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RESEARCH ARTICLE
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Pretreatment gametocyte carriage in symptomatic patients with Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax infections on the Thai-Myanmar border


1 Division of Parasitology, Department of Preclinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine; Center of Excellence in Molecular Biology and Pharmacology of Malaria and Cholangiocarcinoma, Thammasat University, Pathumthani, Thailand
2 Faculty of Medical Technology, Rangsit University, Pathumthani, Thailand
3 Center of Excellence in Molecular Biology and Pharmacology of Malaria and Cholangiocarcinoma; Graduate Studies, Chulabhorn International College of Medicine, Thammasat University, Pathumthani, Thailand
4 Center of Excellence in Molecular Biology and Pharmacology of Malaria and Cholangiocarcinoma, Pathumthani, Thailand; Drug Discovery and Development Center, Office of Advanced Science and Technology, Thammasat University, Thailand
5 Center of Excellence in Molecular Biology and Pharmacology of Malaria and Cholangiocarcinoma; Graduate Studies, Chulabhorn International College of Medicine, Pathumthani, Thailand; Drug Discovery and Development Center, Office of Advanced Science and Technology, Thammasat University, Thailand

Correspondence Address:
Kesara Na-Bangchang,
Graduate Studies, Chulabhorn International College of Medicine, Thammasat University, Pathumthani
Thailand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.316274

Background & objectives: Changes in parasite biology, particularly the gametocytogenesis process, could be one of the important contributing factors for worldwide malaria resurgence. The present study investigated the prevalence rates of pretreatment gametocyte carriage and density in Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax infections in the low malaria-endemic area on the Thai-Myanmar border. Methods: One hundred and twenty-six blood samples were collected from patients with signs and symptoms of malaria who attended malaria clinics. Malaria positive cases detected by microscopic examination were confirmed by species-specific nested-PCR in 97 (29 and 68 samples for P. falciparum and P. vivax, respectively). Results: The proportion of P. vivax and P. falciparum-infected samples was 70.1: 29.9%. The density in P. falciparum positive samples [median (95%CI): 10,340 (5280—19,200) μ/l] was significantly higher than P. vivax positive samples [4508 (3240—6120) μ/l]. Sixteen out of twenty-nine (55.2%) and 36 out of 68 (52.9%) P. falciparum- and P. vivax-infected samples, respectively, were gametocyte-positive. Gametocyte density in the P. falciparum-infected [124 (69—253) /μl] was significantly higher than that of the P. vivax-infected [54 (45—70)/μl] samples. A significant correlation between gametocyte density and pretreatment parasitemia was only detected in P. falciparum-infected, but not P. vivax-infected samples. Interpretation & conclusion: The observed high prevalence rates of pretreatment gametocyte carriage of both malaria species, which serves as a large malaria reservoir, particularly in P. falciparum infection, could have a significant impact on malaria control in the endemic populations.


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    -  Kitvatanachai S
    -  Tarasuk M
    -  Muhamad P
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