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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Asymptomatic malaria infections: detectability, transmissibility and public health relevance.
Nat. Rev. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 10-20-2014
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Most Plasmodium falciparum infections that are detected in community surveys are characterized by low-density parasitaemia and the absence of clinical symptoms. Molecular diagnostics have shown that this asymptomatic parasitic reservoir is more widespread than previously thought, even in low-endemic areas. In this Opinion article, we describe the detectability of asymptomatic malaria infections and the relevance of submicroscopic infections for parasite transmission to mosquitoes and for community interventions that aim at reducing transmission. We argue that wider deployment of molecular diagnostic tools is needed to provide adequate insight into the epidemiology of malaria and infection dynamics to aid elimination efforts.
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Comparison of detection methods to estimate asexual Plasmodium falciparum parasite prevalence and gametocyte carriage in a community survey in Tanzania.
Malar. J.
PUBLISHED: 09-16-2014
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The use of molecular techniques to detect malaria parasites has been advocated to improve the accuracy of parasite prevalence estimates, especially in moderate to low endemic settings. Molecular work is time-consuming and costly, thus the effective gains of this technique need to be carefully evaluated. Light microscopy (LM) and rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) are commonly used to detect malaria infection in resource constrained areas, but their limited sensitivity results in underestimation of the proportion of people infected with Plasmodium falciparum. This study aimed to evaluate the extent of missed infections via a community survey in Tanzania, using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect P. falciparum parasites and gametocytes. Methods: Three hundred and thirty individuals of all ages from the Kilombero and Ulanga districts (Tanzania) were enrolled in a cross-sectional survey. Finger prick blood samples were collected for parasite detection by RDT, LM and molecular diagnosis using quantitative 18S rRNA PCR and msp2 nPCR. Gametocytes were detected by LM and by amplifying transcripts of the gametocyte-specific marker pfs25. Results: Results from all three diagnostic methods were available for a subset of 226 individuals. Prevalence of P. falciparum was 38% (86/226; 95% CI 31.9-44.4%) by qPCR, 15.9% (36/226; 95% CI 11.1-20.7%) by RDT and 5.8% (13/226; 95% CI 2.69- 8.81%) by LM. qPCR was positive for 72% (26/36) of the RDT-positive samples. Gametocyte prevalence was 10.6% (24/226) by pfs25-qRT-PCR and 1.2% by LM. Conclusions: LM showed the poorest performance, detecting only 15% of P. falciparum parasite carriers identified by PCR. Thus, LM is not a sufficiently accurate technique from which to inform policies and malaria control or elimination efforts. The diagnostic performance of RDT was superior to that of LM. However, it is also insufficient when precise prevalence data are needed for monitoring intervention success or for determining point prevalence rates in countrywide surveillance. Detection of gametocytes by PCR was 10-times more sensitive than by LM. These findings support the need for molecular techniques to accurately estimate the human infectious reservoir and hence the transmission potential in a population.
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Novel genotyping tools for investigating transmission dynamics of Plasmodium falciparum.
J. Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 04-25-2014
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Differentiation between gametocyte-producing Plasmodium falciparum clones depends on both high levels of stage-specific transcripts and high genetic diversity of the selected genotyping marker obtained by a high-resolution typing method. By analyzing consecutive samples of one host, the contribution of each infecting clone to transmission and the dynamics of gametocyte production in multiclone infections can be studied.
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Development of a simple microarray for genotyping HIV-1 drug resistance mutations in the reverse transcriptase gene in rural Tanzania.
Trop. Med. Int. Health
PUBLISHED: 03-21-2014
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Aiming at a simple, inexpensive and robust tool for HIV-1 drug resistance genotyping during antiretroviral therapy (ART) we developed and validated a microarray-based detection of 25 drug resistance mutations most relevant for the Tanzanian ART regimen.
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Heterochromatin protein 1 secures survival and transmission of malaria parasites.
