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Plasmodium knowlesi

Prevalence of simian malaria parasites in macaques of Singapore

January 27, 2021 - 11:23 -- Open Access
Li MI, Mailepessov D, Vythilingam I, Lee V, Lam P, Ng LC, Tan CH
PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2021 Jan 25;15(1):e0009110

Plasmodium knowlesi is a simian malaria parasite currently recognized as the fifth causative agent of human malaria. Recently, naturally acquired P. cynomolgi infection in humans was also detected in Southeast Asia. The main reservoir of both parasites is the long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques, which are indigenous in this region. Due to increased urbanization and changes in land use, there has been greater proximity and interaction between the long-tailed macaques and the general population in Singapore.

Plasmodium knowlesi infecting humans in Southeast Asia: What's next

January 6, 2021 - 13:19 -- Open Access
Jeyaprakasam NK, Liew JWK, Low VL, Wan-Sulaiman WY, Vythilingam I
PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2020 Dec 31;14(12):e0008900

Plasmodium knowlesi, a simian malaria parasite, has been in the limelight since a large focus of human P. knowlesi infection was reported from Sarawak (Malaysian Borneo) in 2004. Although this infection is transmitted across Southeast Asia, the largest number of cases has been reported from Malaysia. The increasing number of knowlesi malaria cases has been attributed to the use of molecular tools for detection, but environmental changes including deforestation likely play a major role by increasing human exposure to vector mosquitoes, which coexist with the macaque host.

Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Plasmodium knowlesi Infection in Peninsular Malaysia, 2011 to 2018

December 16, 2020 - 12:55 -- Open Access
Phang WK, Hamid MHA, Jelip J, Mudin RN, Chuang TW, Lau YL, Fong MY
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Dec 11;17(24):E9271

The life-threatening zoonotic malaria cases caused by Plasmodium knowlesi in Malaysia has recently been reported to be the highest among all malaria cases; however, previous studies have mainly focused on the transmission of P. knowlesi in Malaysian Borneo (East Malaysia). This study aimed to describe the transmission patterns of P. knowlesi infection in Peninsular Malaysia (West Malaysia).

NOT Open Access | Erythrocyte Binding Activity of PkDBPalphaII of Plasmodium knowlesi Isolated from High and Low Parasitemia Cases

December 16, 2020 - 10:53 -- NOT Open Access
Mohd Bukhari FD, Lau YL, Fong MY
Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Dec 14

Invasion of Plasmodium knowlesi merozoite into human erythrocytes involves molecular interaction between the parasite's Duffy binding protein (PkDBPαII) and the Duffy antigen receptor for chemokines on the erythrocytes. This study investigates the binding activity of human erythrocyte with PkDBPαII of P. knowlesi isolates from high and low parasitemic patients in an erythrocyte binding assay.

Defining malaria risks among forest workers in Aceh, Indonesia: a formative assessment

December 2, 2020 - 07:54 -- Open Access
Lenny L. Ekawati, Kelly C. Johnson, Adam Bennett, et al.
Malaria Journal 2020 19:441, 30 November 2020

Following a dramatic decline of malaria cases in Aceh province, geographically-based reactive case detection (RACD) was recently evaluated as a tool to improve surveillance with the goal of malaria elimination. While RACD detected few cases in households surrounding index cases, engaging in forest work was identified as a risk factor for malaria and infections from Plasmodium knowlesi—a non-human primate malaria parasite—were more common than expected. This qualitative formative assessment was conducted to improve understanding of malaria risk from forest work and identify strategies for targeted surveillance among forest workers, including adapting reactive case detection.

Malaria elimination in Malaysia and the rising threat of Plasmodium knowlesi

November 25, 2020 - 12:08 -- Open Access
Chin AZ, Maluda MCM, Jelip J, Jeffree MSB, Culleton R, Ahmed K
J Physiol Anthropol. 2020 Nov 23;39(1):36

Malaria is a major public-health problem, with over 40% of the world’s population (more than 3.3 billion people) at risk from the disease. Malaysia has committed to eliminate indigenous human malaria transmission by 2020. The objective of this descriptive study is to understand the epidemiology of malaria in Malaysia from 2000 through 2018 and to highlight the threat posed by zoonotic malaria to the National Malaria Elimination Strategic Plan.

Genetic diversity of circumsporozoite protein in Plasmodium knowlesi isolates from Malaysian Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia

October 22, 2020 - 15:43 -- Open Access
Eric Tzyy Jiann Chong, Joveen Wan Fen Neoh, Tiek Ying Lau, Yvonne Ai-Lian Lim, Hwa Chia Chai, Kek Heng Chua and Ping-Chin Lee
Malaria Journal 2020 19:377, 22 October 2020

Understanding the genetic diversity of candidate genes for malaria vaccines such as circumsporozoite protein (csp) may enhance the development of vaccines for treating Plasmodium knowlesi. Hence, the aim of this study is to investigate the genetic diversity of non-repeat regions of csp in P. knowlesi from Malaysian Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia.

New vectors in northern Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, for the zoonotic malaria parasite, Plasmodium knowlesi

September 16, 2020 - 13:12 -- Open Access
Ang JXD, Kadir KA, Mohamad DSA, Matusop A, Divis PCS, Yaman K, Singh B
Parasit Vectors. 2020 Sep 15;13(1):472

Plasmodium knowlesi is a significant cause of human malaria in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Only one study has been previously undertaken in Sarawak to identify vectors of P. knowlesi, where Anopheles latens was incriminated as the vector in Kapit, central Sarawak. A study was therefore undertaken to identify malaria vectors in a different location in Sarawak.

Human exposure to zoonotic malaria vectors in village, farm and forest habitats in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo

September 8, 2020 - 11:58 -- Open Access
Brown R, Chua TH, Fornace K, Drakeley C, Vythilingam I, Ferguson HM
PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2020 Sep 4;14(9):e0008617

The zoonotic malaria parasite, Plasmodium knowlesi, is now a substantial public health problem in Malaysian Borneo. Current understanding of P. knowlesi vector bionomics and ecology in Sabah comes from a few studies near the epicentre of human cases in one district, Kudat. These have incriminated Anopheles balabacensis as the primary vector, and suggest that human exposure to vector biting is peri-domestic as well as in forest environments.

Population Genomic Structure and Recent Evolution of Plasmodium knowlesi, Peninsular Malaysia

August 4, 2020 - 15:13 -- Open Access
Hocking SE, Divis PCS, Kadir KA, Singh B, Conway DJ
Emerg Infect Dis. 2020 Aug; 26(8):1749-1758

Most malaria in Malaysia is caused by Plasmodium knowlesi parasites through zoonotic infection from macaque reservoir hosts. We obtained genome sequences from 28 clinical infections in Peninsular Malaysia to clarify the emerging parasite population structure and test for evidence of recent adaptation. The parasites all belonged to a major genetic population of P. knowlesi (cluster 3) with high genomewide divergence from populations occurring in Borneo (clusters 1 and 2).


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