Transmission foci of autochthonous malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax-like parasites have frequently been reported in the Atlantic Forest in Southeastern and Southern Brazil. Evidence suggests that malaria is a zoonosis in these areas as human infections by simian Plasmodium species have been detected, and the main vector of malaria in the Atlantic Forest, Anopheles (Kerteszia) cruzii, can blood feed on human and simian hosts.
Determining the prevalence and local transmission dynamics of parasitic organisms are necessary to understand the ability of parasites to persist in host populations and disperse across regions, yet local transmission dynamics, diversity, and distribution of haemosporidian parasites remain poorly understood. We studied the prevalence, diversity, and distributions of avian haemosporidian parasites of the genera Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon among resident and migratory birds in Serra do Mar, Brazil.
In the south and southeast regions of Brazil, cases of malaria occur outside the endemic Amazon region near the Atlantic Forest in some coastal states, where Plasmodium vivax is the recognized parasite. Characteristics of cases and vectors, especially Anopheles (Kerteszia) cruzii, raise the hypothesis of a zoonosis with simians as reservoirs. The present review aims to report on investigations of the disease over a 23-year period. Two main sources have provided epidemiological data: the behavior of Anopheles vectors and the genetic and immunological aspects of Plasmodium spp. obtained from humans, Alouatta simians, and Anopheles spp. mosquitoes.
Kerteszia cruzii is a sylvatic mosquito and the primary vector of Plasmodium spp., which can cause malaria in humans in areas outside the Amazon River basin in Brazil. Anthropic changes in the natural environments are the major drivers of massive deforestation and local climate change, with serious impacts on the dynamics of mosquito communities and on the risk of acquiring malaria.
Plasmodium vivax is the most widespread human malaria parasite outside Africa and is the predominant parasite in the Americas. Increasing reports of P. vivax disease severity, together with the emergence of drug-resistant strains, underscore the urgency of the development of vaccines against P. vivax. Polymorphisms on DBP-II-gene could act as an immune evasion mechanism and, consequently, limited the vaccine efficacy. This study aimed to investigate the pvdbp-II genetic diversity in two Brazilian regions with different epidemiological patterns: the unstable transmission area in the Atlantic Forest (AF) of Rio de Janeiro and; the fixed malaria-endemic area in Brazilian Amazon (BA).
Although malaria cases have substantially decreased in Southeast Brazil, a significant increase in the number of Plasmodium vivax-like autochthonous human cases has been reported in remote areas of the Atlantic Forest in the past few decades in Rio de Janeiro (RJ) state, including an outbreak during 2015–2016. The singular clinical and epidemiological aspects in several human cases, and collectively with molecular and genetic data, revealed that they were due to the non-human primate (NHP) parasite Plasmodium simium; however, the understanding of the autochthonous malarial epidemiology in Southeast Brazil can only be acquired by assessing the circulation of NHP Plasmodium in the foci and determining its hosts.