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01.12.2012 | Review | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

Malaria Journal 1/2012

The complexities of malaria disease manifestations with a focus on asymptomatic malaria

Malaria Journal > Ausgabe 1/2012
Dolie D Laishram, Patrick L Sutton, Nutan Nanda, Vijay L Sharma, Ranbir C Sobti, Jane M Carlton, Hema Joshi
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1475-2875-11-29) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors' contributions

DDL and PS mined the literature. DDL, PLS, NN, VLS, RCS and JMC wrote the manuscript. HJ contributed to initial discussions and planning. All authors with the exception of HJ (deceased) read and approved the final manuscript.


Malaria is a serious parasitic disease in the developing world, causing high morbidity and mortality. The pathogenesis of malaria is complex, and the clinical presentation of disease ranges from severe and complicated, to mild and uncomplicated, to asymptomatic malaria. Despite a wealth of studies on the clinical severity of disease, asymptomatic malaria infections are still poorly understood. Asymptomatic malaria remains a challenge for malaria control programs as it significantly influences transmission dynamics. A thorough understanding of the interaction between hosts and parasites in the development of different clinical outcomes is required. In this review, the problems and obstacles to the study and control of asymptomatic malaria are discussed. The human and parasite factors associated with differential clinical outcomes are described and the management and treatment strategies for the control of the disease are outlined. Further, the crucial gaps in the knowledge of asymptomatic malaria that should be the focus of future research towards development of more effective malaria control strategies are highlighted.
Additional file 1: Diagnostic criteria for defining malaria patients as asymptomatic. The list represents a snap-shot of some of the studies of asymptomatic infections world-wide. (DOC 106 KB)
Additional file 2: List of P. falciparum genes reported to be associated with different clinical outcomes of malaria. (DOC 78 kb). (DOC 76 KB)
Additional file 3: List of human genes reported to be associated with different clinical outcomes of malaria. A. Human gene polymorphisms B. Human blood disorders. (DOC 173 KB)
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