The malaria and typhoid fever burden in the slums of Kolkata, India: data from a prospective community-based study

Dipika Sur, Lorenz von Seidlein, Byomkesh Manna, Shanta Dutta, Alok K. Deb, Banwari Lal Sarkar, Suman Kanungo, Jacqueline L. Deen, Mohammad Ali, Deok Ryun Kim, Vinay Kumar Gupta, R. Leon Ochiai, Ataru Tsuzuki, Camilo J. Acosta, John D. Clemens, Sujit K. Bhattacharya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Recent research has indicated that the malaria burden in Asia may have been vastly underestimated. We conducted a prospective community-based study in an impoverished urban site in Kolkata, India, to estimate the burden of malaria and typhoid fever and to identify risk factors for these diseases. In a population of 60 452 people, 3605 fever episodes were detected over a 12-month period. The blood films of 93 febrile patients contained Plasmodium (90 P. vivax, 2 P. falciparum and 1 P. malariae). Blood cultures from 95 patients grew Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi. Malaria patients were found to be significantly older (mean age 29 years) compared with patients with typhoid fever (15 years; P < 0.001) but had similar clinical features on presentation. Having a household member with malaria, illiteracy, low household income and living in a structure not built of bricks were associated with an increased risk for malaria. Having a household member with typhoid fever and poor hygiene were associated with typhoid fever. A geographic analysis of the spatial distribution of malaria and typhoid fever cases detected high-risk neighbourhoods for each disease. Focal interventions to minimise human-vector contact and improved personal hygiene and targeted vaccination campaigns could help to prevent malaria and typhoid fever in this site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-733
Number of pages9
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2006


  • Geographic information system
  • India
  • Malaria
  • Plasmodium vivax
  • Salmonella Typhi
  • Typhoid fever
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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