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Endemic malaria occurs across much of the vast Indonesian archipelago. All five species of Plasmodium known to naturally infect humans occur here, along with 20 species of Anopheles mosquitoes confirmed as carriers of malaria. Two species of plasmodia cause the overwhelming majority and virtually equal shares of malaria infections in Indonesia: Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax The challenge posed by P. vivax is especially steep in Indonesia because chloroquine-resistant strains predominate, along with Chesson-like strains that relapse quickly and multiple times at short intervals in almost all patients. Indonesia's hugely diverse human population carries many variants of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, most of them exhibiting severely impaired enzyme activity. Therefore, the patients most likely to benefit from primaquine therapy by preventing aggressive relapse, may also be most likely to suffer harm without G6PD deficiency screening. Indonesia faces the challenge of controlling and eventually eliminating malaria across > 13,500 islands stretching > 5,000 km and an enormous diversity of ecological, ethnographic, and socioeconomic settings, and extensive human migrations. This article describes the occurrence of P. vivax in Indonesia and the obstacles faced in eliminating its transmission.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Trop Med Hyg

Publication Date





121 - 132


Adolescent, Adult, Animal Distribution, Animals, Anopheles, Antimalarials, Child, Child, Preschool, Disease Outbreaks, Ecosystem, Humans, Indonesia, Infant, Malaria, Vivax, Plasmodium vivax