Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium cynomolgi.
ABSTRACT: 18S ribosomal RNA gene sequences of different species of Plasmodium were aligned and analyzed to determine the molecular diversity among different species of Plasmodium. AT content of P. cynomolgi, P. ovale, P. falciparum, P. vivax and P. malariae ranged from 62.30 to 63.15, 63.90 to 65.29, 66.67 to 68.40, 61.66 to 63.25 and 64.09 to 76.36 in case respectively. GC content of P. cynomolgi, P. ovale, P. falciparum, P. vivaxand P. malariae ranged from 36.85 to 37.70, 34.71 to 36.43, 31.60 to 33.27, 23.64 to 35.91 and 36.75 to 38.34 respectively. Molecular weight (Da) of P. cynomolgi, P. ovale, P. falciparum, P. vivax and P. malariae ranged from 1,160,127.00 to 1,400,332.00, 437,273.00 to 481,438.00, 668,021.00 to 685,243.00, 540,378.00 to 1,176,962.00 and 132,788.00 to 305,211.00 respectively. Relative melting temperature (Tm) of P. cynomolgi and P. ovale varied from 0.36799 to 0.36837 and 0.36712 to 0.36814 respectively. In P. falciparum and P. vivax relative Tm ranged from 0.36545 to 0.36626 and 0.36802 to 0.36866 respectively. Relative Tm of P. malariae varied from 0.36174 to 0.36790.
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: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: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: In Ethiopia Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax are the dominant species accounting for roughly 60 and 40% of malaria cases, respectively. Recently a major shift from P. falciparum to P. vivax has been observed in various parts of the country but the epidemiology of the other human malaria species, Plasmodium ovale spp. and Plasmodium malariae remains poorly understood. The aim of this study was to assess P. ovale curtisi and wallikeri infection in north-west Ethiopia by using microscopy and nested PCR. METHODS: A health institution-based survey using non-probability sampling techniques was conducted at Maksegnet, Enfranze and Kola Diba health centres and Metema hospital in North Gondar. Three-hundred patients with signs and symptoms consistent with malaria were included in this study and capillary blood was collected for microscopic examination and molecular analysis of Plasmodium species. Samples were collected on Whatman 903 filter papers, stored in small plastic bags with desiccant and transported to Vienna (Austria) for molecular analysis. Data from study participants were entered and analysed by SPSS 20 software. RESULTS: Out of 300 study participants (167 males and 133 females), 184 samples were classified positive for malaria (133 P. falciparum and 51 P. vivax) by microscopy. By species-specific PCR 233 Plasmodium spp (95% CI: 72.6-82) were detected and the majority 155 (66.5%, 95% CI: 60.2-72.3) were P. falciparum followed by P. vivax 69 (29.6%, 95% CI; 24.1-35.8) and 9 (3.9%, 95% CI: 2-7.2) samples were positive for P. ovale. Seven of P. ovale parasites were confirmed as P. ovale wallikeri and two were confirmed as P. ovale curtisi. None of the samples tested positive for P. malariae. During microscopic examination there were high (16.3%) false negative reports and all mixed infections and P. ovale cases were missed or misclassified. CONCLUSION: This study indicates that P. ovale malaria is under-reported in Ethiopia and provides the first known evidence of the sympatric distribution of indigenous P. ovale wallikeri and P. ovale curtisi in Ethiopia. Therefore, further studies assessing the prevalence of the rare species P. ovale and P. malariae are urgently needed to better understand the species distribution and to adapt malaria control strategies.
