Malaria outbreaks have been reported in recent years in the Colombian Amazon region, malaria has been re-emerging in areas where it was previously controlled. Information from malaria transmission networks and knowledge about the population characteristics influencing the dispersal of parasite species is limited. This study aimed to determine the distribution patterns of Plasmodium vivax, P. malariae and P. falciparum single and mixed infections, as well as the significant socio-spatial groupings relating to the appearance of such infections. An active search in 57 localities resulted in 2,106 symptomatic patients being enrolled. Parasitaemia levels were assessed by optical microscopy, and parasites were detected by PCR. The association between mixed infections (in 43.2% of the population) and socio-spatial factors was modelled using logistic regression and multiple correspondence analyses. P. vivax occurred most frequently (71.0%), followed by P. malariae (43.2%), in all localities. The results suggest that a parasite density-dependent regulation model (with fever playing a central role) was appropriate for modelling the frequency of mixed species infections in this population. This study highlights the under-reporting of Plasmodium spp. mixed infections in the malaria-endemic area of the Colombian Amazon region and the association between causative and environmental factors in such areas.
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