Cell Host Microbe
PUBLISHED: 01-26-2014
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Clonally variant expression of surface antigens allows the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum to evade immune recognition during blood stage infection and secure malaria transmission. We demonstrate that heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1), an evolutionary conserved regulator of heritable gene silencing, controls expression of numerous P. falciparum virulence genes as well as differentiation into the sexual forms that transmit to mosquitoes. Conditional depletion of P. falciparum HP1 (PfHP1) prevents mitotic proliferation of blood stage parasites and disrupts mutually exclusive expression and antigenic variation of the major virulence factor PfEMP1. Additionally, PfHP1-dependent regulation of PfAP2-G, a transcription factor required for gametocyte conversion, controls the switch from asexual proliferation to sexual differentiation, providing insight into the epigenetic mechanisms underlying gametocyte commitment. These findings show that PfHP1 is centrally involved in clonally variant gene expression and sexual differentiation in P. falciparum and have major implications for developing antidisease and transmission-blocking interventions against malaria.
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Evaluation of four single-locus markers for Leishmania species discrimination by sequencing.
J. Clin. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 01-22-2014
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Several genetic markers have been described for discriminating Leishmania species. In most reported cases, one or a few polymorphisms are the basis of species identification, and the methods were validated on a limited number of strains from a particular geographical region. Therefore, most techniques may underestimate the global intraspecies variability and are applicable only in certain areas. In addition, interlaboratory standardization is mostly absent, complicating comparisons among different studies. Here, we compared species typing results from all sequence polymorphisms found in four popular markers that can be applied directly on clinical samples: the miniexon or spliced leader, the internal transcribed spacer of the ribosomal DNA array, the 7SL RNA gene, and the heat shock protein 70 gene. Clustering was evaluated among 74 Leishmania strains, selected to represent a wide geographic distribution and genetic variability of the medically relevant species of the genus. Results were compared with a multilocus sequence typing (MLST) approach using 7 single-copy household genes and with multilocus enzyme electrophoresis (MLEE), still considered the gold standard by some. We show that strain groupings are highly congruent across the four different single-locus markers, MLST, and MLEE. Overall, the heat shock protein 70 gene and the miniexon presented the best resolutions for separating medically relevant species. As gene sequence analysis is validated here on a global scale, it is advocated as the method of choice for use in genetic, clinical, and epidemiological studies and for managing patients with unknown origins of infection, especially in Western infectious disease clinics dealing with imported leishmaniasis.
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Antigenicity and immunogenicity of a novel Plasmodium vivax circumsporozoite derived synthetic vaccine construct.
Vaccine
PUBLISHED: 01-20-2014
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The circumsporozoite (CS) protein is a major malaria sporozoite surface antigen currently being considered as vaccine candidate. Plasmodium vivax CS (PvCS) protein comprises a dimorphic central repeat fragment flanked by conserved regions that contain functional domains involved in parasite invasion of host cells. The protein amino (N-terminal) flank has a cleavage region (region I), essential for proteolytic processing prior to parasite invasion of liver cells.
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Plasmodium vivax antigen discovery based on alpha-helical coiled coil protein motif.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Protein ?-helical coiled coil structures that elicit antibody responses, which block critical functions of medically important microorganisms, represent a means for vaccine development. By using bioinformatics algorithms, a total of 50 antigens with ?-helical coiled coil motifs orthologous to Plasmodium falciparum were identified in the P. vivax genome. The peptides identified in silico were chemically synthesized; circular dichroism studies indicated partial or high ?-helical content. Antigenicity was evaluated using human sera samples from malaria-endemic areas of Colombia and Papua New Guinea. Eight of these fragments were selected and used to assess immunogenicity in BALB/c mice. ELISA assays indicated strong reactivity of serum samples from individuals residing in malaria-endemic regions and sera of immunized mice, with the ?-helical coiled coil structures. In addition, ex vivo production of IFN-? by murine mononuclear cells confirmed the immunogenicity of these structures and the presence of T-cell epitopes in the peptide sequences. Moreover, sera of mice immunized with four of the eight antigens recognized native proteins on blood-stage P. vivax parasites, and antigenic cross-reactivity with three of the peptides was observed when reacted with both the P. falciparum orthologous fragments and whole parasites. Results here point to the ?-helical coiled coil peptides as possible P. vivax malaria vaccine candidates as were observed for P. falciparum. Fragments selected here warrant further study in humans and non-human primate models to assess their protective efficacy as single components or assembled as hybrid linear epitopes.
