Use of malaria rapid diagnostic test to identify Plasmodium knowlesi infection.
ABSTRACT: Reports of human infection with Plasmodium knowlesi, a monkey malaria, suggest that it and other nonhuman malaria species may be an emerging health problem. We report the use of a rapid test to supplement microscopic analysis in distinguishing the 5 malaria species that infect humans.
Project description:When rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) are used to test malaria vaccines, animals are often challenged by the intravenous injection of sporozoites. However, natural exposure to malaria comes via mosquito bite, and antibodies can neutralize sporozoites as they traverse the skin. Thus, intravenous injection may not fairly assess humoral immunity from anti-sporozoite malaria vaccines. To better assess malaria vaccines in rhesus, a method to challenge large numbers of monkeys by mosquito bite was developed.Several species and strains of mosquitoes were tested for their ability to produce Plasmodium knowlesi sporozoites. Donor monkey parasitaemia effects on oocyst and sporozoite numbers and mosquito mortality were documented. Methylparaben added to mosquito feed was tested to improve mosquito survival. To determine the number of bites needed to infect a monkey, animals were exposed to various numbers of P. knowlesi-infected mosquitoes. Finally, P. knowlesi-infected mosquitoes were used to challenge 17 monkeys in a malaria vaccine trial, and the effect of number of infectious bites on monkey parasitaemia was documented.Anopheles dirus, Anopheles crascens, and Anopheles dirus X (a cross between the two species) produced large numbers of P. knowlesi sporozoites. Mosquito survival to day 14, when sporozoites fill the salivary glands, averaged only 32% when donor monkeys had a parasitaemia above 2%. However, when donor monkey parasitaemia was below 2%, mosquitoes survived twice as well and contained ample sporozoites in their salivary glands. Adding methylparaben to sugar solutions did not improve survival of infected mosquitoes. Plasmodium knowlesi was very infectious, with all monkeys developing blood stage infections if one or more infected mosquitoes successfully fed. There was also a dose-response, with monkeys that received higher numbers of infected mosquito bites developing malaria sooner.Anopheles dirus, An. crascens and a cross between these two species all were excellent vectors for P. knowlesi. High donor monkey parasitaemia was associated with poor mosquito survival. A single infected mosquito bite is likely sufficient to infect a monkey with P. knowlesi. It is possible to efficiently challenge large groups of monkeys by mosquito bite, which will be useful for P. knowlesi vaccine studies.
Project description:UNLABELLED: BACKGROUND:Since a large focus of human infection with Plasmodium knowlesi, a simian malaria parasite naturally found in long-tailed and pig tailed macaques, was reported in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, it was pertinent to study the situation in peninsular Malaysia. A study was thus initiated to screen human cases of Plasmodium malariae using molecular techniques, to determine the presence of P. knowlesi in non- human primates and to elucidate its vectors. METHODS:Nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to identify all Plasmodium species present in the human blood samples sent to the Parasitology laboratory of Institute for Medical Research. At the same time, non-human primates were also screened for malaria parasites and nested PCR was carried out to determine the presence of P. knowlesi. Mosquitoes were collected from Pahang by human landing collection and monkey-baited-traps situated on three different levels. All mosquitoes were identified and salivary glands and midguts of anopheline mosquitoes were dissected to determine the presence of malaria parasites and nested PCR was carried out on positive glands. Sequencing of the csp genes were carried on P. knowlesi samples from humans, monkeys and mosquitoes, positive by PCR. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION:Plasmodium knowlesi was detected in 77 (69.37%) of the 111 human samples, 10 (6.90%) of the 145 monkey blood and in 2 (1.7%) Anopheles cracens. Sequence of the csp gene clustered with other P. knowlesi isolates. CONCLUSION:Human infection with Plasmodium knowlesi is occurring in most states of peninsular Malaysia. An. cracens is the main vector. Economic exploitation of the forest is perhaps bringing monkeys, mosquitoes and humans into increased contact. A single bite from a mosquito infected with P. knowlesi is sufficient to introduce the parasite to humans. Thus, this zoonotic transmission has to be considered in the future planning of malaria control.
Project description:Plasmodium knowlesi is an intracellular malaria parasite whose natural vertebrate host is Macaca fascicularis (the 'kra' monkey); however, it is now increasingly recognized as a significant cause of human malaria, particularly in southeast Asia. Plasmodium knowlesi was the first malaria parasite species in which antigenic variation was demonstrated, and it has a close phylogenetic relationship to Plasmodium vivax, the second most important species of human malaria parasite (reviewed in ref. 4). Despite their relatedness, there are important phenotypic differences between them, such as host blood cell preference, absence of a dormant liver stage or 'hypnozoite' in P. knowlesi, and length of the asexual cycle (reviewed in ref. 4). Here we present an analysis of the P. knowlesi (H strain, Pk1(A+) clone) nuclear genome sequence. This is the first monkey malaria parasite genome to be described, and it provides an opportunity for comparison with the recently completed P. vivax genome and other sequenced Plasmodium genomes. In contrast to other Plasmodium genomes, putative variant antigen families are dispersed throughout the genome and are associated with intrachromosomal telomere repeats. One of these families, the KIRs, contains sequences that collectively match over one-half of the host CD99 extracellular domain, which may represent an unusual form of molecular mimicry.
