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Transmission dynamics of vivax malaria in Korea: effectiveness of anti-malarial chemoprophylaxis


Vivax malaria with two distinct (short- and long-term) incubation periods has been prevalent in the Republic of Korea since its re-emergence in 1993. Chemoprophylaxis has been conducted among military personnel since 1997. We estimated the time-dependent reproduction number, thereby assessing the protective effect of chemoprophylaxis.

Materials and methods

A mathematical model has been formulated using a renewal equation, estimating the yearly reproduction number (Ry) from 1993 to 2012 by maximum likelihood estimation method. We also computed Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) to test if there was a detectable change point in the trend in relation to chemoprophylaxis.


Three-year average of Ry showed gradual decline through 1993-2012 with a temporary increase from 2003 to 2005, having been under the threshold 1 since 1998. AIC has suggested that the chemoprophylaxis has cut down Ry by 34% from what it would be without chemoprophylaxis.


The epidemic of vivax malaria in Korea has been brought under control due mainly to mass-chemoprophylaxis.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Endo, A., Nishiura, H. Transmission dynamics of vivax malaria in Korea: effectiveness of anti-malarial chemoprophylaxis. Malar J 13 (Suppl 1), P29 (2014).

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