Two recent outbreaks of locally acquired, mosquito-transmitted malaria in Virginia in 1998 and 2002 demonstrate the continued risk of endemic mosquito-transmitted malaria in heavily populated areas of the eastern United States. Increasing immigration, growth in global travel, and the presence of competent anopheline vectors throughout the eastern United States contribute to the increasing risk of malaria importation and transmission. On August 23 and 25, 2002, Plasmodium vivax malaria was diagnosed in 2 teenagers in Loudoun County, Virginia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) deemed these cases to be locally acquired because of the lack of risk factors for malaria, such as international travel, blood transfusion, organ transplantation, or needle sharing. The patients lived ~0.5 mi apart; however, 1 patient reported numerous visits to friends who lived directly across the street from the other patient. Two Anopheles quadrimaculatus s.l. female pools collected in Loudoun County, Virginia, and 1 An. punctipennis female pool collected in Fairfax County, Virginia, tested positive for P. vivax 210 with the VecTest™ panel assay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In addition, 2 An. quadrimaculatus s.l. female pools collected in Montgomery, Maryland, tested positive for P. vivax 210. The CDC confirmed these initial results with the circumsporozoite ELISA. The authors believe that this is the 1st demonstration of Plasmodium-infected mosquitoes collected in association with locally acquired human malaria in the United States since the current national malaria surveillance system began in 1957.
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Vol. 21 • No. 2