Epidemiology of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytemia in India: Prevalence, age-structure, risk factors and the role of a predictive score for detection.
objective To characterise the epidemiology of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytemia and
determine the prevalence, age structure and the viability of a predictive model for detection.
methods We collected data from 21 therapeutic efficacy trials conducted in India during 2009–
2010 and estimated the contribution of each age group to the reservoir of transmission. We built a
predictive model for gametocytemia and calculated the diagnostic utility of different score cut-offs
from our risk score.
results Gametocytemia was present in 18% (248/1 335) of patients and decreased with age. Adults
constituted 43%, school-age children 45% and under fives 12% of the reservoir for potential
transmission. Our model retained age, sex, region and previous antimalarial drug intake as predictors
of gametocytemia. The area under the receiver operator characteristic curve was 0.76 (95%
CI:0.73,0.78), and a cut-off of 14 or more on a risk score ranging from 0 to 46 provided 91%
(95%CI:88,95) sensitivity and 33% (95%CI:31,36) specificity for detecting gametocytemia.
conclusions Gametocytemia was common in India and varied by region. Notably, adults
contributed substantially to the reservoir for potential transmission. Predictive modelling to generate
a clinical algorithm for detecting gametocytemia did not provide sufficient discrimination for
Shah, N. K., Poole, C., Macdonald, P., Srivastava, B., Schapira, A., Juliano, J. J., ... Mishra, N. (2013). Epidemiology of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytemia in India: Prevalence, age-structure, risk factors and the role of a predictive score for detection. Tropical Medicine and International Health, 18(7), 800 - 809. DOI: 10.1111/tmi.12119