Malaria is one of the most devastating infectious diseases of humans. It is problematic clinically and economically as it prevails in poorer countries and regions, strongly hindering socioeconomic development. The causative agents of malaria are unicellular protozoan parasites belonging to the genus Plasmodium. These parasites infect not only humans but also other vertebrates, from reptiles and birds to mammals. To date, over 200 species of Plasmodium have been formally described, and each species infects a certain range of hosts.
Certain species of macaques are natural hosts of Plasmodium knowlesi and Plasmodium cynomolgi, which can both cause malaria in humans, and Plasmodium inui, which can be experimentally transmitted to humans. A significant number of zoonotic malaria cases have been reported in humans throughout Southeast Asia, including Thailand. There have been only two studies undertaken in Thailand to identify malaria parasites in non-human primates in 6 provinces. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of P. knowlesi, P. cynomolgi, P. inui, Plasmodium coatneyi and Plasmodium fieldi in non-human primates from 4 new locations in Thailand.
Rhesus macaques are valuable pre-clinical models for malaria vaccine development. The Plasmodium knowlesi/rhesus and Plasmodium falciparum/rhesus models are two established platforms for malaria vaccine testing, and both have previously been used to assess live-attenuated sporozoite vaccines. However, there is evidence that the susceptibility of the rhesus liver to P. knowlesi versus P. falciparum sporozoites likely differs, potentially complicating comparisons between these two platforms.
The monkey parasite Plasmodium knowlesi is an emerging public health issue in Southeast Asia. In Sabah, Malaysia, P. knowlesi is now the dominant cause of human malaria. Molecular detection methods for P. knowlesi are essential for accurate diagnosis and in monitoring progress towards malaria elimination of other Plasmodium species. However, recent commercially available PCR malaria kits have unpublished P. knowlesi gene targets or have not been evaluated against clinical samples.
To monitor the incidence of Plasmodium knowlesi infections and determine whether other simian malaria parasites are being transmitted to humans, we examined 1,047 blood samples from patients with malaria at Kapit Hospital in Kapit, Malaysia, during June 24, 2013-December 31, 2017. Using nested PCR assays, we found 845 (80.6%) patients had either P. knowlesi monoinfection (n = 815) or co-infection with other Plasmodium species (n = 30).
During the course of the asexual erythrocytic stage of development, Plasmodium spp. parasites undergo a series of morphological changes and induce alterations in the host cell. At the end of this stage, the parasites egress from the infected cell, after which the progeny invade a new host cell. These processes are rapid and occur in a time-dependent manner.
Long-term in vitro culture of blood stage Plasmodium parasites invariably leads to asynchronous parasite development. The most often used technique to synchronize Plasmodium falciparum culture is sorbitol treatment, which differentially induces osmotic lysis of trophozoite- and schizont-infected red blood cells due to presence of the new permeation pathways in the membranes of these cells. However, sorbitol treatment does not work well when used to synchronize the culture-adapted Plasmodium knowlesi A1-H.1 line.
Macaca fascicularis (long-tailed macaque) is the most widespread species of macaque in Southeast Asia and the only species of monkey found naturally in the Philippines. The species is the natural host for the zoonotic malaria species, Plasmodium knowlesi and Plasmodium cynomolgi and for the potentially zoonotic species, Plasmodium inui. Moreover, other Plasmodium species such as Plasmodium coatneyi and Plasmodium fieldi are also natural parasites of M. fascicularis. The aims of this study were to identify and determine the prevalence of Plasmodium species infecting wild and captive long-tailed macaques from the Philippines.
This study is the first report of phenotypic difference between PkDBPαII haplotypes.