With the aim of determining the prevalence of asymptomatic Plasmodium
spp. infection by thick smear and PCR and its association with demographic and epidemiological characteristics in the village of Nuevo Tay, Tierralta, Córdoba, Colombia, a cross-sectional population study was carried out, using random probabilistic sampling. Venous blood samples were taken from 212 people on day 0 for thick smear and PCR. Clinical follow-up and thick smears were carried out on days 14 and 28. The prevalence of Plasmodium
spp. infection was 17.9% (38/212; 95% CI: 12.5-23.3%) and the prevalence of asymptomatic Plasmodium
spp. infection was 14.6% (31/212; 95% CI: 9.6-19.6%). Plasmodium vivax
was found more frequently (20/31; 64.5%) than Plasmodium falciparum
(9/31; 29%) and mixed infections (2/31; 6.5%). A significantly higher prevalence of asymptomatic infection was found in men (19.30%) than in women (9.18%) (prevalence ratio: 2.10; 95% CI: 1.01-4.34%; p = 0.02). People who developed symptoms had a significantly higher parasitemia on day 0 than those who remained asymptomatic, of 1,881.5 ± 3,759 versus 79 ± 106.9 (p = 0.008). PCR detected 50% more infections than the thick smears. The presence of asymptomatic Plasmodium
spp. infection highlights the importance of carrying out active searches amongst asymptomatic populations residing in endemic areas.