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Overview of NMFI maps

Non-malarial febrile illness (NMFI) disease maps present published health literature for causes of NMFI. These maps explore the geographical distribution of key pathogens identified as causing fever-driven illness other than malaria. 

Introduction

The causes of acute febrile illness are largely unknown in developing countries where diagnostic facilities for infectious diseases remain limited. With the shift to treatment of malaria based on parasite detection, it is now clear that most acute fever cases are of non-malaria aetiology or cause.  Diseases such as leptospirosis, rickettsioses, community-acquired bacteraemia, and others are among the important causes of fever that require specific preventive and treatment approaches, but that currently cannot be diagnosed accurately in the vast majority of health care settings in tropical and subtropical regions.

Pilot study

Over the years, a number of studies have been conducted to identify pathogens causing febrile illness in specific areas and populations in malaria-endemic regions. Study size, study design, patient selection, samples tested, assays used, and quality of reporting vary widely. In a preliminary effort to summarize available information, collaborators from FIND in Geneva, Lao-Oxford-Mahosot Hospital-Wellcome Trust Tropical Medicine Research Unit, the Pasteur Institute of Cambodia, WPRO, and WWARN reviewed published studies from the Mekong region of Southeast Asia. They recorded and mapped the major febrile illness-causing pathogens in the region. Details of this pilot study are available here.

New NMFI map

Investigators from LSHTM/ACTc (ACT Consortium), FIND, WWARN, and others have expanded this effort to map causes of acute febrile illness in tropical and subtropical areas, to encourage optimal use of information that is already available. Specifically, we have conducted a systematic review of published studies from sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia that report on pathogens causing febrile illness in these regions. Results of the literature review have been compiled into an online database, which supports an interactive map that can be used to filter data by geographic region, patient age, study type, and other characteristics.

Audience

Users of these maps are likely to include: those involved in advising on or developing case management guidelines and policy on global, regional and national levels; researchers designing prospective clinical and epidemiological studies of non-malarial pathogens, and implementation research on case management strategies; and diagnostic development partnerships.