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Falciparum malaria from coastal Tanzania and Zanzibar remains highly connected despite effective control efforts on the archipelago

Tanzania’s Zanzibar archipelago has made significant gains in malaria control over the last decade and is a target for malaria elimination. Despite consistent implementation of effective tools since 2002, elimination has not been achieved. Importation of parasites from outside of the archipelago is thought to be an important cause of malaria’s persistence. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) was used to investigate the impact of importation, employing population genetic analyses of Plasmodium falciparum isolates from both the archipelago and mainland Tanzania. Based on parasite genetics, these populations remain highly connected suggesting that importation plays an important role for malaria incidence on Zanzibar.

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