Background: The scale-up of malaria control interventions has resulted in substantial declines in transmission in some but not all regions of sub-Saharan Africa. Understanding factors associated with persistent malaria transmission despite control efforts may guide targeted interventions to high-risk areas and populations. Methods: Household malaria surveys were conducted in Nchelenge District, Luapula Province, in northern Zambia. Structures that appeared to be households were enumerated from a highresolution satellite image and randomly sampled for enrollment. Households were enrolled into cross-sectional (single visit) or longitudinal (visits every other month) cohorts but analyses were restricted to cross-sectional visits and the first visit to longitudinal households. During study visits, a questionnaire was administered to adults and caretakers of children and a blood sample was collected for a malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDT) from all household residents. Characteristics associated with RDT positivity were analyzed using multilevel models. Results: A total of 2,486 individuals residing within 742 households were enrolled between April 2012 and July 2015. Over this period, 51% of participants were RDT positive. Forty-three percent of all RDT positive individuals were between the ages of 5 and 17 years although this age group comprised only 30% of study participants. In a multivariable model, the odds being RDT positive were highest in 5-17 year olds and did not vary by season. Children 5-17 years of age had 8.83 higher odds of being RDT positive compared with those >18 years of age (95% CI: 6.13, 12.71); there was an interaction between age and report of symptoms, with an almost 50% increased odds of report of symptoms with decreasing age category (OR = 1.49; 95% CI 1.11, 2.00). Conclusions: Children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 17 were at the highest risk of malaria infection throughout the year. School-based programs may be effective at targeting this high-risk group.
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