Diagnosis and Molecular Analysis on Imported Plasmodium ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri Malaria Cases from West and South Africa during 2013-2016.
ABSTRACT: Majority of the imported malaria cases in Korea is attributed to Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax infections, whereas P. malariae and P. ovale infections are very rare. Falciparum and ovale malaria are mostly imported from Africa, while most of the vivax malaria cases are imported from Southeast Asia. Here, we report 6 Korean imported ovale malaria cases (4 males and 2 females) who had visited in Africa during 2013-2016. These subjects were diagnosed with P. ovale based on microscopic findings, Plasmodium species-specific nested-PCR, and phylogenetic clade using 18S rRNA gene sequences. We identified 2 P. ovale subtypes, 1 P. ovale curtisi (classic type) and 5 P. ovale wallikeri (variant type). All patients were treated with chloroquine and primaquine, and no relapse or recrudescence was reported for 1 year after treatment. With increase of travelers to the countries where existing Plasmodium species, the risk of Plasmodium infection is also increasing. Molecular monitoring for imported malaria parasites should be rigorously and continuously performed to enable diagnosis and certification of Plasmodium spp.
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:Ovale malaria is caused by two closely related species of protozoan parasite: Plasmodium ovale curtisi and Plasmodium ovale wallikeri Although clearly distinct genetically, there have been no studies comparing the morphology, life cycle or epidemiology of these parasites. We tested the hypothesis that the two species differ in the duration of latency prior to presentation with symptoms of blood-stage infection.PCR was used to identify P ovale curtisi and P ovale wallikeri infections among archived blood from UK malaria patients. Latency periods, estimated as the time between entry into the UK and diagnosis of malaria, were compared between the two groups.UK National Reference Laboratory.None. Archived parasite material and surveillance data for 74 P ovale curtisi and 60 P ovale wallikeri infections were analysed. Additional epidemiological data were taken from a database of 1045 imported cases.None.No differences between the two species were identified by a detailed comparison of parasite morphology (N=9, N=8, respectively) and sex ratio (N=5, N=4) in archived blood films. The geometric mean latency period in P ovale wallikeri was 40.6 days (95% CI 28.9 to 57.0), whereas that for P ovale curtisi was more than twice as long at 85.7 days (95% CI 66.1 to 111.1; p=0.002). Further, the proportion of ovale malaria sensu lato which occurred in patients reporting chemoprophylaxis use was higher than for Plasmodium falciparum (OR 7.56; p<0.0001) or P vivax (OR 1.82; p<0.0001).These findings provide the first difference of epidemiological significance observed between the two parasites which cause ovale malaria, and suggest that control measures aimed at P falciparum may not be adequate for reducing the burden of malaria caused by P ovale curtisi and P ovale wallikeri.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Plasmodium merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP-1) is released into the bloodstream during merozoite invasion, and thus represents a crucial malarial vaccine target. Although substantial research effort has been devoted to uncovering the genetic diversity of MSP-1 for P. falciparum and P. vivax, there is minimal information available regarding the genetic profiles and structure of P. ovale. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to determine the extent of genetic variation among two subspecies of P. ovale by characterizing the MSP-1 N-terminal sequence at the nucleotide and protein levels. METHODS:N-terminal of MSP-1 gene were amplified from 126 clinical samples collected from imported cases of malaria in migrant workers returning to Jiangsu Province from Africa using a conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. The PCR products were then sequenced and analyzed using the GeneDoc, MegAlign, MEGA7 and DnaSP v.6 programs. RESULTS:The average pairwise nucleotide diversities (?) of P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri MSP-1 genes (pomsp1) were 0.01043 and 0.01974, respectively, and the haplotype diversity (Hd) were 0.746 and 0.598, respectively. Most of the nucleotide substitutions detected were non-synonymous, indicating that the genetic variations of pomsp1 were maintained by positive diversifying selection, thereby suggesting their role as a potential target of a protective immune response. Amino acid substitutions of P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri MSP-1 could be categorized into five and three unique amino acid variants, respectively. CONCLUSIONS:Low mutational diversity was observed in pomsp1 from the Jiangsu Province imported malaria cases; further studies will be developed such as immunogenicity and functional analysis.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Plasmodium ovale is relatively unfamiliar to Chinese staff engaged in malaria diagnosis. In 2013, dried blood spots of four unidentified but suspected ovale malaria samples were sent to the National Malaria Reference Laboratory (NMRL) for reconfirmation. METHODS: Partial and complete, small, subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA) sequences of four samples were obtained with PCR-cloning-sequencing method. Obtained sequences were analyzed by aligning with each other and with nine SSU rDNA sequences of six known Plasmodium parasites. A phylogenetic tree was constructed based on complete SSU rDNA sequences and 12 same gene sequences derived from six known Plasmodium parasites and three Babesia parasites. Primary structure of conservative and variable regions of variant sequences was determined also by comparing them with those of six known Plasmodium parasites. To confirm their existence in genome, they were redetected with primers matching their variable regions. PCR systems aimed to roughly detect any eukaryotes and prokaryotes respectively were also applied to search for other pathogens in one of four patients. RESULTS: Totally, 19 partial and 23 complete SSU rDNA sequences obtained from four samples. Except eight variant sequences, similarities among sequences from same DNA sample were in general high (more than 98%). The phylogenetic analysis revealed that three cases were infected by P. ovale wallikeri and one by P. ovale curtisi. Four of the variant sequences which obtained from four samples relatively showed high similarities with each other (98.5%-100%). Identical variant sequences actually could be re-obtained from each DNA sample. Their primary structure of conservative and variable regions showed quite fit with that of six known Plasmodium parasites. The test for prokaryote pathogens showed negative and the tests for eukaryotes only found DNA sequences of Human and P. ovale parasites. CONCLUSION: Both P. ovale wallikeri and P. ovale curtisi infections are present in imported malaria cases of China. New type of partial SSU rDNA sequence which assumed to express in a certain life stage of P. ovale was obtained from both P. ovale wallikeri and P. ovale curtisi samples. This discovery would supply information and clues to identify and understand P. ovale parasites more accurately.
