The circumsporozoite protein (CSP) of the Plasmodium vivax infective sporozoite is considered to be a major target for the development of recombinant malaria vaccines. The Duffy blood group molecule acts as the red blood cell receptor for P. vivax. We review the frequency of P. vivax CSP variants and report their association with the Duffy blood group genotypes from Brazilian Amazon patients carrying P. vivax malaria. Peripheral blood samples were collected from 155 P. vivax-infected individuals from five Brazilian malaria-endemic areas. The P. vivax CSP variants and the Duffy blood group genotypes were assessed using PCR/RFLP. In single infections, the VK210 variant was the commonest followed by the P. vivax-like variant. The typing of P. vivax indicated that the frequency of variants among the study areas was significantly different from one to another. This is the first detection of the VK247 and P. vivax-like variant in single infections in endemic areas of Brazil. Association of the CSP P. vivax variants with the heterozygous Duffy blood group system genotype was significant for VK210 single infection. These observations provide additional data on the Plasmodium-host interactions concerning the Duffy blood group and P. vivax capability of causing human malaria.
Few genetic markers have been described to analyze populations of Plasmodium vivax. The genetic variability of P. vivax has been analyzed mainly among isolates taken from areas ranging from hyper- to holoendemic areas. These studies of genetic variability have neglected many areas with different epidemiologic profiles. The purpose of this study was to analyze the genetic variability of P. vivax isolates from four different Brazilian Amazon areas. We chose to study the five most polymorphic tandem repeats (TRs) identified so far. All TRs studied were polymorphic in at least one studied population, with a modal allele at nearly all loci. Expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.462 to 0.666 and did not correlate with the repeat array length. The genetic distances among the populations varied from 0.027 to 0.241, and did not correlate with their geographic separation. Tandem repeats identified in P. vivax isolates failed to allow geographic clustering.
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