The world's scientific and social network for malaria professionals
Subscribe to free Newsletter | 10646 malaria professionals are enjoying the free benefits of MalariaWorld today

Importance of Serology in Plasmodium vivax Infection

November 4, 2020 - 01:31 -- Miles Markus

Attention has been drawn to the use of serology for revealing subclinical Plasmodium vivax malaria that can lead to ongoing transmission of the disease in human communities if parasite carriers are not treated [1].

Depending on its timing, serology can reflect the likely presence in the body of the largest (and newly recognized) putative P. vivax recurrence source; which must certainly be the source of many short-term recurrences, rather than all of these having a hypnozoite [2] origin. This non-hypnozoite source is non-circulating merozoites, such as in the bone marrow [3–5], something that will become clearer when further parasitological information which is in the pipeline is published in the near future. In addition to attacking the vast non-circulating merozoite reservoir, however, it is also important that the very small number (in comparison) of hypnozoites be cleared from the liver [1].

Hypnozoites and liver schizonts are eliminated by primaquine (and tafenoquine) [6,7], the success of which treatment in relation to effective drug dosage is greatly and mysteriously enhanced by concomitant administration of chloroquine [7]. For mode-of-action reasons [8], primaquine probably kills extra-hepatic, non-circulating P. vivax merozoites as well (analogous to its anti-gametocyte activity). However, the extent to which it does so and in what sites [8], especially when used in combination with chloroquine, is currently unclear.

This needs to be investigated somehow. The (directly proven) answer is relevant to the question of what proportion of recurrences of P. vivax malaria [9] are relapses and how many are recrudescences.

 

REFERENCES

1. Longley, R.J. et al. 2020. Development and validation of serological markers for detecting recent Plasmodium vivax infection. Nat. Med. 26: 741–49.

2. Markus, M.B. 2011. Malaria: origin of the term "hypnozoite". J. Hist. Biol. 44: 781–86.

3. Markus, M.B. 2017. Malaria eradication and the hidden parasite reservoir. Trends Parasitol. 33: 492–95.

4. Obaldia, N. 3rd et al. 2018. Bone marrow is a major parasite reservoir in Plasmodium vivax infection. mBio 9: e00625-18.  

5. Brito, M.A.M. et al. 2020. Morphological and transcriptional changes in human bone marrow during natural Plasmodium vivax malaria infections. J. Infect. Dis. (in press).

6. Commons, R.J. et al. 2020. Estimating the proportion of Plasmodium vivax recurrences caused by relapse: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 103: 1094–99.

7. Dembélé, L. et al. 2020. Chloroquine potentiates primaquine activity against active and latent hepatic plasmodia ex vivo: potentials and pitfalls. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. (in press).  

8. Markus, M.B. 2019. Killing of Plasmodium vivax by primaquine and tafenoquine. Trends Parasitol 35: 857–59.

9. Markus, M.B. 2018. Biological concepts in recurrent Plasmodium vivax malaria. Parasitology 145: 1765–71.

Comments