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1.  Geographical concentration of falciparum malaria treated in the UK and delay to treatment with artesunate in severe cases: an observational study 
BMJ Open  2012;2(6):e001854.
Objectives
To quantify geographical concentration of falciparum malaria cases in the UK at a hospital level. To assess potential delay-to-treatment associated with hub-and-spoke distribution of artesunate in severe cases.
Design
Observational study using national and hospital data.
Setting and participants
3520 patients notified to the Malaria Reference Laboratory 2008–2010, 34 patients treated with intravenous artesunate from a tropical diseases centre 2002–2010.
Main outcome measures
Geographical location of falciparum cases notified in the UK. Diagnosis-to-treatment times for intravenous artesunate.
Results
Eight centres accounted for 43.9% of the UK's total cases; notifications from 107 centres accounted for 10.2% of cases; 51.5% of hospitals seeing malaria notified 5 or fewer cases in 3 years. Centres that saw <10 cases/year treat 26.3% of malaria cases; 6.1% of cases are treated in hospitals seeing <2 cases/year. Concentration of falciparum malaria was highest in Greater London (1925, 54.7%), South East (515, 14.6%), East of England (402, 11.4%) and North West (192, 5.4%). The North East and Northern Ireland each notified 5 or fewer cases per year. Median diagnosis-to-treatment time was 1 h (range 0.5–5) for patients receiving artesunate in the specialist centre; 7.5 h (range 4–26) for patients receiving it in referring hospitals via the hub-and-spoke system (p=0.02); 25 h (range 9–45) for patients receiving it on transfer to the regional centre from a referring hospital (p=0.002).
Conclusions
Most UK hospitals see few cases of falciparum malaria and geographical distances are significant. Over 25% of cases are seen in hospitals where malaria is rare, although 60% are seen in hospitals seeing over 50 cases over 3 years. A hub-and-spoke system minimises drug wastage and ensures availability in centres seeing most cases but is associated with treatment delays elsewhere. As with all observational studies, there are limitations, which are discussed.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001854
PMCID: PMC3533059  PMID: 23148346
Infectious Diseases; Parasitology
2.  Imported malaria and high risk groups: observational study using UK surveillance data 1987-2006 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2008;337(7661):103-106.
Objective To examine temporal, geographic, and sociodemographic trends in case reporting and case fatality of malaria in the United Kingdom.
Setting National malaria reference laboratory surveillance data in the UK.
Design Observational study using prospectively gathered surveillance data and data on destinations from the international passenger survey.
Participants 39 300 cases of proved malaria in the UK between 1987 and 2006.
Main outcome measures Plasmodium species; sociodemographic details (including age, sex, and country of birth and residence); mortality; destination, duration, and purpose of international travel; and use of chemoprophylaxis.
Results Reported cases of imported malaria increased significantly over the 20 years of the study; an increasing proportion was attributable to Plasmodium falciparum (P falciparum/P vivax reporting ratio 1.3:1 in 1987-91 and 5.4:1 in 2002-6). P vivax reports declined from 3954 in 1987-91 to 1244 in 2002-6. Case fatality of reported P falciparum malaria did not change over this period (7.4 deaths per 1000 reported cases). Travellers visiting friends and relatives, usually in a country in Africa or Asia from which members of their family migrated, accounted for 13 215/20 488 (64.5%) of all malaria reported, and reports were geographically concentrated in areas where migrants from Africa and South Asia to the UK have settled. People travelling for this purpose were at significantly higher risk of malaria than other travellers and were less likely to report the use of any chemoprophylaxis (odds ratio of reported chemoprophylaxis use 0.23, 95% confidence interval 0.21 to 0.25).