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Naturally acquired immune responses to P. vivax merozoite surface protein 3? and merozoite surface protein 9 are associated with reduced risk of P. vivax malaria in young Papua New Guinean children.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis
PUBLISHED: 11-01-2013
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Plasmodium vivax is the most geographically widespread human malaria parasite. Cohort studies in Papua New Guinea have identified a rapid onset of immunity against vivax-malaria in children living in highly endemic areas. Although numerous P. vivax merozoite antigens are targets of naturally acquired antibodies, the role of many of these antibodies in protective immunity is yet unknown.
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A high force of plasmodium vivax blood-stage infection drives the rapid acquisition of immunity in papua new guinean children.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis
PUBLISHED: 09-01-2013
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When both parasite species are co-endemic, Plasmodium vivax incidence peaks in younger children compared to P. falciparum. To identify differences in the number of blood stage infections of these species and its potential link to acquisition of immunity, we have estimated the molecular force of blood-stage infection of P. vivax ((mol)FOB, i.e. the number of genetically distinct blood-stage infections over time), and compared it to previously reported values for P. falciparum.
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Prevalence of drug resistance mutations and HIV type 1 subtypes in an HIV type 1-infected cohort in rural Tanzania.
AIDS Res. Hum. Retroviruses
PUBLISHED: 06-29-2013
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The development of resistance mutations in drug-targeted HIV-1 genes compromises the success of antiretroviral therapy (ART) programs. Genotyping of these mutations enables adjusted therapeutic decisions both at the individual and population level. We investigated over time the prevalence of HIV-1 primary drug resistance mutations in treatment-naive patients and described the HIV-1 subtype distribution in a cohort in rural Tanzania at the beginning of the ART rollout in 2005-2007 and later in 2009. Viral RNA was analyzed in 387 baseline plasma samples from treatment-naive patients over a period of 5 years. The reverse transcriptase (RT) and protease genes were reversely transcribed, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplified, and directly sequenced to identify HIV-1 subtypes and single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with drug resistance (DR-SNPs). The prevalence of major DR-SNPs in 2005-2007 in the RT gene was determined: K103N (5.0%), Y181C (2.5%), M184V (2.5%), and G190A (1.7%), and M41L, K65KR, K70KR, and L74LV (0.8%). In samples from 2009 only K103N (3.3%), M184V, and T215FY (0.8%) were detected. Initial frequencies of subtypes C, A, D, and recombinants were 43%, 32%, 18%, and 7%, respectively. Later similar frequencies were found except for the recombinants, which were found twice as often (15%), highlighting the subtype diversity and a relatively stable subtype frequency in the area. DR-SNPs were found at initiation of the cohort despite very low previous ART use in the area. Statistically, frequencies of major mutations did not change significantly over the studied 5-year interval. These mutations could reflect primary resistances and may indicate a possible risk for treatment failure.
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Rosetting in Plasmodium vivax: a cytoadhesion phenotype associated with anaemia.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis
PUBLISHED: 04-01-2013
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Plasmodium vivax can potentially lead to life-threatening episodes but the mechanisms underlying severe disease remain poorly defined. Cytoadhesion of infected erythrocytes may contribute to P. vivax sequestration and organ injury although its physiological impact is still unknown. Here, we aimed to describe clinically-relevant cytoadhesive phenotypes of P. vivax isolates.
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Antigenicity and immunogenicity of a novel chimeric peptide antigen based on the P. vivax circumsporozoite protein.
Vaccine
PUBLISHED: 02-11-2013
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Plasmodium vivax circumsporozoite (PvCS) protein is a major sporozoite surface antigen involved in parasite invasion of hepatocytes and is currently being considered as vaccine candidate. PvCS contains a dimorphic central repetitive fragment flanked by conserved regions that contain functional domains.
