were made for each subject. The blood films were stained with Giemsa and the blood spots were used to extract DNA for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification to determine the malaria infection. In addition, the history of malaria infection and travel to malaria endemic areas were recorded. Entomologic survey to detect the existence of anopheline vector was also conducted. Results Of the total 64 subjects that participated in the survey, no malaria parasites were found through microscopic examination of the blood films. The PCR analysis found six positive cases (two Plasmodium falciparum, one Plasmodium vivax and two mixed infection of both species), and two of them had no history of malaria and have never travelled to malaria endemic area. Entomologic survey using human bait trap detected the existence of Anopheles indefinitus that was found to be positive for P. vivax by PCR. Conclusions The results indicated that although we did not find any microscopically slide positive cases, six PCR positive subjects were found. The fact that 2 of the 6 malaria positive subjects have never travelled to malaria endemic area together with the existence of the vector confirm the occurence of local transmission of malaria in the area.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
JournalMalaria Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Local transmission
  • Migrant workers
  • PCR positive malaria


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