By sustaining transmission or causing malaria outbreaks, imported malaria undermines malaria elimination efforts. Few studies have examined the impact of travel on malaria epidemiology. We conducted a literature review and meta-analysis of studies investigating travel as a risk factor for malaria infection in sub-Saharan Africa using PubMed. We identified 22 studies and calculated a random-effects meta-analysis pooled odds ratio (OR) of 3.77 (95% CI: 2.49-5.70), indicating that travel is a significant risk factor for malaria infection. Odds ratios were particularly high in urban locations when travel was to rural areas, to more endemic/high transmission areas, and in young children. Although there was substantial heterogeneity in the magnitude of association across the studies, the pooled estimate and directional consistency support travel as an important risk factor for malaria infection.
Travel is a key risk factor for malaria transmission in pre-elimination settings in sub-Saharan Africa
A review of the literature and meta-analysis
Ahmed, S., Reithinger, R., Kaptoge, S. K., & Ngondi, J. M. (2020). Travel is a key risk factor for malaria transmission in pre-elimination settings in sub-Saharan Africa: A review of the literature and meta-analysis. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 103(4), 1380-1387. https://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.18-0456