We assessed the effect of mass azithromycin treatment on malaria parasitemia in a trachoma trial in Niger. Twenty-four study communities received treatment during the wet, high-transmission season. Twelve of the 24 communities were randomized to receive an additional treatment during the dry, low-transmission season. Outcome measurements were conducted at the community-level in children < 1-72 months of age in May-June 2011. Parasitemia was higher in the 12 once-treated communities (29.8%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 21.5-40.0%) than in the 12 twice-treated communities (19.5%, 95% CI = 13.0-26.5%, P = 0.03). Parasite density was higher in once-treated communities (354 parasites/μL, 95% CI = 117-528 parasites/μL) than in twice-treated communities (74 parasites/μL, 95% CI = 41-202 parasites/μL, P = 0.03). Mass distribution of azithromycin reduced malaria parasitemia 4-5 months after the intervention. The results suggest that drugs with antimalaria activity can have long-lasting impacts on malaria during periods of low transmission.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases