International Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology

International Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology ISSN 2326-7291 Vol. 12 (4), pp. 001-006, April, 2023. © International Scholars Journals


SARS-CoV-2 and Malaria Reciprocal Cross-Immunity

Tareef Fadhil Raham; MOH-Iraq email: 

Accepted 14 April, 2023 


Expectations are well known to overestimate Corona Virus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19) burden in all the malaria-endemic regions, especially in Africa. The reported numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Africa were the least. Expectations also overestimated the malaria burden. In April 2020, WHO predicted malaria deaths doubling during the pandemic if actions were not taken. However, the global malaria case incidence remained unchanged and didn't rise, as expected. Furthermore, against all expectations, the global malaria death count did not rise in 2021, and the malaria death count was even averted unexpectedly in Africa. Despite the effect of malaria endemicity on COVID-19 incidence and severity as suggested by the previous literature, the role of exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), in decreasing malaria incidence and severity was not raised yet. Through this perspective, we reviewed and discussed existing data and literature concerning the malaria burden in 2020 and 2021 with the corresponding COVID-19 data to identify whether the spread of COVID-19 disease was related to the lower-than-expected malaria burden. The existence of malaria and SARS-CoV-2 reciprocal cross-immunity was suggested for the first time. 

Keywords: Reciprocal Immunity; Cross Immunity; SARS-CoV-2; Malaria; COVID-19.