High Plasmodium malariae Prevalence in an Endemic Area of the Colombian Amazon Region.
ABSTRACT: Malaria is a worldwide public health problem; parasites from the genus Plasmodium are the aetiological agent for this disease. The parasites are mostly diagnosed by conventional microscopy-based techniques; however, their limitations have led to under-registering the reported prevalence of Plasmodium species. This study has thus been aimed at evaluating the infection and coinfection prevalence of 3 species of Plasmodium spp., in an area of the Colombian Amazon region. Blood samples were taken from 671 symptomatic patients by skin puncture; a nested PCR amplifying the 18S ssRNA region was used on all samples to determine the presence of P. vivax, P. malariae and P. falciparum. Statistical analysis determined infection and coinfection frequency; the association between infection and different factors was established. The results showed that P. vivax was the species having the greatest frequency in the study population (61.4%), followed by P. malariae (43.8%) and P. falciparum (11.8%). The study revealed that 35.8% of the population had coinfection, the P. vivax/P. malariae combination occurring most frequently (28.3%); factors such as age, geographical origin and clinical manifestations were found to be associated with triple-infection. The prevalence reported in this study differed from previous studies in Colombia; the results suggest that diagnosis using conventional techniques could be giving rise to underestimating some Plasmodium spp. species having high circulation rates in Colombia (particularly in the Colombian Amazon region). The present study's results revealed a high prevalence of P. malariae and mixed infections in the population being studied. The results provide relevant information which should facilitate updating the epidemiological panorama and species' distribution so as to include control, prevention and follow-up measures.
Project description:In the past few years, relative frequencies of malaria parasite species in communities living in the Colombian Amazon riverside have changed, being Plasmodium vivax (61.4%) and Plasmodium malariae (43.8%) the most frequent. Given this epidemiological scenario, it is important to determine the species of anophelines involved in these parasites' transmission. This study was carried out in June 2016 in two indigenous communities living close to the tributaries of the Amazon River using protected human bait. The results of this study showed a total abundance of 1,085 mosquitos, of which 99.2% corresponded to Anopheles darlingi. Additionally, only two anopheline species were found, showing low diversity in the study areas. Molecular confirmation of some individuals was then followed by evolutionary analysis by using the COI gene. Nested PCR was used for identifying the three Plasmodium species circulating in the study areas. Of the two species collected in this study, 21.0% of the An. darlingi mosquitoes were infected with P. malariae, 21.9% with P. vivax and 10.3% with Plasmodium falciparum. It exhibited exophilic and exophagic behavior in both study areas, having marked differences regarding its abundance in each community (Tipisca first sampling 49.4%, Tipisca second sampling 39.6% and Doce de Octubre 10.9%). Interestingly, An. mattogrossensis infected by P. vivax was found for the first time in Colombia (in 50% of the four females collected). Analysis of An. darlingi COI gene diversity indicated a single population maintaining a high gene flow between the study areas. The An. darlingi behavior pattern found in both communities represents a risk factor for the region's inhabitants living/working near these sites. This highlights the need for vector control efforts such as the use of personal repellents and insecticides for use on cattle, which must be made available in order to reduce this Anopheline's abundance.
Project description:Malaria outbreaks have been reported in recent years in the Colombian Amazon region, malaria has been re-emerging in areas where it was previously controlled. Information from malaria transmission networks and knowledge about the population characteristics influencing the dispersal of parasite species is limited. This study aimed to determine the distribution patterns of Plasmodium vivax, P. malariae and P. falciparum single and mixed infections, as well as the significant socio-spatial groupings relating to the appearance of such infections. An active search in 57 localities resulted in 2,106 symptomatic patients being enrolled. Parasitaemia levels were assessed by optical microscopy, and parasites were detected by PCR. The association between mixed infections (in 43.2% of the population) and socio-spatial factors was modelled using logistic regression and multiple correspondence analyses. P. vivax occurred most frequently (71.0%), followed by P. malariae (43.2%), in all localities. The results suggest that a parasite density-dependent regulation model (with fever playing a central role) was appropriate for modelling the frequency of mixed species infections in this population. This study highlights the under-reporting of Plasmodium spp. mixed infections in the malaria-endemic area of the Colombian Amazon region and the association between causative and environmental factors in such areas.