Project description:In contrast to the gradual reduction in the number of locally transmitted malaria cases in China, the number of imported malaria cases has been increasing since 2008. Here, we report a case of a 39-year-old Chinese man who acquired Plasmodium ovale wallikeri infection while staying in Ghana, West Africa for 6 months in 2012. Microscopic examinations of Giemsa-stained thin and thick blood smears indicated Plasmodium vivax infection. However, the results of rapid diagnostic tests, which were conducted 3 times, were not in agreement with P. vivax. To further check the diagnosis, standard PCR analysis of the small-subunit rRNA gene was conducted, based on which a phylogeny tree was constructed. The results of gene sequencing indicated that this malaria is a variant of P. ovale (P. ovale wallikeri). The infection in this patient was not a new infection, but a relapse of the infection from the one that he had contracted in West Africa.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Plasmodium ovale is comprised of two genetically distinct subspecies, P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri. Although P. ovale subspecies are similar based on morphology and geographical distribution, allelic differences indicate that P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri are genetically divergent. Additionally, potential clinical and latency duration differences between P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri demonstrate the need for investigation into the contribution of this neglected malaria parasite to the global malaria burden. METHODS:In order to detect all P. ovale subspecies simultaneously, we developed an inclusive P. ovale-specific real-time PCR assay based on conserved regions between P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri in the reticulocyte binding protein 2 (rbp2) gene. Additionally, we characterized the P. ovale subspecies prevalence from 22 asymptomatic malaria infections using multilocus genotyping to discriminate P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri. RESULTS:Our P. ovale rbp2 qPCR assay validation experiments demonstrated a linear dynamic range from 6.25 rbp2 plasmid copies/microliter to 100,000 rbp2 plasmid copies/microliter and a limit of detection of 1.5 rbp2 plasmid copies/microliter. Specificity experiments showed the ability of the rbp2 qPCR assay to detect low-levels of P. ovale in the presence of additional malaria parasite species, including P. falciparum, P. vivax, and P. malariae. We identified P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri in Western Kenya by DNA sequencing of the tryptophan-rich antigen gene, the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene, and the rbp2 gene. CONCLUSIONS:Our novel P. ovale rbp2 qPCR assay detects P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri simultaneously and can be utilized to characterize the prevalence, distribution, and burden of P. ovale in malaria endemic regions. Using multilocus genotyping, we also provided the first description of the prevalence of P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri in Western Kenya, a region holoendemic for malaria transmission.
Project description:Plasmodium ovale is rare and not exactly known to be autochthonous in Malaysia. There are two distinct forms of the parasite, namely P. ovale curtisi (classic form) and P. ovale wallikeri (variant form). Here, the first sequence confirmed case of an imported P. ovale wallikeri infection in Malaysia is presented. Microscopy found Plasmodium parasites with morphology similar to P. ovale or Plasmodium vivax in the blood films. Further confirmation using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the small-subunit rRNA gene of the parasite was unsuccessful. Genus-specific PCR was then performed and the product was sequenced and analysed. Sequence analyses confirmed the aetiological agent as P. ovale wallikeri. New species-specific primers (rOVA1v and rOVA2v) were employed and P. ovale wallikeri was finally confirmed. The findings highlight the need to look out for imported malaria infections in Malaysia and the importance of a constantly updated and validated diagnostic technique.
