Risk factors associated with malaria infection in an urban setting

Fabian Mendez, Gabriel Carrasquilla, Alvaro Muñoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Incidence of malaria in urban settings is a growing concern in many regions of the world and individual risk factors need to be identified to appropriately adjust control strategies. We carried out a cross-sectional study in 1993/94 in an urban area of the largest port of the Pacific Coast of Colombia, where transmission has had an upward trend over the past 5 years. Prevalence of malaria infection was estimated in areas of the city with the highest incidence of disease, and the association between some characteristics of the population and the risk of malaria infection was assessed. Prevalence of malaria infection was 4.4% among the 1380 studied people and we found that it decreased with older age, and with knowledge of disease and preventive measures directed to elimination of breeding sites. In addition, the infection was positively associated with exposure to the forest (P < 0.05), although most of the cases (57/61, 93%) were likely to have been acquired in the urban area. We also found that individuals receiving antimalarial treatment in the previous month had around twice the risk of being infected as compared with those without treatment. In addition, our results suggest that use of bednets could not be a very effective protective measure in settings such as that of our study, and that environmental interventions may be needed to decrease the risk of infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-371
Number of pages5
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000


  • Antimalarials
  • Control
  • Malaria
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Plasmodium vivax
  • Urban risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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