Project description:When diagnosed by standard light microscopy (LM), malaria prevalence can vary significantly between sites, even at local scale, and mixed species infections are consistently less common than expect in areas co-endemic for Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium malariae. The development of a high-throughput molecular species diagnostic assay now enables routine PCR-based surveillance of malaria infections in large field and intervention studies, and improves resolution of species distribution within and between communities.This study reports differences in the prevalence of infections with all four human malarial species and of mixed infections as diagnosed by LM and post-PCR ligase detection reaction-fluorescent microsphere (LDR-FMA) assay in 15 villages in the central Sepik area of Papua New Guinea.Significantly higher rates of infection by P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. malariae and Plasmodium ovale were observed in LDR-FMA compared to LM diagnosis (p < 0.001). Increases were particularly pronounced for P. malariae (3.9% vs 13.4%) and P. ovale (0.0% vs 4.8%). In contrast to LM diagnosis, which suggested a significant deficit of mixed species infections, a significant excess of mixed infections over expectation was detected by LDR-FMA (p < 0.001). Age of peak prevalence shifted to older age groups in LDR-FMA diagnosed infections for P. falciparum (LM: 7-9 yrs 47.5%, LDR-FMA: 10-19 yrs 74.2%) and P. vivax (LM: 4-6 yrs 24.2%, LDR-FMA: 7-9 yrs 50.9%) but not P. malariae infections (10-19 yrs, LM: 7.7% LDR-FMA: 21.6%). Significant geographical variation in prevalence was found for all species (except for LM-diagnosed P. falciparum), with the extent of this variation greater in LDR-FMA than LM diagnosed infections (overall, 84.4% vs. 37.6%). Insecticide-treated bednet (ITN) coverage was also the dominant factor linked to geographical differences in Plasmodium species infection prevalence explaining between 60.6% - 74.5% of this variation for LDR-FMA and 81.8% - 90.0% for LM (except P. falciparum), respectively.The present study demonstrates that application of molecular diagnosis reveals patterns of malaria risk that are significantly different from those obtained by standard LM. Results provide insight relevant to design of malaria control and eradication strategies.
Project description:A reduction in the global burden of malaria over the past two decades has encouraged efforts for regional malaria elimination. Despite the need to target all Plasmodium species, current focus is mainly directed towards Plasmodium falciparum, and to a lesser extent P. vivax. There is a substantial lack of data on both global and local transmission patterns of the neglected malaria parasites P. malariae and P. ovale spp. We used a species-specific real-time PCR assay targeting the Plasmodium 18s rRNA gene to evaluate temporal trends in the prevalence of all human malaria parasites over a 22-year period in a rural village in Tanzania.We tested 2897 blood samples collected in five cross-sectional surveys conducted between 1994 and 2016. Infections with P. falciparum, P. malariae, and P. ovale spp. were detected throughout the study period, while P. vivax was not detected. Between 1994 and 2010, we found a more than 90% reduction in the odds of infection with all detected species. The odds of P. falciparum infection was further reduced in 2016, while the odds of P. malariae and P. ovale spp. infection increased 2- and 6-fold, respectively, compared to 2010. In 2016, non-falciparum species occurred more often as mono-infections. The results demonstrate the persistent transmission of P. ovale spp., and to a lesser extent P. malariae despite a continued decline in P. falciparum transmission. This illustrates that the transmission patterns of the non-falciparum species do not necessarily follow those of P. falciparum, stressing the need for attention towards non-falciparum malaria in Africa. Malaria elimination will require a better understanding of the epidemiology of P. malariae and P. ovale spp. and improved tools for monitoring the transmission of all Plasmodium species, with a particular focus towards identifying asymptomatic carriers of infection and designing appropriate interventions to enhance malaria control.
Project description:Malaria in Cameroon is due to infections by Plasmodium falciparum and, to a lesser extent, Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium ovale, but rarely Plasmodium vivax. A recent report suggested "Plasmodium vivax-like" infections around the study area that remained unconfirmed. Therefore, molecular and antigenic typing was used to investigate the prevalence of P. vivax and Duffy in asymptomatic adults resident in Bolifamba.A cross-sectional study was conducted from July 2008 to October 2009. The status of all parasite species was determined by nested PCR in 269 blood samples collected. The P. falciparum and P. vivax anti-MSP/CSP antibody status of each subject was also determined qualitatively by a rapid card assay. Parasite DNA was extracted from a sample infected with three parasite species, purified and sequenced. The Duffy antigen status of 12 subjects infected with P. vivax was also determined by sequencing. In silico web-based tools were used to analyse sequence data for similarities and matches to reference sequences in public DNA databases.The overall malaria parasite prevalence in 269 individuals was 32.3% (87) as determined by PCR. Remarkably, 14.9% (13/87) of infections were caused either exclusively or concomitantly by P. vivax, established both by PCR and microscopic examination of blood smears, in individuals both positive (50%, 6/12) and negative (50%, 6/12) for the Duffy receptor. A triple infection by P. falciparum, P. vivax and P. malariae, was detected in one infected individual. Anti-MSP/CSP antibodies were detected in 72.1% (194/269) of samples, indicating high and continuous exposure to infection through mosquito bites.These data provide the first molecular evidence of P. vivax in Duffy positive and negative Cameroonians and suggest that there may be a significant prevalence of P. vivax infection than expected in the study area. Whether the P. vivax cases were imported or due to expansion of a founder effect was not investigated. Notwithstanding, the presence of P. vivax may complicate control efforts if these parasites become hypnozoitic or latent as the liver stage.These data strongly suggest that P. vivax is endemic to the south-west region of Cameroon and should be taken into account when designing malaria control strategies.
