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Comparative performance of PCR using DNA extracted from dried blood spots and whole blood samples for malaria diagnosis: a meta-analysis

March 4, 2021 - 11:20 -- Open Access
Mahittikorn A, Masangkay FR, Kotepui KU, De Jesus Milanez G, Kotepui M
Sci Rep. 2021 Mar 1;11(1):4845

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) extracted from dried blood spots (DBS) provides a fast, inexpensive, and convenient method for large-scale epidemiological studies. This study compared the performance of PCR between DNA extracted from DBS and DNA obtained from whole blood for detecting malarial parasites. Primary studies assessing the diagnostic performance of PCR using DNA extracted from DBS and whole blood for detecting malarial parasites were obtained from the ISI Web of Science, Scopus, and PubMed databases.

Measurement of gene amplifications related to drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum using droplet digital PCR

March 3, 2021 - 15:47 -- Open Access
Suttipat Srisutham, Kanokon Suwannasin, Rungniran Sugaram, Arjen M. Dondorp and Mallika Imwong
Malaria Journal 2021 20:120, 28 February 2021

Copy number variations (CNVs) of the Plasmodium falciparum multidrug resistance 1 (pfmdr1), P. falciparum plasmepsin2 (pfplasmepsin2) and P. falciparum GTP cyclohydrolase 1 (pfgch1) genes are associated with anti-malarial drug resistance in P. falciparum malaria. Droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) assays have been developed for accurate assessment of CNVs in several human genes. The aim of the present study was to develop and validate ddPCR assays for detection of the CNVs of P. falciparum genes associated with resistance to anti-malarial drugs.

Diversity of KIR genes and their HLA-C ligands in Ugandan populations with historically varied malaria transmission intensity

March 3, 2021 - 15:24 -- Open Access
Stephen Tukwasibwe, James A. Traherne, Annettee Nakimuli, et al.
Malaria Journal 2021 20:111, 25 February 2021

Malaria is one of the most serious infectious diseases in the world. The malaria burden is greatly affected by human immunity, and immune responses vary between populations. Genetic diversity in KIR and HLA-C genes, which are important in immunity to infectious diseases, is likely to play a role in this heterogeneity. Several studies have shown that KIR and HLA-C genes influence the immune response to viral infections, but few studies have examined the role of KIR and HLA-C in malaria infection, and these have used low-resolution genotyping. The aim of this study was to determine whether genetic variation in KIR and their HLA-C ligands differ in Ugandan populations with historically varied malaria transmission intensity using more comprehensive genotyping approaches.

NOT Open Access | Comparison of polymerase chain reaction, microscopy, and rapid diagnostic test in malaria detection in a high burden state (Odisha) of India

March 2, 2021 - 15:10 -- NOT Open Access
Ahmad A, Soni P, Kumar L, Singh MP, Verma AK, Sharma A, Das A, Bharti PK
Pathog Glob Health. 2021 Feb 26:1-6

Precise identification of Plasmodium species is critical in malaria control and elimination. Despite several shortcomings, microscopy and rapid diagnostic test (RDT) continue to be the leading diagnostic methods. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the most sensitive method but its dependency on advanced laboratory and skilled workers limits its use.

Development of a new barcode-based, multiplex-PCR, next-generation-sequencing assay and data processing and analytical pipeline for multiplicity of infection detection of Plasmodium falciparum

February 17, 2021 - 08:58 -- Open Access
Rebecca M. Mitchell, Zhiyong Zhou, Ya Ping Shi, et al.
Malaria Journal 2021 20:92, 16 February 2021

Simultaneous infection with multiple malaria parasite strains is common in high transmission areas. Quantifying the number of strains per host, or the multiplicity of infection (MOI), provides additional parasite indices for assessing transmission levels but it is challenging to measure accurately with current tools. This paper presents new laboratory and analytical methods for estimating the MOI of Plasmodium falciparum.

NOT Open Access | Novel genotyping approaches to easily detect genomic admixture between the major Afrotropical malaria vector species, Anopheles coluzzii and An. gambiae

February 16, 2021 - 15:44 -- NOT Open Access
Caputo B, Pichler V, Bottà G, De Marco C, Hubbart C, Perugini E, Pinto J, Rockett KA, Miles A, Della Torre A
Mol Ecol Resour. 2021 Feb 15

The two most efficient and most recently radiated Afrotropical vectors of human malaria - Anopheles coluzzii and An. gambiae - are identified by single-locus diagnostic PCR assays based on species-specific markers in a 4 Mb region on chromosome-X centromere. Inherently, these diagnostic assays cannot detect interspecific autosomal admixture shown to be extensive at the westernmost and easternmost extremes of the species range.

NOT Open Access | Co-infections of Plasmodium relictum lineages pSGS1 and pGRW04 are readily distinguishable by broadly used PCR-based protocols, with remarks on global distribution of these malaria parasites

February 16, 2021 - 15:40 -- NOT Open Access
Chagas CRF, Harl J, Valkiūnas G
Acta Trop. 2021 Feb 12:105860

Plasmodium relictum is the most common generalist avian malaria parasite, which was reported in over 300 bird species of different orders, particularly often in passerines. This malaria infection is often severe in non-accustomed avian hosts. Currently, five distinct cytochrome b gene lineages have been assigned to P. relictum, with the lineages pSGS1 and pGRW04 being the most common.

Direct Comparison of Standard and Ultrasensitive PCR for the Detection of Plasmodium falciparum from Dried Blood Spots in Bagamoyo, Tanzania

February 9, 2021 - 10:35 -- Open Access
Markwalter CF, Ngasala B, Mowatt T, Basham C, Park Z, Loya M, Muller M, Plowe C, Nyunt M, Lin JT
Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2021 Feb 8:tpmd201233

Ultrasensitive PCR used in low-transmission malaria-endemic settings has revealed a much higher burden of asymptomatic infections than that detected by rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) or standard PCR, but there is limited evidence as to whether this is the case in higher transmission settings.

Spatial and temporal village-level prevalence of Plasmodium infection and associated risk factors in two districts of Meghalaya, India

February 8, 2021 - 10:48 -- Open Access
Anne Kessler, Badondor Shylla, Sandra Albert, et al.
Malaria Journal 2021 20:70, 4 February 2021

Despite declining incidence over the past decade, malaria remains an important health burden in India. This study aimed to assess the village-level temporal patterns of Plasmodium infection in two districts of the north-eastern state of Meghalaya and evaluate risk factors that might explain these patterns.

NOT Open Access | Comparison of capillary versus venous blood for the diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum malaria using rapid diagnostic tests

January 31, 2021 - 15:45 -- NOT Open Access
Gorret AM, Muhindo R, Baguma E, Ntaro M, Mulogo EM, Deutsch-Feldman M, Juliano JJ, Nyehangane D, Boyce RM
J Infect Dis. 2021 Jan 27:jiab032

We enrolled 250 febrile children in western Uganda to compare the results of malaria rapid diagnostic tests when using capillary versus venous blood. Participants were tested with four different RDT types. PCR testing was performed as the reference standard. Sensitivity and specificity were broadly similar across RDT types and sampling method.


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