Malaria remains a serious health threat in the Amazonas Region of Peru and approximately 95% of the cases, mainly Plasmodium vivax, are found in native communities of The Rio Santiago District, Condorcanqui Province. In 2019, more than one thousand malaria cases were reported, with an unusual number of Plasmodium falciparum autochthonous cases. The present study aims to report this P. falciparum outbreak while describing the epidemiology of malaria and the risk factors associated in the native communities of Amazonas, Peru.
The increase in malaria transmission in the Amazon region motivated vector control units of the Ministry of Health of Ecuador and Peru to investigate Anopheles (Diptera: Culicidae) species present in transmission hotspots. Mosquitoes were collected using prokopack aspirators and CDC light traps (Ecuador) and human landing catch in Peru. In Ecuador, 84 Anopheles were captured from Pastaza, Morona Santiago, and Orellana provinces and identified morphologically [An. (An.) apicimacula Dyar and Knab, An. (Nys.) near benarrochi, An. (Nys.) near oswaldoi, An. (Nys.) near strodei, An. (An.) nimbus (Theobald, 1902), and An. (Nyssorhynchus) sp.]. In Peru, 1,150 Anopheles were collected in Andoas District.
The high incidence of Plasmodium vivax infections associated with clinical severity and the emergence of chloroquine (CQ) resistance has posed a challenge to control efforts aimed at eliminating this disease. Despite conflicting evidence regarding the role of mutations of P. vivax multidrug resistance 1 gene (pvmdr1) in drug resistance, this gene can be a tool for molecular surveillance due to its variability and spatial patterns.
Plasmodium vivax is co-endemic with Plasmodium falciparum in Peru, and optimum management requires distinguishing these two species in the blood of patients. For the differential identification of P. vivax and other Plasmodium spp., the LoopampTM Malaria Pan Detection Kit in combination with the Loopamp Malaria Pv Detection Kit (Eiken Chemical Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan) was used to evaluate 559 whole blood samples collected in 2017 from febrile patients with suspected malaria attending different health facilities in the Loreto region.
Identification of mosquito species is necessary for determining the entomological components of malaria transmission, but it can be difficult in morphologically similar species. DNA sequences are largely used as an additional tool for species recognition, including those that belong to species complexes. Kerteszia mosquitoes are vectors of human and simian malaria in the Neotropical Region, but there are few DNA sequences of Kerteszia species in public databases.