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Persistent Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax infections in a western Cambodian population: implications for prevention, treatment and elimination strategies.

Malaria Journal, 2016; 15(1): 181
Authors:
Tripura R, Peto TJ, Chalk J, Lee SJ, Sirithiranont P, Nguon C, Dhorda M, von Seidlein L, Maude RJ2, Day NP, Imwong M, White NJ, Dondorp AM.
Doi: 10.1186/s12936-016-1224-7  PMID: 27013512

BACKGROUND:

Subclinical Plasmodium parasitaemia is an important reservoir for the transmission and persistence of malaria, particularly in low transmission areas.

METHODS:

Using ultrasensitive quantitative PCR (uPCR) for the detection of parasitaemia, the entire population of three Cambodian villages in Pailin province were followed for 1 year at three-monthly intervals. A cohort of adult participants found initially to have asymptomatic malaria parasitaemia was followed monthly over the same period.

RESULTS:

The initial cross sectional survey in June 2013 (M0) of 1447 asymptomatic residents found that 32 (2.2 %) had Plasmodium falciparum, 48 (3.3 %) had P. vivax, 4 (0.3 %) had mixed infections and in 142/1447 (9.8 %) malaria was detected but there was insufficient DNA to identify the species (Plasmodium. species). Polymorphisms in the 'K13-propeller' associated with reduced susceptibility to artemisinin derivatives (C580Y) were found in 17/32 (51 %) P. falciparum strains. Monthly follow-up without treatment of 24 adult participants with asymptomatic mono or mixed P. falciparum infections found that 3/24 (13 %) remained parasitaemic for 2-4 months, whereas the remaining 21/24 (87 %) participants had cleared their parasitaemia after 1 month. In contrast, 12/34 (35 %) adult participants with P. vivax mono-infection at M0 had malaria parasites (P. vivax or P. sp.) during four or more of the following 11 monthly surveys.

CONCLUSIONS:

This longitudinal survey in a low transmission setting shows limited duration of P. falciparum carriage, but prolonged carriage of P. vivax infections. Radical treatment of P. vivax infections by 8-aminoquinoline regimens may be required to eliminate all malaria from Cambodia. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01872702.