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 However, recent commercially available PCR malaria kits have unpublished P. knowlesi gene targets or have not been evaluated against clinical samples.
The endosymbiont bacterium Wolbachia is maternally inherited and naturally infects some filarial nematodes and a diverse range of arthropods, including mosquito vectors responsible for disease transmission in humans. Previously, it has been found infecting most mosquito species but absent in Anopheles and Aedes aegypti. However, recently these two mosquito species were found to be naturally infected with Wolbachia. We report here the extent of Wolbachia infections in field-collected mosquitoes from Malaysia based on PCR amplification of the Wolbachia wsp and 16S rRNA genes.
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).
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).
Population genetic analysis revealed that Plasmodium knowlesi infections in Malaysian Borneo are caused by 2 divergent parasites associated with long-tailed (cluster 1) and pig-tailed (cluster 2) macaques. Because the transmission ecology is likely to differ for each macaque species, we developed a simple genotyping PCR to efficiently distinguish between and survey the 2 parasite subpopulations.
Asymptomatic and/or low-density malaria infection has been acknowledged as an obstacle to achieving a malaria-free country. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of asymptomatic and/or low-density malaria infection in previously reported malarious localities using nested PCR in four states, namely, Johor, Pahang, Kelantan, and Selangor, between June 2019 and January 2020. Blood samples (n = 585) were collected and were extracted using a QIAamp blood kit.
Five children in Pos Lenjang, Pahang, Malaysia were PCR-positive for vivax malaria and were admitted to the hospital from 5 to 26 July 2019. One of the patients experienced three episodes of recurrence of vivax malaria. Microsatellite analysis showed that reinfection is unlikely.
Since 2000, human malaria cases in Malaysia were rapidly reduced with the use of insecticides in Indoor Residual Spray (IRS) and Long-Lasting Insecticide Net (LLIN). Unfortunately, monkey malaria in humans has shown an increase especially in Sabah and Sarawak. The insecticide currently used in IRS is deltamethrin K-Othrine® WG 250 wettable granule, targeting mosquitoes that rest and feed indoor. In Sabah, the primary vector for knowlesi malaria is An. balabacensis a species known to bite outdoor.
Transmission of Plasmodium vivax still persist in Malaysia despite the government's aim to eliminate malaria in 2020. High treatment failure rate of chloroquine monotherapy was reported recently. Hence, parasite drug susceptibility should be kept under close monitoring. Mutation analysis of the drug resistance markers is useful for reconnaissance of anti-malarial drug resistance. Hitherto, information on P. vivax drug resistance marker in Malaysia are limited.
To date, most of the recent publications on malaria in Malaysia were conducted in Sabah, East Malaysia focusing on the emergence of Plasmodium knowlesi. This analysis aims to describe the incidence, mortality and case fatality rate of malaria caused by all Plasmodium species between Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak) over a 5-year period (2013–2017).