Conclusions Despite the availability of highly effective preventive measures, the preventable burden from falciparum malaria has steadily increased in the UK while vivax malaria has decreased. Provision of targeted and appropriately delivered preventive messages and services for travellers from migrant families visiting friends and relatives should be a priority.
doi:10.1136/bmj.a120
PMCID: PMC2453297  PMID: 18599471
3.  Imported malaria and high risk groups: observational study using UK surveillance data 1987-2006 
Objective To examine temporal, geographic, and sociodemographic trends in case reporting and case fatality of malaria in the United Kingdom.
Setting National malaria reference laboratory surveillance data in the UK.
Design Observational study using prospectively gathered surveillance data and data on destinations from the international passenger survey.
Participants 39 300 cases of proved malaria in the UK between 1987 and 2006.
Main outcome measures Plasmodium species; sociodemographic details (including age, sex, and country of birth and residence); mortality; destination, duration, and purpose of international travel; and use of chemoprophylaxis.
Results Reported cases of imported malaria increased significantly over the 20 years of the study; an increasing proportion was attributable to Plasmodium falciparum (P falciparum/P vivax reporting ratio 1.3:1 in 1987-91 and 5.4:1 in 2002-6). P vivax reports declined from 3954 in 1987-91 to 1244 in 2002-6. Case fatality of reported P falciparum malaria did not change over this period (7.4 deaths per 1000 reported cases). Travellers visiting friends and relatives, usually in a country in Africa or Asia from which members of their family migrated, accounted for 13 215/20 488 (64.5%) of all malaria reported, and reports were geographically concentrated in areas where migrants from Africa and South Asia to the UK have settled. People travelling for this purpose were at significantly higher risk of malaria than other travellers and were less likely to report the use of any chemoprophylaxis (odds ratio of reported chemoprophylaxis use 0.23, 95% confidence interval 0.21 to 0.25).
Conclusions Despite the availability of highly effective preventive measures, the preventable burden from falciparum malaria has steadily increased in the UK while vivax malaria has decreased. Provision of targeted and appropriately delivered preventive messages and services for travellers from migrant families visiting friends and relatives should be a priority.
doi:10.1136/bmj.a120
PMCID: PMC2453297  PMID: 18599471
4.  Risk factors for mortality from imported falciparum malaria in the United Kingdom over 20 years: an observational study 
Objectives To determine which travellers with malaria are at greatest risk of dying, highlighting factors which can be used to target health messages to travellers.
Design Observational study based on 20 years of UK national data.
Setting National register of malaria cases.
Participants 25 054 patients notified with Plasmodium falciparum malaria, of whom 184 died, between 1987 and 2006.
Main outcome measures Comparison between those with falciparum malaria who died and non-fatal cases, including age, reason for travel, country of birth, time of year diagnosed, malaria prophylaxis used.
Results Mortality increased steadily with age, with a case fatality of 25/548 (4.6%) in people aged >65 years, adjusted odds ratio 10.68 (95% confidence interval 6.4 to 17.8), P<0.001 compared with 18–35 year olds. There were no deaths in the ≤5 year age group. Case fatality was 3.0% (81/2740 cases) in tourists compared with 0.32% (26/8077) in travellers visiting friends and relatives (adjusted odds ratio 8.2 (5.1 to 13.3), P<0.001). Those born in African countries with endemic malaria had a case fatality of 0.4% (36/8937) compared with 2.4% (142/5849) in others (adjusted odds ratio 4.6 (3.1 to 9.9), P<0.001). Case fatality was particularly high from the Gambia. There was an inverse correlation in mortality between region of presentation and number of cases seen in the region (R2=0.72, P<0.001). Most delay in fatal cases was in seeking care.
Conclusions Most travellers acquiring malaria are of African heritage visiting friends and relatives. In contrast the risks of dying from malaria once acquired are highest in the elderly, tourists, and those presenting in areas in which malaria is seldom seen. Doctors often do not think of these as high risk groups for malaria; for this reason they are important groups to target in pre-travel advice.
doi:10.1136/bmj.e2116
PMCID: PMC3314185  PMID: 22454091

Results 1-4 (4)