Prevalence of and risk factors for severe malaria caused by Plasmodium and DENV co-infection |
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Prevalence of and risk factors for severe malaria caused by Plasmodium and DENV co-infection

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Plasmodium and dengue virus (DENV) infectious species Co-infection can prove serious and fatal, if left undiagnosed and without timely treatment. A study determined the pooled prevalence estimate of severe malaria among patients with co-infection, the risk of severe diseases due to co-infection, and also described the complications of severe malaria and severe dengue among patients with co-infection.

The study pooled that data relating to the prevalence of severe malaria among patients with Plasmodium and DENV co-infection. The risks of severe malaria and severe diseases due to co-infection were estimated with the pooled odds ratio (OR) and with a random-effects model. A total of 13 studies were included for the systematic review and meta-analysis. 

The results demonstrated-

The pooled prevalence estimate of severe malaria among patients with co-infection was 32%. 

Patients with co-infection demonstrated a higher risk of severe diseases than those with DENV mono-infection. 

Patients with co-infection had a higher risk of severe dengue than those with DENV mono-infection.

The most severe complications of severe dengue were bleeding (39.6%), jaundice (19.8%), and shock/hypotension (17.9%).

The most severe complications of severe malaria were severe bleeding/bleeding (47.9%), jaundice (32.2%), and impaired consciousness (7.43%).

Thus the study concluded that there exists a high prevalence of severe malaria among patients with Plasmodium and DENV co-infection. Physicians practising in endemic areas, seeing the overlap of these two diseases, must recognize such patients as they can develop either severe malaria or severe dengue with bleeding complications. Further, a greater risk of developing severe dengue than severe malaria is seen in patients with this co-infection.

Source: Infect Dis Poverty 9, 134 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40249-020-00741-z

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