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BackgroundReactive malaria case detection involves the screening of those in contact with index cases and is used in countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. The yield of reactive case detection, defined here as the percentage of positive malaria cases among potential contacts who were screened, was assessed.MethodsA literature search was conducted on PubMed to identify studies on reactive case detection in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. Eligible published articles were reviewed and pooled estimates from the studies were calculated, by type of malaria test used.ResultsEighty-five publications were retrieved, of which 8 (9.4%) eligible articles were included in the analysis. The yield from reactive case detection ranged from 0.1 to 4.2%, with higher rates from PCR testing compared with microscopy and/or rapid diagnostic test. The overall yield from microscopy and/or rapid diagnostic test was 0.56% (95% CI 0.31-0.88%), while that from PCR was 2.35% (95% CI 1.19-3.87%). The two studies comparing different target groups showed higher yield from co-workers/co-travellers, compared with household contacts.ConclusionIn low malaria transmission settings, the effectiveness of reactive case detection is diminishing. In the Greater Mekong Sub-region, modifying reactive case detection from household contacts to co-workers/co-travellers and from testing to presumptive treatment of targeted contacts, could increase the impact of this approach.

Original publication




Journal article


Malaria journal

Publication Date





Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines, 623 P. Gil St, 1000, Manila, Philippines.


Humans, Malaria, Microscopy, Diagnostic Tests, Routine, Mass Screening, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Asia, Southeastern