Project description:Among the Plasmodium species that infect humans, adverse effects of P. falciparum and P. vivax have been extensively studied and reported with respect to poor outcomes particularly in first time mothers and in pregnant women living in areas with unstable malaria transmission. Although, other non-falciparum malaria infections during pregnancy have sometimes been reported, little is known about the dynamics of these infections during pregnancy.Using a quantitative PCR approach, blood samples collected from Beninese pregnant women during the first antenatal visit (ANV) and at delivery including placental blood were screened for Plasmodium spp. Risk factors associated with Plasmodium spp. infection during pregnancy were assessed as well as the relationships with pregnancy outcomes. P. falciparum was the most prevalent Plasmodium species detected during pregnancy, irrespective either of parity, of age or of season during which the infection occurred. Although no P. vivax infections were detected in this cohort, P. malariae (9.2%) and P. ovale (5.8%) infections were observed in samples collected during the first ANV. These non-falciparum infections were also detected in maternal peripheral blood (1.3% for P. malariae and 1.2% for P. ovale) at delivery. Importantly, higher prevalence of P. malariae (5.5%) was observed in placental than peripheral blood while that of P. ovale was similar (1.8% in placental blood). Among the non-falciparum infected pregnant women with paired peripheral and placental samples, P. malariae infections in the placental blood was significantly higher than in the peripheral blood, suggesting a possible affinity of P. malariae for the placenta. However, no assoctiation of non-falciparum infections and the pregnancy outcomes was observed.Overall this study provided insights into the molecular epidemiology of Plasmodium spp. infection during pregnancy, indicating placental infection by non-falciparum Plasmodium and the lack of association of these infections with adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Project description:The Greater Mekong Subregion is aiming to achieve regional malaria elimination by 2030. Though a shift in malaria parasite species predominance by Plasmodium vivax has been recently documented, the transmission of the two minor Plasmodium species, Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium ovale spp., is poorly characterized in the region. This study aims to determine the prevalence of these minor species in the China-Myanmar border area and their genetic diversity.Epidemiology study was conducted during passive case detection in hospitals and clinics in Myanmar and four counties in China along the China-Myanmar border. Cross-sectional surveys were conducted in villages and camps for internally displaced persons to determine the prevalence of malaria infections. Malaria infections were diagnosed initially by microscopy and later in the laboratory using nested PCR for the SSU rRNA genes. Plasmodium malariae and P. ovale infections were confirmed by sequencing the PCR products. The P. ovale subtypes were determined by sequencing the Pocytb, Pocox1 and Pog3p genes. Parasite populations were evaluated by PCR amplification and sequencing of the MSP-1 genes. Antifolate sensitivity was assessed by sequencing the dhfr-ts and dhps genes from the P. malariae and P. ovale isolates.Analysis of 2701 blood samples collected from the China-Myanmar border by nested PCR targeting the parasite SSU rRNA genes identified 561 malaria cases, including 161 Plasmodium falciparum, 327 P. vivax, 66 P. falciparum/P. vivax mixed infections, 4 P. malariae and 3 P. ovale spp. P. vivax and P. falciparum accounted for >60 and ~30% of all malaria cases, respectively. In comparison, the prevalence of P. malariae and P. ovale spp. was very low and only made up ~1% of all PCR-positive cases. Nevertheless, these two species were often misidentified as P. vivax infections or completely missed by microscopy even among symptomatic patients. Phylogenetic analysis of the SSU rRNA, Pocytb, Pocox1 and Pog3p genes confirmed that the three P. ovale spp. isolates belonged to the subtype P. ovale curtisi. Low-level genetic diversity was detected in the MSP-1, dhfr and dhps genes of these minor parasite species, potentially stemming from the low prevalence of these parasites preventing their mixing. Whereas most of the dhfr and dhps positions equivalent to those conferring antifolate resistance in P. falciparum and P. vivax were wild type, a new mutation S113C corresponding to the S108 position in pfdhfr was identified in two P. ovale curtisi isolates.The four human malaria parasite species all occurred sympatrically at the China-Myanmar border. While P. vivax has become the predominant species, the two minor parasite species also occurred at very low prevalence but were often misidentified or missed by conventional microscopy. These minor parasite species displayed low levels of polymorphisms in the msp-1, dhfr and dhps genes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The misdiagnosis of Plasmodium knowlesi by