Merozoite proteins of the malaria parasites involved in the invasion of red blood cells are selected by host immunity and their diversity is greatly influenced by changes in Myanmar malaria epidemiology. In the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), malaria transmission is concentrated along the international borders and there have been major changes in malaria epidemiology with Plasmodium vivax becoming the dominant species in many regions. Here, we aimed to evaluate the genetic diversity of P. vivax Duffy-binding protein gene domain II (pvdbp-II) in isolates from the eastern and western borders of Myanmar, and compared it with that from global P. vivax populations.
Plasmodium vivax, the chronic relapsing human malaria parasite with the most widespread distribution, possesses proteins associated with the merozoite surface that could be targets for host immune responses and potential vaccine candidates. Of these, the merozoite surface protein 3 of P. vivax (PvMSP3) is an attractive vaccine target as well as a genetic marker for epidemiological surveillance.