Project description:Transfection technology for malaria parasites provides a valuable tool for analyzing gene function and correlating genotype with phenotype. Transfection models are even more valuable when appropriate animal models are available in addition to complete in vitro systems to be able to fully analyze parasite-host interactions. Here we describe the development of such a model by using the nonhuman primate malaria Plasmodium knowlesi. Blood-stage parasites were adapted to long-term in vitro culture. In vitro-adapted parasites could re-adapt to in vivo growth and regain wild-type characteristics after a single passage through an intact rhesus monkey. P. knowlesi parasites, either in vitro adapted or in vivo derived, were successfully transfected to generate circumsporozoite protein (CSP) knockout parasites by double-crossover mechanisms. In vitro-transfected and cloned CSP knockout parasites were derived in a time span of only 18 days. Microscopic evaluation of developing oocysts from mosquitoes that had fed on CSP knockout parasites confirmed the impairment of sporozoite formation observed in P. berghei CSP knockout parasites. The P. knowlesi model currently is the only malaria system that combines rapid and precise double-crossover genetic manipulation procedures with complete in vitro as well as in vivo possibilities. This allows for full analysis of P. knowlesi genotype-phenotype relationships and host-parasite interactions in a system closely related to humans.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In Southeast Asia, Plasmodium knowlesi, a parasite of long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis), is an important cause of human malaria. Plasmodium cynomolgi also commonly infects these monkeys, but only one naturally acquired symptomatic human case has been reported previously. METHODS:Malariometric studies involving 5422 subjects (aged 6 months to 65 years) were conducted in 23 villages in Pailin and Battambang, western Cambodia. Parasite detection and genotyping was conducted on blood samples, using high-volume quantitative PCR (uPCR). RESULTS:Asymptomatic malaria parasite infections were detected in 1361 of 14732 samples (9.2%). Asymptomatic infections with nonhuman primate malaria parasites were found in 21 individuals living close to forested areas; P. cynomolgi was found in 11, P. knowlesi was found in 8, and P. vivax and P. cynomolgi were both found in 2. Only 2 subjects were female, and 14 were men aged 20-40 years. Geometric mean parasite densities were 3604 parasites/mL in P. cynomolgi infections and 52488 parasites/mL in P. knowlesi infections. All P. cynomolgi isolates had wild-type dihydrofolate reductase genes, in contrast to the very high prevalence of mutations in the human malaria parasites. Asymptomatic reappearance of P. cynomolgi occurred in 2 subjects 3 months after the first infection. CONCLUSIONS:Asymptomatic naturally acquired P. cynomolgi and P. knowlesi infections can both occur in humans. CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION:NCT01872702.
Project description:Research into the aetiological agent of the most widespread form of severe malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, has benefitted enormously from the ability to culture and genetically manipulate blood-stage forms of the parasite in vitro. However, most malaria outside Africa is caused by a distinct Plasmodium species, Plasmodium vivax, and it has become increasingly apparent that zoonotic infection by the closely related simian parasite Plasmodium knowlesi is a frequent cause of life-threatening malaria in regions of southeast Asia. Neither of these important malarial species can be cultured in human cells in vitro, requiring access to primates with the associated ethical and practical constraints. We report the successful adaptation of P. knowlesi to continuous culture in human erythrocytes. Human-adapted P. knowlesi clones maintain their capacity to replicate in monkey erythrocytes and can be genetically modified with unprecedented efficiency, providing an important and unique model for studying conserved aspects of malarial biology as well as species-specific features of an emerging pathogen.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The first natural infection of Plasmodium knowlesi in humans was recorded in 1965 in peninsular Malaysia. Extensive research was then conducted and it was postulated that it was a rare incident and that simian malaria will not be easily transmitted to humans. However, at the turn of the 21st century, knowlesi malaria was prevalent throughout Southeast Asia and is life threatening. Thus, a longitudinal study was initiated to determine the vectors, their seasonal variation and preference to humans and macaques. METHODS: Monthly mosquito collections were carried out in Kuala Lipis, Pahang, peninsular Malaysia, using human-landing collection and monkey-baited traps at ground and canopy levels. All mosquitoes were identified and all anopheline mosquitoes were dissected and the gut and gland examined for oocysts and sporozoites. Nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was conducted on positive samples, followed by sequencing of the csp gene. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Anopheles cracens was the predominant mosquito biting humans as well as the macaques. It comprised 63.2% of the total collection and was the only species positive for sporozoites of P. knowlesi. It was exophagic and did not enter houses. Besides An. cracens, Anopheles kochi was also found in the monkey-bait trap. Both species preferred to bite monkeys at ground level compared to canopy. CONCLUSION: Anopheles cracens, which belongs to the Dirus complex, Leucosphyrus subgroup, Leucosphyrus group of mosquitoes, has been confirmed to be the only vector for this site from Pahang during this study. It was the predominant mosquito at the study sites and with deforestation humans and villages are entering deeper in the forests, and nearer to the mosquitoes and macacques. The close association of humans with macaques and mosquitoes has led to zoonotic transmission of malaria.