We detected the simian malaria parasites Plasmodium knowlesi, P. cynomolgi, P. inui, P. coatneyi, P. inui-like, and P. simiovale among forest fringe-living indigenous communities from various locations in Malaysia. Our findings underscore the importance of using molecular tools to identify newly emergent malaria parasites in humans.
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).
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.
The present study describes, for the first time, the natural infection of P. simium in capuchin monkeys from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest.