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Cui L.,Pennsylvania State University | Cui L.,Chongqing Normal University | Yan G.,University of California at Irvine | Yan G.,Chongqing Normal University | And 18 more authors.
Acta Tropica | Year: 2012

The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), comprised of six countries including Cambodia, China's Yunnan Province, Lao PDR, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand and Vietnam, is one of the most threatening foci of malaria. Since the initiation of the WHO's Mekong Malaria Program a decade ago, malaria situation in the GMS has greatly improved, reflected in the continuous decline in annual malaria incidence and deaths. However, as many nations are moving towards malaria elimination, the GMS nations still face great challenges. Malaria epidemiology in this region exhibits enormous geographical heterogeneity with Myanmar and Cambodia remaining high-burden countries. Within each country, malaria distribution is also patchy, exemplified by 'border malaria' and 'forest malaria' with high transmission occurring along international borders and in forests or forest fringes, respectively. 'Border malaria' is extremely difficult to monitor, and frequent malaria introductions by migratory human populations constitute a major threat to neighboring, malaria-eliminating countries. Therefore, coordination between neighboring countries is essential for malaria elimination from the entire region. In addition to these operational difficulties, malaria control in the GMS also encounters several technological challenges. Contemporary malaria control measures rely heavily on effective chemotherapy and insecticide control of vector mosquitoes. However, the spread of multidrug resistance and potential emergence of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum make resistance management a high priority in the GMS. This situation is further worsened by the circulation of counterfeit and substandard artemisinin-related drugs. In most endemic areas of the GMS, P. falciparum and Plasmodium vivax coexist, and in recent malaria control history, P. vivax has demonstrated remarkable resilience to control measures. Deployment of the only registered drug (primaquine) for the radical cure of vivax malaria is severely undermined due to high prevalence of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency in target human populations. In the GMS, the dramatically different ecologies, diverse vector systems, and insecticide resistance render traditional mosquito control less efficient. Here we attempt to review the changing malaria epidemiology in the GMS, analyze the vector systems and patterns of malaria transmission, and identify the major challenges the malaria control community faces on its way to malaria elimination. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

Li P.,Dalian Institute of Biotechnology | Zhao Z.,Dalian Institute of Biotechnology | Wang Y.,Chongqing Medical University | Xing H.,Dalian University of Technology | And 10 more authors.
Malaria Journal | Year: 2014

Background: Nested PCR is considered a sensitive and specific method for detecting malaria parasites and is especially useful in epidemiological surveys. However, the preparation of DNA templates for PCR is often time-consuming and costly. Methods. A simplified PCR method was developed to directly use a small blood filter paper square (2 × 2 mm) as the DNA template after treatment with saponin. This filter paper-based nested PCR method (FP-PCR) was compared to microscopy and standard nested PCR with DNA extracted by using a Qiagen DNA mini kit from filter paper blood spots of 204 febrile cases. The FP-PCR technique was further applied to evaluate malaria infections in 1,708 participants from cross-sectional epidemiological surveys conducted in Myanmar and Thailand. Results: The FP-PCR method had a detection limit of ∼0.2 parasites/μL blood, estimated using cultured Plasmodium falciparum parasites. With 204 field samples, the sensitivity of the FP-PCR method was comparable to that of the standard nested PCR method, which was significantly higher than that of microscopy. Application of the FP-PCR method in large cross-sectional studies conducted in Myanmar and Thailand detected 1.9% (12/638) and 6.2% (66/1,070) asymptomatic Plasmodium infections, respectively, as compared to the detection rates of 1.3% (8/638) and 0.04% (4/1,070) by microscopy. Conclusion: This FP-PCR method was much more sensitive than microscopy in detecting Plasmodium infections. It drastically increased the detection sensitivity of asymptomatic infections in cross-sectional surveys conducted in Thailand and Myanmar, suggesting that this FP-PCR method has a potential for future applications in malaria epidemiology studies. © 2014 Li et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Yuan L.,Kunming Medical University | Zhao H.,Kunming Medical University | Wu L.,Kunming Medical University | Li X.,Kunming Medical University | And 9 more authors.
Acta Tropica | Year: 2013

Levels of genetic diversity of the malaria parasites and multiclonal infections are correlated with transmission intensity. In order to monitor the effect of strengthened malaria control efforts in recent years at the China-Myanmar border area, we followed the temporal dynamics of genetic diversity of three polymorphic antigenic markers msp1, msp2, and glurp in the Plasmodium falciparum populations. Despite reduced malaria prevalence in the region, parasite populations exhibited high levels of genetic diversity. Genotyping 258 clinical samples collected in four years detected a total of 22 PCR size alleles. Multiclonal infections were detected in 45.7% of the patient samples, giving a minimum multiplicity of infection of 1.41. The majority of alleles experienced significant temporal fluctuations through the years. Haplotype diversity based on the three-locus genotypes ranged from the lowest in 2009 at 0.33 to the highest in 2010 at 0.80. Sequencing of msp1 fragments from 36 random samples of five allele size groups detected 13 different sequences, revealing an additional layer of genetic complexity. This study suggests that despite reduced prevalence of malaria infections in this region, the parasite population size and transmission intensity remained high enough to allow effective genetic recombination of the parasites and continued maintenance of genetic diversity. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

Yuan L.,Kunming Medical University | Yuan L.,Pennsylvania State University | Wang Y.,Chongqing Medical University | Parker D.M.,Pennsylvania State University | And 12 more authors.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy | Year: 2015

Chloroquine-primaquine (CQ-PQ) continues to be the frontline therapy for radical cure of Plasmodium vivax malaria. Emergence of CQ-resistant (CQR) P. vivax parasites requires a shift to artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs), which imposes a significant financial, logistical, and safety burden. Monitoring the therapeutic efficacy of CQ is thus important. Here, we evaluated the therapeutic efficacy of CQ-PQ for P. vivax malaria in northeast Myanmar. We recruited 587 patients with P. vivax monoinfection attending local malaria clinics during 2012 to 2013. These patients received three daily doses of CQ at a total dose of 24 mg of base/kg of body weight and an 8-day PQ treatment (0.375 mg/kg/day) commencing at the same time as the first CQ dose. Of the 401 patients who finished the 28-day follow-up, the cumulative incidence of recurrent parasitemia was 5.20% (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.04% to 7.36%). Among 361 (61%) patients finishing a 42-day follow-up, the cumulative incidence of recurrent blood-stage infection reached 7.98% (95% CI, 5.20% to 10.76%). The cumulative risk of gametocyte carriage at days 28 and 42 was 2.21% (95% CI, 0.78% to 3.64%) and 3.93% (95% CI, 1.94% to 5.92%), respectively. Interestingly, for all 15 patients with recurrent gametocytemia, this was associated with concurrent asexual stages. Genotyping of recurrent parasites at the merozoite surface protein 3α gene locus from 12 patients with recurrent parasitemia within 28 days revealed that 10 of these were the same genotype as at day 0, suggesting recrudescence or relapse. Similar studies in 70 patients in the same area in 2007 showed no recurrent parasitemias within 28 days. The sensitivity to chloroquine of P. vivax in northeastern Myanmar may be deteriorating. © 2015 American Society for Microbiology.All Rights Reserved. Source

Yan J.,Liaoning Medical University | Li N.,Kunming Medical University | Wei X.,Liaoning Medical University | Li P.,Dalian Institute of Biotechnology | And 13 more authors.
Malaria Journal | Year: 2013

Background: Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) have become an essential tool in the contemporary malaria control and management programmes in the world. This study aims to evaluate the performance of two commonly used RDTs for malaria diagnosis in the China-Myanmar border area. Methods. A total 606 febrile patients in the China-Myanmar border were recruited to this study and were diagnosed for malaria infections by microscopy, two RDTs tests (Pf/Pan device, and Pv/Pf device) and nested PCR. Results: Malaria parasites were found in 143 patients by microscopy, of which 51, 73, and 19 were Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum/P. vivax mixed infections, respectively. Compared to microscopy, the sensitivity of the Pf/Pan device was 88.6% for P. falciparum and 69.9% for P. vivax with the specificity of 90.4%. For a subset of 350 patients, the sensitivity of the Pf/Pan device and Pv/Pf device for detection of P. falciparum was 87.5% and 91.7%, respectively; and for detection of P. vivax was 72.0% and 73.8%, respectively. The specificity of the Pf/Pan device and Pv/Pf device was 94.3% and 96.5%, respectively. Nested PCR detected malaria parasites in 174 of 606 samples, of which 67, 79, two and 26 were P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale and P. falciparum/P. vivax mixed infections, respectively. Compared to nested PCR, all other methods had sensitivity below 80%, suggesting that a significant number of cases were missed. Conclusions: Compared to PCR, both microscopy and RDTs had lower sensitivities. RDTs had similar performance to microscopy for P. falciparum diagnosis, but performed worse for P. vivax diagnosis. Other RDT products should be selected with higher sensitivity (and good specificity) for both P. falciparum and P. vivax diagnosis. © 2013 Yan et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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