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Strategies for detection of Plasmodium species gametocytes.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Carriage and density of gametocytes, the transmission stages of malaria parasites, are determined for predicting the infectiousness of humans to mosquitoes. This measure is used for evaluating interventions that aim at reducing malaria transmission. Gametocytes need to be detected by amplification of stage-specific transcripts, which requires RNA-preserving blood sampling. For simultaneous, highly sensitive quantification of both, blood stages and gametocytes, we have compared and optimized different strategies for field and laboratory procedures in a cross sectional survey in 315 5-9 yr old children from Papua New Guinea. qRT-PCR was performed for gametocyte markers pfs25 and pvs25, Plasmodium species prevalence was determined by targeting both, 18S rRNA genes and transcripts. RNA-based parasite detection resulted in a P. falciparum positivity of 24.1%; of these 40.8% carried gametocytes. P. vivax positivity was 38.4%, with 38.0% of these carrying gametocytes. Sensitivity of DNA-based parasite detection was substantially lower with 14.1% for P. falciparum and 19.6% for P. vivax. Using the lower DNA-based prevalence of asexual stages as a denominator increased the percentage of gametocyte-positive infections to 59.1% for P. falciparum and 52.4% for P. vivax. For studies requiring highly sensitive and simultaneous quantification of sexual and asexual parasite stages, 18S rRNA transcript-based detection saves efforts and costs. RNA-based positivity is considerably higher than other methods. On the other hand, DNA-based parasite quantification is robust and permits comparison with other globally generated molecular prevalence data. Molecular monitoring of low density asexual and sexual parasitaemia will support the evaluation of effects of up-scaled antimalarial intervention programs and can also inform about small scale spatial variability in transmission intensity.
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A Large Plasmodium vivax Reservoir and Little Population Structure in the South Pacific.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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The importance of Plasmodium vivax in malaria elimination is increasingly being recognized, yet little is known about its population size and population genetic structure in the South Pacific, an area that is the focus of intensified malaria control.
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Multiplicity and diversity of Plasmodium vivax infections in a highly endemic region in Papua New Guinea.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis
PUBLISHED: 07-19-2011
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Plasmodium vivax is highly endemic in the lowlands of Papua New Guinea and accounts for a large proportion of the malaria cases in children less than 5 years of age. We collected 2117 blood samples at 2-monthly intervals from a cohort of 268 children aged 1 to 4.5 years and estimated the diversity and multiplicity of P. vivax infection. All P. vivax clones were genotyped using the merozoite surface protein 1 F3 fragment (msp1F3) and the microsatellite MS16 as molecular markers. High diversity was observed with msp1F3 (H(E) = 88.1%) and MS16 (H(E) = 97.8%). Of the 1162 P. vivax positive samples, 74% harbored multi-clone infections with a mean multiplicity of 2.7 (IQR = 1-3). The multiplicity of P. vivax infection increased slightly with age (P = 0.02), with the strongest increase in very young children. Intensified efforts to control malaria can benefit from knowledge of the diversity and MOI both for assessing the endemic situation and monitoring the effects of interventions.
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Plasmodium falciparum msp1, msp2 and glurp allele frequency and diversity in sub-Saharan Africa.
Malar. J.
PUBLISHED: 04-06-2011
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The efficacy of anti-malarial drugs is assessed over a period of 28-63 days (depending on the drugs residence time) following initiation of treatment in order to capture late failures. However, prolonged follow-up increases the likelihood of new infections depending on transmission intensity. Therefore, molecular genotyping of highly polymorphic regions of Plasmodium falciparum msp1, msp2 and glurp loci is usually carried out to distinguish recrudescence (true failures) from new infections. This tool has now been adopted as an integral part of anti-malarial efficacy studies and clinical trials. However, there are concerns over its utility and reliability because conclusions drawn from molecular typing depend on the genetic profile of the respective parasite populations, but this profile is not systematically documented in most endemic areas. This study presents the genetic diversity of P. falciparum msp1, msp2 and glurp markers in selected sub-Saharan Africa countries with varying levels of endemicity namely Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Burkina Faso and São Tomé.
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Malaria vaccine candidate: design of a multivalent subunit ?-helical coiled coil poly-epitope.
Vaccine
PUBLISHED: 03-30-2011
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A new strategy for the rapid identification of new malaria antigens based on protein structural motifs was previously described. We identified and evaluated the malaria vaccine potential of fragments of several malaria antigens containing ?-helical coiled coil protein motifs. By taking advantage of the relatively short size of these structural fragments, we constructed different poly-epitopes in which 3 or 4 of these segments were joined together via a non-immunogenic linker. Only peptides that are targets of human antibodies with anti-parasite in vitro biological activities were incorporated. One of the constructs, P181, was well recognized by sera and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of adults living in malaria-endemic areas. Affinity purified antigen-specific human antibodies and sera from P181-immunized mice recognised native proteins on malaria-infected erythrocytes in both immunofluorescence and western blot assays. In addition, specific antibodies inhibited parasite development in an antibody dependent cellular inhibition (ADCI) assay. Naturally induced antigen-specific human antibodies were at high titers and associated with clinical protection from malaria in longitudinal follow-up studies in Senegal.