Project description:Malaria, due to Plasmodium ovale, can be challenging to diagnose due to clinically mild disease and low parasite burden. Two genetically distinct sub-species of P. ovale exist: Plasmodium ovale curtisi (classic) and Plasmodium ovale wallikeri (variant). It is presently unknown if the sub-species causing infection affects performance of malaria diagnostic tests. The aim of this work was to understand how the genetically distinct sub-species, P. o. curtisi and P. o. wallikeri, affect malaria diagnostic tests.Plasmodium ovale-positive whole blood specimens were sub-speciated by PCR and sequencing of 18S rRNA and dhfr-ts. Parasitaemia, morphology, pan-aldolase positivity, 18S copy number, and dhfr-ts sequences were compared between sub-species.From 2006 to 2015, 49 P. ovale isolates were identified, of which 22 were P. o. curtisi and 27 P. o. wallikeri; 80% were identified in the last five years, and 88% were acquired in West Africa. Sub-species did not differ by parasitaemia, 18S copy number, or pan-aldolase positivity. Lack of Schüffner's stippling was over-represented among P. o. wallikeri isolates (p = 0.02). Several nucleotide polymorphisms between the sub-species were observed, but they do not occur at sites believed to relate to antifolate binding.Plasmodium ovale is increasing among travellers to West Africa, although sub-species do not differ significantly by parasitologic features such as parasitaemia. Absence of Schüffner's stippling may be a feature specific to P. o. wallikeri and is a novel finding.
Project description:Plasmodium ovale is a benign tertian malaria parasite that morphologically resembles Plasmodium vivax. P. ovale also shares similar tertian periodicity and can cause relapse in patients without a radical cure, making it easily misidentified as P. vivax in routine diagnosis. Therefore, its prevalence might be underreported worldwide. The present study aimed to quantify the prevalence of P. ovale misidentified as P. vivax malaria using data from studies reporting confirmed P. ovale cases by molecular methods. Studies reporting the misidentification of P. ovale as P. vivax malaria were identified from three databases, MEDLINE, Web of Science, and Scopus, without language restrictions, but the publication date was restricted to 1993 and 2020. The quality of the included studies was assessed using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS). The random-effects model was used to estimate the pooled prevalence of the misidentification of P. ovale as P. vivax malaria by the microscopic method when compared to those with the reference polymerase chain reaction method. Subgroup analysis of participants was also performed to demonstrate the difference between imported and indigenous P. ovale cases. The heterogeneity of the included studies was assessed using Cochran's Q and I2 statistics. Publication bias across the included studies was assessed using the funnel plot and Egger’s test, and if required, contour-enhanced funnel plots were used to identify the source(s) of funnel plot asymmetry. Of 641 articles retrieved from databases, 22 articles met the eligibility criteria and were included in the present study. Of the 8,297 malaria-positive cases identified by the PCR method, 453 P. ovale cases were confirmed. The pooled prevalence of misidentification of P. ovale as P. vivax malaria by the microscopic method was 11% (95% CI: 7–14%, I2: 25.46%). Subgroup analysis of the participants demonstrated a higher prevalence of misidentification in indigenous cases (13%, 95% CI: 6–21%, I2: 27.8%) than in imported cases (10%, 95% CI: 6–14%, I2: 24.1%). The pooled prevalence of misidentification of P. vivax as P. ovale malaria by the microscopic method was 1%, without heterogeneity (95% CI: 0–3%, I2: 16.8%). PCR was more sensitive in identifying P. ovale cases than the microscopic method (p?<?0.00001, OR: 2.76, 95% CI: 1.83–4.15, I2: 65%). Subgroup analysis of participants demonstrated the better performance of PCR in detecting P. ovale malaria in indigenous cases (p: 0.0009, OR: 6.92, 95% CI: 2.21–21.7%, I2: 68%) than in imported cases (p: 0.0004, OR: 2.15, 95% CI: 1.41–3.29%, I2: 63%). P. ovale infections misidentified as P. vivax malaria by the microscopic method were frequent and led to underreported P. ovale cases. The molecular identification of P. ovale malaria in endemic areas is needed because a higher rate of P. ovale misidentification was found in endemic or indigenous cases than in imported cases. In addition, updated courses, enhanced training, and refreshers for microscopic examinations, particularly for P. ovale identification, are necessary to improve the microscopic identification of Plasmodium species in rural health centres where PCR is unavailable.
Project description:Malaria is a parasitic infection caused by Plasmodium species. Most of the imported malaria in Korea are due to Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum, and Plasmodium ovale infections are very rare. Here, we report a case of a 24-year-old American woman who acquired P. ovale while staying in Ghana, West Africa for 5 months in 2010. The patient was diagnosed with P. ovale malaria based on a Wright-Giemsa stained peripheral blood smear, Plasmodium genus-specific real-time PCR, Plasmodium species-specific nested PCR, and sequencing targeting 18S rRNA gene. The strain identified had a very long incubation period of 19-24 months. Blood donors who have malaria with a very long incubation period could be a potential danger for propagating malaria. Therefore, we should identify imported P. ovale infections not only by morphological findings but also by molecular methods for preventing propagation and appropriate treatment.