microscopy has prompted a re-evaluation of the geographic distribution, prevalence and pathogenesis of this species using molecular diagnostic tools. In this report, a specific probe for P. knowlesi, that can be used in a previously described TaqMan real-time PCR assay for detection of Plasmodium spp., and Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium ovale, was designed and validated against clinical samples. METHODS:A hydrolysis probe for a real-time PCR assay was designed to recognize a specific DNA sequence within the P. knowlesi small subunit ribosomal RNA gene. The sensitivity, linearity and specificity of the assay were determined using plasmids containing P. knowlesi DNA and genomic DNA of P. falciparum, P. knowlesi, P. malariae, P. ovale and P. vivax isolated from clinical samples. DNA samples of the simian malaria parasites Plasmodium cynomolgi and Plasmodium inui that can infect humans under experimental conditions were also examined together with human DNA samples. RESULTS:Analytical sensitivity of the P. knowlesi-specific assay was 10 copies/μL and quantitation was linear over a range of 10-106 copies. The sensitivity of the assay is equivalent to nested PCR and P. knowlesi DNA was detected from all 40 clinical P. knowlesi specimens, including one from a patient with a parasitaemia of three parasites/μL of blood. No cross-reactivity was observed with 67 Plasmodium DNA samples (31 P. falciparum, 23 P. vivax, six P. ovale, three P. malariae, one P. malariae/P. ovale, one P. falciparum/P. malariae, one P. inui and one P. cynomolgi) and four samples of human DNA. CONCLUSIONS:This test demonstrated excellent sensitivity and specificity, and adds P. knowlesi to the repertoire of Plasmodium targets for the clinical diagnosis of malaria by real-time PCR assays. Furthermore, quantitation of DNA copy number provides a useful advantage over other molecular assays to investigate the correlation between levels of infection and the spectrum of disease.
Project description:Non-human primates (NHPs) have been shown to be infected by parasites of the genus Plasmodium, the etiological agent of malaria in humans, creating potential risks of zoonotic transmission. Plasmodium brasilianum, a parasite species similar to P. malariae of humans, have been described in NHPs from Central and South America, including Brazil. The merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1), besides being a malaria vaccine candidate, is highly immunogenic. Due to such properties, we tested this protein for the diagnosis of parasite infection. We used recombinant proteins of P. malariae MSP1, as well as of P. falciparum and P. vivax, for the detection of antibodies anti-MSP1 of these parasite species, in the sera of NHPs collected in different regions of Brazil. About 40% of the NHP sera were confirmed as reactive to the proteins of one or more parasite species. A relatively higher number of reactive sera was found in animals from the Atlantic Forest than those from the Amazon region, possibly reflecting the former more intense parasite circulation among NHPs due to their proximity to humans at a higher populational density. The presence of Plasmodium positive NHPs in the surveyed areas, being therefore potential parasite reservoirs, needs to be considered in any malaria surveillance program.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Babesiosis is an emerging health risk in several parts of the world. However, little is known about the prevalence of Babesia in malaria-endemic countries. The area along the China-Myanmar border in Yunnan is a main endemic area of malaria in P.R. China, however, human infection with Babesia microti (B. microti) is not recognized in this region, and its profile of co-infection is not yet clear. METHODS: To understand its profile of co-infections with B. microti, our investigation was undertaken in the malaria-endemic area along the China-Myanmar border in Yunnan between April 2012 and June 2013. Four parasite species, including B. microti, Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum), P. vivax, and P. malariae, were identified among 449 suspected febrile persons detected by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay based on small subunit ribosomal ribonucleic acid (RNA) genes of B. microti and Plasmodium spp. RESULTS: Of all the collected samples from febrile patients, mono-infection with B. microti, P. vivax, P. falciparum, and P. malariae accounted for 1.8% (8/449), 9.8% (44/449), 2.9% (13/449), and 0.2% (1/449), respectively. The rate of mixed infections of B. microti with P. falciparum or P. vivax are both 0.2% (1/449), and mixed infections of P. falciparum and P. vivax accounted for 1.1% (5/449). CONCLUSIONS: This report supports the hypothesis that babesiosis caused by B. microti is emerging along the China-Myanmar border in the Yunnan province, P.R. China, but it was ignored because of low parasitemia or mixed infection with Plasmodium spp. More sensitive and specific diagnosis methods are needed to find the rapid response mechanism of emergency for babesiosis and malaria co-prevalence areas.