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How much remains undetected? Probability of molecular detection of human Plasmodia in the field.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 03-21-2011
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In malaria endemic areas, most people are simultaneously infected with different parasite clones. Detection of individual clones is hampered when their densities fluctuate around the detection limit and, in case of P. falciparum, by sequestration during part of their life cycle. This has important implications for measures of levels of infection or for the outcome of clinical trials. This study aimed at measuring the detectability of individual P. falciparum and P. vivax parasite clones in consecutive samples of the same patient and at investigating the impact of sampling strategies on basic epidemiological measures such as multiplicity of infection (MOI).
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The distribution of Plasmodium falciparum infection durations.
Epidemics
PUBLISHED: 03-07-2011
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The duration of untreated Plasmodium falciparum infections in naturally exposed human populations is of interest for rational planning of malaria control interventions as it is related to the duration of infectivity. The extent of variability in duration is relevant where transmission is seasonal, and for the planning of elimination efforts. Methods for measuring these quantities from genotyping data have been restricted to exponential models of infection survival, as implied by constant clearance rates. Such models have greatly improved the understanding of infection dynamics on a population level but likely misrepresent the within-host dynamics of many pathogens. Conversely, the statistical properties of the distribution of infection durations, and how these are affected by exposure, should contain information on within-host dynamics.
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Comparison of diagnostic methods for the detection and quantification of the four sympatric Plasmodium species in field samples from Papua New Guinea.
Malar. J.
PUBLISHED: 09-14-2010
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Accurate diagnosis of Plasmodium infections is essential for malaria morbidity and mortality reduction in tropical areas. Despite great advantages of light microscopy (LM) for malaria diagnosis, its limited sensitivity is a critical shortfall for epidemiological studies. Robust molecular diagnostics tools are thus needed.
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Serodiagnosis of Echinococcus spp. infection: explorative selection of diagnostic antigens by peptide microarray.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis
PUBLISHED: 06-22-2010
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Production of native antigens for serodiagnosis of helminthic infections is laborious and hampered by batch-to-batch variation. For serodiagnosis of echinococcosis, especially cystic disease, most screening tests rely on crude or purified Echinococcus granulosus hydatid cyst fluid. To resolve limitations associated with native antigens in serological tests, the use of standardized and highly pure antigens produced by chemical synthesis offers considerable advantages, provided appropriate diagnostic sensitivity and specificity is achieved.
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Monitoring of malaria parasite resistance to chloroquine and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine in the Solomon Islands by DNA microarray technology.
Malar. J.
PUBLISHED: 06-10-2010
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Little information is available on resistance to anti-malarial drugs in the Solomon Islands (SI). The analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in drug resistance associated parasite genes is a potential alternative to classical time- and resource-consuming in vivo studies to monitor drug resistance. Mutations in pfmdr1 and pfcrt were shown to indicate chloroquine (CQ) resistance, mutations in pfdhfr and pfdhps indicate sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) resistance, and mutations in pfATPase6 indicate resistance to artemisinin derivatives.
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Detectability of Plasmodium falciparum clones.
Malar. J.
PUBLISHED: 05-24-2010
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In areas of high transmission people often harbour multiple clones of Plasmodium falciparum, but even PCR-based diagnostic methods can only detect a fraction (the detectability, q) of all clones present in a host. Accurate measurements of detectability are desirable since it affects estimates of multiplicity of infection, prevalence, and frequency of breakthrough infections in clinical drug trials. Detectability can be estimated by typing repeated samples from the same host but it has been unclear what should be the time interval between the samples and how the data should be analysed.
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Treatment with coartem (artemether-lumefantrine) in Papua New Guinea.
Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg.
PUBLISHED: 03-30-2010
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A recent drug efficacy trial reported Coartem (artemether-lumefantrine) to be highly effective against Plasmodium falciparum in children less than 5 years of age in Papua New Guinea (PNG). In contrast, we have observed high levels of treatment failures in non-trial conditions in a longitudinal cohort study in the same age group in PNG. Recrudescences were confirmed by genotyping of three different marker genes to provide optimal discrimination power between parasite clones. After excluding genetic host factors by genotyping potentially relevant cytochrome P450 loci, the high number of treatment failures in our study is best explained by poor adherence to complex dosing regimens in combination with insufficient fat supplementation, which are both crucial parameters for the outcome of Coartem treatment. In contrast to the situation in classic drug trials with ideal treatment conditions, our field survey highlights potential problems with unsupervised usage of Coartem in routine clinical practice and under program conditions.
