Genomic surveillance of malaria parasite populations has the potential to inform control strategies and to monitor the impact of interventions. Barcodes comprising large numbers of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers are accurate and efficient genotyping tools, however may need to be tailored to specific malaria transmission settings, since ‘universal’ barcodes can lack resolution at the local scale. A SNP barcode was developed that captures the diversity and structure of Plasmodium vivax populations of Papua New Guinea (PNG) for research and surveillance.
Papua New Guinea
Monitoring the genetic structure of pathogen populations may be an economical and sensitive approach to quantify the impact of control on transmission dynamics, highlighting the need for a better understanding of changes in population genetic parameters as transmission declines. Here we describe the first population genetic analysis of the major human malaria parasites, Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) and Plasmodium vivax (Pv) following nationwide distribution of long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLIN) in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Modern clinical trials have suggested that anemia protects against malaria mortality. Military records of the Second World War in Asia were examined to see if there was support for this hypothesis. When relatively well-nourished Imperial Japanese Navy sailors captured on Nauru (n = 799) were imprisoned on the Fauro Islands, 26% died from falciparum malaria.
The use of molecular diagnostics has revealed an unexpectedly large number of asymptomatic low-density malaria infections in many malaria endemic areas. This study compared the gains in parasite prevalence obtained by the use of ultra-sensitive (us)-qPCR as compared to standard qPCR in cross-sectional surveys conducted in Thailand, Brazil and Papua New Guinea (PNG). The compared assays differed in the copy number of qPCR targets in the parasite genome.
Papua New Guinea (PNG) has the highest malaria transmission outside of Africa. Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) are believed to have helped to reduce average malaria prevalence in PNG from 16% in 2008 to 1% in 2014. Since 2015 malaria in PNG has resurged significantly.
“Conventional exchange transfusion” ‐ that delivers nondescript “standard issue” units of red blood cells (RBCs) ‐ is used worldwide to rescue dying Plasmodium falciparum (Pf ) malaria patients. Recently, exchanging special malaria‐resistant RBCs has been recommended to prevent random delivery of malaria‐susceptible RBCs that promote Pf infection.
In the past decade, national malaria control efforts in Papua New Guinea (PNG) have received renewed support, facilitating nationwide distribution of free long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs), as well as improvements in access to parasite-confirmed diagnosis and effective artemisinin-combination therapy in 2011–2012.
Determination of blood-meal hosts in blood-fed female Anopheles mosquitoes is important for evaluating vectorial capacity of vector populations and assessing effectiveness of vector control measures. Sensitive molecular methods are needed to detect traces of host blood in mosquito samples, to differentiate hosts, and to detect mixed host blood meals. This paper describes a molecular probe-based quantitative PCR for identifying blood-meal hosts in Anopheles malaria vectors from Papua New Guinea.