Malaria prophylaxis in travellers: The current position


Malaria prevention is a main challenge for physicians, nurses, health officers and tour operators. The attack rate of malaria in travellers is 1–10/10,000 departures, and the case fatality rate of imported malaria is around 0.5/100. Travellers should be informed about the risk they are going to take, how to protect against mosquito bites, about the antimalarials they will have to take and about what to do when a malaria breakthrough should occur.

The 4-aminoquinolines (chloroquine, amodiaquine) remain the drug of choice for the prevention ofPlasmodium vivax and of sensitiveP. falciparum infections. The problem is to find an effective and safe drug combination for travellers to areas whereP. falciparum is either resistant to chloroquine, to Fansidar (the combination of pyrimethamine plus sulfadoxine) or to both. These travellers will probably best be protected by an individually tailored drug combination, which includes amodiaquine or mefloquine as baseline drugs, and a supplementation with Fansidar, Maloprim (the combination of pyrimethamine with dapsone), paludrine or an antibiotic.

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Stürchler, D. Malaria prophylaxis in travellers: The current position. Experientia 40, 1357–1362 (1984).

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Key words

  • Malaria
  • prophylaxis, malaria
  • Plasmodia
  • mosquito bite, protection against
  • antimalarial drugs