A closer look at multiple-clone Plasmodium vivax infections: Detection methods, prevalence and consequences

Tatiana Havryliuk, Marcelo U. Ferreira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

The naturally occurring clonal diversity among fields isolates of the major human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax remained unexplored until the early 1990s, when improved molecular methods allowed the use of blood samples obtained directly from patients, without prior in vitro culture, for genotyping purposes. Here we briefly review the molecular strategies currently used to detect genetically distinct clones in patient-derived P. vivax samples, present evidence that multiple-clone P. vivax infections are commonly detected in areas with different levels of malaria transmission and discuss possible evolutionary and epidemiological consequences of the competition between genetically distinct clones in natural human infections. We suggest that, when two or more genetically distinct clones are present in the same host, intra-host competition for limited resources may select for P. vivax traits that represent major public health challenges, such as increased virulence, increased transmissibility and antimalarial drug resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
JournalMemorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Volume104
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2009

Keywords

  • Clone infections
  • Malaria
  • Microsatellites
  • Multiple
  • Plasmodium vivax
  • Virulence
  • Within-host competition

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