Genetic diversity of Plasmodium vivax PVCSP and PVMSP1 in Guyana, South America

  • Bonilla J
  • Validum L
  • Cummings R
 et al. 
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Approximately 55% of malaria infections in the Guyana Amazon region are attributed to Plasmodium falciparum while the other 45% are attributed to non-falciparum, mostly Plasmodium vivax. However, little is known about the P. vivax strain types circulating in the region. Using PCR for Plasmodium detection and two genetic markers specific to P. vivax to detect the polymorphic circumsporozoite protein (CSP) and the conserved 19-kDa region of the merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP-1), we investigated the overall Plasmodium strain distribution and population diversity within P. vivax in isolates collected from the blood of infected individuals in the interior Amazon region of Guyana, South America. Out of a total of 250 samples positive for Plasmodium, P. vivax was detected in 30% (76/250) and P. falciparum was detected in 76% (189/250). Mixed infections containing both P. falciparum and P. vivax constituted 6% (15/250) of the total positive samples. Further analysis of P. vivax strains showed that 92% (56/61) of the P. vivax samples hybridized with a probe specific to type VK210, 39% (24/61) hybridized with a probe specific for type VK247, and 25% (15/61) hybridized with a probe specific for the P. vivax-like CS genotype. DNA sequencing of the 19-kDa C-terminal domain in block 13 of MSP-1 amplified from 61 samples from patients infected with P. vivax demonstrated that this region is highly conserved, and all samples were identical at the nucleotide level to the Belem and Salvador-1 types. No synonymous or nonsynonymous mutations were observed in this region of the gene, indicating that current vaccine-development efforts based on the MSP-1(19) fragment would be applicable in Guyana.

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  • J. Alfredo Bonilla

  • Lloyd Validum

  • Rudolph Cummings

  • Carol J. Palmer

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