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The monkey malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi is now recognized as the fifth species of Plasmodium that can cause human malaria. Like the region II of the Duffy binding protein of P. vivax (PvDBPII), the region II of the P. knowlesi Duffy binding protein (PkDBP?II) plays an essential role in the parasite's invasion into the host's erythrocyte. Numerous polymorphism studies have been carried out on PvDBPII, but none has been reported on PkDBP?II. In this study, the genetic diversity, haplotyes and allele groups of PkDBP?II of P. knowlesi clinical isolates from Peninsular Malaysia were investigated. METHODS: Blood samples from 20 knowlesi malaria patients and 2 wild monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) were used. These samples were collected between 2010 and 2012. The PkDBP?II region of the isolates was amplified by PCR, cloned into Escherichia coli, and sequenced. The genetic diversity, natural selection and haplotypes of PkDBP?II were analysed using MEGA5 and DnaSP ver. 5.10.00 programmes. RESULTS: Fifty-three PkDBP?II sequences from human infections and 6 from monkeys were obtained. Comparison at the nucleotide level against P. knowlesi strain H as reference sequence showed 52 synonymous and 76 nonsynonymous mutations. Analysis on the rate of these mutations indicated that PkDBP?II was under purifying (negative) selection. At the amino acid level, 36 different PkDBP?II haplotypes were identified. Twelve of the 20 human and 1 monkey blood samples had mixed haplotype infections. These haplotypes were clustered into 2 distinct allele groups. The majority of the haplotypes clustered into the large dominant group. CONCLUSIONS: Our present study is the first to report the genetic diversity and natural selection of PkDBP?II. Hence, the haplotypes described in this report can be considered as novel. Although a high level of genetic diversity was observed, the PkDBP?II appeared to be under purifying selection. The distribution of the haplotypes was skewed, with one dominant major and one minor group. Future study should investigate PkDBP?II of P. knowlesi from Borneo, which hitherto has recorded the highest number of human knowlesi malaria.
Project description:Simian malaria is a zoonotic disease caused by <i>Plasmodium knowlesi</i> infection. The common natural reservoir of the parasite is the macaque monkey and the vector is the <i>Anopheles</i> mosquito. Human cases of <i>P. knowlesi</i> infection has been reported in all South East Asian countries in the last decade, and it is currently the most common type of malaria seen in Malaysia and Brunei. Between 2007-2017, 73 cases of <i>P. knowlesi</i> infection were notified and confirmed to the Ministry of Health in Brunei. Of these, 15 cases (21%) were documented as work-related, and 28 other cases (38%) were classified as probably related to work (due to incomplete history). The occupations of those with probable and confirmed work related infections were border patrol officers, Armed Forces and security personnel, Department of Forestry officers, boatmen and researchers. The remaining cases classified as most likely not related to work were possibly acquired via peri-domestic transmission. The risk of this zoonotic infection extends to tourists and overseas visitors who have to travel to the jungle in the course of their work. It can be minimised with the recommended use of prophylaxis for those going on duty into the jungles, application of mosquito/insect repellants, and use of repellant impregnated uniforms and bed nets in jungle camp sites.
Project description:The simian parasite Plasmodium knowlesi can cause severe and fatal human malaria. However, little is known about the pathogenesis of this disease. In falciparum malaria, reduced red blood cell deformability (RBC-D) contributes to microvascular obstruction and impaired organ perfusion. In P knowlesi infection, impaired microcirculatory flow has been observed in Macaca mulatta (rhesus macaques), unnatural hosts who develop severe and fatal disease. However, RBC-D has not been measured in human infection or in the natural host M fascicularis (long-tailed macaques). Using ektacytometry, we measured RBC-D in adults with severe and non-severe knowlesi and falciparum malaria and in healthy controls. In addition, we used micropipette aspiration to determine the relative stiffness of infected RBCs (iRBCs) and uninfected RBCs (uRBCs) in P knowlesi-infected humans and M fascicularis Ektacytometry demonstrated that RBC-D overall was reduced in human knowlesi malaria in proportion to disease severity, and in severe knowlesi malaria, it was comparable to that of severe falciparum malaria. RBC-D correlated inversely with parasitemia and lactate in knowlesi malaria and HRP2 in falciparum malaria, and it correlated with hemoglobin nadir in knowlesi malaria. Micropipette aspiration confirmed that in humans, P knowlesi infection increased stiffness of both iRBCs and uRBCs, with the latter mostly the result of echinocytosis. In contrast, in the natural host M fascicularis, echinocyte formation was not observed, and the RBC-D of uRBCs was unaffected. In unnatural primate hosts of P knowlesi, including humans, reduced deformability of iRBCs and uRBCs may represent a key pathogenic mechanism leading to microvascular accumulation, impaired organ perfusion, and anemia.