Project description:Microsatellites can be utilized to explore genotypes, population structure, and other genomic features of eukaryotes. Systematic characterization of microsatellites has not been a focus for several species of Plasmodium, including P. malariae and P. ovale, as the majority of malaria elimination programs are focused on P. falciparum and to a lesser extent P. vivax. Here, five human malaria species (P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. malariae, P. ovale curtisi, and P. knowlesi) were investigated with the aim of conducting in-depth categorization of microsatellites for P. malariae and P. ovale curtisi. Investigation of reference genomes for microsatellites with unit motifs of 1-10 base pairs indicates high diversity among the five Plasmodium species. Plasmodium malariae, with the largest genome size, displays the second highest microsatellite density (1421 No./Mbp; 5% coverage) next to P. falciparum (3634 No./Mbp; 12% coverage). The lowest microsatellite density was observed in P. vivax (773 No./Mbp; 2% coverage). A, AT, and AAT are the most commonly repeated motifs in the Plasmodium species. For P. malariae and P. ovale curtisi, microsatellite-related sequences are observed in approximately 18-29% of coding sequences (CDS). Lysine, asparagine, and glutamic acids are most frequently coded by microsatellite-related CDS. The majority of these CDS could be related to the gene ontology terms "cell parts," "binding," "developmental processes," and "metabolic processes." The present study provides a comprehensive overview of microsatellite distribution and can assist in the planning and development of potentially useful genetic tools for further investigation of P. malariae and P. ovale curtisi epidemiology.
Project description:Artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum, the agent of severe malaria, is currently a major obstacle to malaria control in Southeast Asia. A gene named "kelch13" has been associated with artemisinin resistance in P. falciparum The orthologue of the kelch gene in P. vivax was identified and a small number of mutations were found in previous studies. The kelch orthologues in the other two human malaria parasites, P. malariae and P. ovale, have not yet been studied. Therefore, in this study, the orthologous kelch genes of P. malariae, P. ovale wallikeri, and P. ovale curtisi were isolated and analyzed for the first time. The homologies of the kelch genes of P. malariae and P. ovale were 84.8% and 82.7%, respectively, compared to the gene in P. falciparum kelch polymorphisms were studied in 13 P. malariae and 5 P. ovale isolates from Thailand. There were 2 nonsynonymous mutations found in these samples. One mutation was P533L, which was found in 1 of 13 P. malariae isolates, and the other was K137R, found in 1 isolate of P. ovale wallikeri (n = 4). This result needs to be considered in the context of widespread artemisinin used within the region; their functional consequences for artemisinin sensitivity in P. malariae and P. ovale will need to be elucidated.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Accurate diagnosis of Plasmodium infections is essential for malaria morbidity and mortality reduction in tropical areas. Despite great advantages of light microscopy (LM) for malaria diagnosis, its limited sensitivity is a critical shortfall for epidemiological studies. Robust molecular diagnostics tools are thus needed.<h4>Methods</h4>The present study describes the development of a duplex quantitative real time PCR (qPCR) assay, which specifically detects and quantifies the four human Plasmodium species. Performance of this method was compared to PCR-ligase detection reaction-fluorescent microsphere assay (PCR_LDR_FMA), nested PCR (nPCR) and LM, using field samples collected from 452 children one to five years of age from the Sepik area in Papua New Guinea. Agreement between diagnostic methods was calcualted using kappa statistics.<h4>Results</h4>The agreement of qPCR with other molecular diagnostic methods was substantial for the detection of P. falciparum, but was moderate for the detection of P. vivax, P. malariae and P. ovale. P. falciparum and P. vivax prevalence by qPCR was 40.9% and 65.7% respectively. This compares to 43.8% and 73.2% by nPCR and 47.1% and 67.5% by PCR_LDR_FMA. P. malariae and P. ovale prevalence was 4.7% and 7.3% by qPCR, 3.3% and 3.8% by nPCR, and 7.7% and 4.4% by PCR_LDR_FMA. Prevalence by LM was lower for all four species, being 25.4% for P. falciparum, 54.9% for P. vivax, 2.4% for P. malariae and 0.0% for P. ovale. The quantification by qPCR closely correlated with microscopic quantification for P. falciparum and P. vivax samples (R2 = 0.825 and R2 = 0.505, respectively). The low prevalence of P. malariae and P. ovale did not permit a solid comparative analysis of quantification for these species.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The qPCR assay developed proved optimal for detection of all four Plasmodium species. Densities by LM were well reflected in quantification results by qPCR, whereby congruence was better for P. falciparum than for P. vivax. This likely is a consequence of the generally lower P. vivax densities. Easy performance of the qPCR assay, a less laborious workflow and reduced risk of contamination, together with reduced costs per sample through reduced reaction volume, opens the possibility to implement qPCR in endemic settings as a suitable diagnostic tool for large epidemiological studies.
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:Expanded malaria control efforts in Sénégal have resulted in increased use of rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) to identify the primary disease-causing Plasmodium species, Plasmodium falciparum. However, the type of RDT utilized in Sénégal does not detect other malaria-causing species such as Plasmodium ovale spp., Plasmodium malariae, or Plasmodium vivax. Consequently, there is a lack of information about the frequency and types of malaria infections occurring in Sénégal. This study set out to better determine whether species other than P. falciparum were evident among patients evaluated for possible malaria infection in Kédougou, Sénégal.Real-time polymerase chain reaction speciation assays for P. vivax, P. ovale spp., and P. malariae were developed and validated by sequencing and DNA extracted from 475 Plasmodium falciparum-specific HRP2-based RDT collected between 2013 and 2014 from a facility-based sample of symptomatic patients from two health clinics in Kédougou, a hyper-endemic region in southeastern Sénégal, were analysed.Plasmodium malariae (n = 3) and P. ovale wallikeri (n = 2) were observed as co-infections with P. falciparum among patients with positive RDT results (n = 187), including one patient positive for all three species. Among 288 negative RDT samples, samples positive for P. falciparum (n = 24), P. ovale curtisi (n = 3), P. ovale wallikeri (n = 1), and P. malariae (n = 3) were identified, corresponding to a non-falciparum positivity rate of 2.5%.These findings emphasize the limitations of the RDT used for malaria diagnosis and demonstrate that non-P. falciparum malaria infections occur in Sénégal. Current RDT used for routine clinical diagnosis do not necessarily provide an accurate reflection of malaria transmission in Kédougou, Sénégal, and more sensitive and specific methods are required for diagnosis and patient care, as well as surveillance and elimination activities. These findings have implications for other malaria endemic settings where species besides P. falciparum may be transmitted and overlooked by control or elimination activities.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Malaria diagnosis is largely dependent on the demonstration of parasites in stained blood films by conventional microscopy. Accurate identification of the infecting Plasmodium species relies on detailed examination of parasite morphological characteristics, such as size, shape, pigment granules, besides the size and shape of the parasitized red blood cells and presence of cell inclusions. This work explores misclassifications of four Plasmodium species by conventional microscopy relative to the proficiency of microscopists and morphological characteristics of the parasites on Giemsa-stained blood films.<h4>Case description</h4>Ten-day malaria microscopy remedial courses on parasite detection, species identification and parasite counting were conducted for public health and research laboratory personnel. Proficiency in species identification was assessed at the start (pre) and the end (post) of each course using known blood films of Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium vivax infections with densities ranging from 1,000 to 30,000 parasites/?L. Outcomes were categorized as false negative, positive without speciation, P. falciparum, P. malariae, P. ovale, P. vivax and mixed infections.<h4>Discussion and evaluation</h4>Reported findings are based on 1,878 P. falciparum, 483 P. malariae, 581 P. ovale and 438 P. vivax cumulative results collated from 2008 to 2010 remedial courses. Pre-training false negative and positive misclassifications without speciation were significantly lower on P. falciparum infections compared to non-falciparum infections (p < 0.0001). Post-training misclassifications decreased significantly compared to pre- training misclassifications which in turn led to significant improvements in the identification of the four species. However, P. falciparum infections were highly misclassified as mixed infections, P. ovale misclassified as P. vivax and P. vivax similarly misclassified as P. ovale (p < 0.05).<h4>Conclusion</h4>These findings suggest that the misclassification of malaria species could be a common occurrence especially where non-falciparum infections are involved due to lack of requisite skills in microscopic diagnosis and variations in morphological characteristics within and between Plasmodium species. Remedial training might improve reliability of conventional light microscopy with respect to differentiation of Plasmodium infections.