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Differential patterns of infection and disease with P. falciparum and P. vivax in young Papua New Guinean children.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 02-04-2010
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Where P. vivax and P. falciparum occur in the same population, the peak burden of P. vivax infection and illness is often concentrated in younger age groups. Experiences from malaria therapy patients indicate that immunity is acquired faster to P. vivax than to P. falciparum challenge. There is however little prospective data on the comparative risk of infection and disease from both species in young children living in co-endemic areas.
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Quantifying the evolution and impact of antimalarial drug resistance: drug use, spread of resistance, and drug failure over a 12-year period in Papua New Guinea.
J. Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 01-06-2010
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BACKGROUND. Antimalarial use is a key factor driving drug resistance and reduced treatment effectiveness in Plasmodium falciparum malaria, but there are few formal, quantitative analyses of this process. METHODS. We analyzed drug usage, drug failure rates, and the frequencies of mutations and haplotypes known to be associated with drug resistance over a 12-year period (1991-2002) in a site in Papua New Guinea. This period included 2 successive treatment policies: amodiaquine (AQ) or chloroquine (CQ) from 1991 through 2000 and their subsequent replacement by sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) plus AQ or SP plus CQ. RESULTS. Drug use approximated 1 treatment per person-year and was associated with increasing frequencies of pfcrt and pfmdr1 mutations and of treatment failure. The frequency of pfdhfr mutations also increased, especially after the change in treatment policy. Treatment failure rates multiplied by 3.5 between 1996 and 2000 but then decreased dramatically after treatment policy change. CONCLUSIONS. With high levels of resistance to CQ, AQ, and SP, the deployment of the combination of both drugs appears to increase clinical effectiveness but does not decelerate growth of resistance. Our estimates of mutation and haplotype frequencies provide estimates of selection coefficients acting in this environment, which are key parameters for understanding the dynamics of resistance.
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Comparison of Plasmodium falciparum allelic frequency distribution in different endemic settings by high-resolution genotyping.
Malar. J.
PUBLISHED: 07-03-2009
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The diversity of genotyping markers of Plasmodium falciparum depends on transmission intensity. It has been reported that the diversity of the merozoite surface protein 2 (msp2) is greater in areas of high compared to low endemicity, however, results for msp1 were inconsistent. These previous reports relied on low resolution genotyping techniques.
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Sequence conservation in Plasmodium falciparum alpha-helical coiled coil domains proposed for vaccine development.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 03-31-2009
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The availability of the P. falciparum genome has led to novel ways to identify potential vaccine candidates. A new approach for antigen discovery based on the bioinformatic selection of heptad repeat motifs corresponding to alpha-helical coiled coil structures yielded promising results. To elucidate the question about the relationship between the coiled coil motifs and their sequence conservation, we have assessed the extent of polymorphism in putative alpha-helical coiled coil domains in culture strains, in natural populations and in the single nucleotide polymorphism data available at PlasmoDB.
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Molecular approaches to diversity of populations of apicomplexan parasites.
Int. J. Parasitol.
PUBLISHED: 03-25-2009
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Apicomplexan parasites include many parasites of importance either for livestock or as causative agents of human diseases. The importance of these parasites has been recognised by the European Commission and resulted in support of the COST (Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action 857 Apicomplexan Biology in the Post-Genomic Era. In this review we discuss the current understanding in Biodiversity and Population Genetics of the major apicomplexan parasites, namely the Eimeria spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, Theileria spp. and Plasmodium spp. During the past decade molecular tools for characterizing and monitoring parasite populations have been firmly established as an integral part of field studies and intervention trials. Analyses have been conducted for most apicomplexan pathogens to describe the extent of genetic diversity, infection dynamics or population structure. The underlying key question for all parasites is to understand how genetic diversity influences epidemiology and pathogenicity and its implication in therapeutic and vaccination strategies as well as disease control. Similarities in the basic biology and disease or transmission patterns among this order of parasites promote multifaceted discussions and comparison of epidemiological approaches and methodological tools. This fosters mutual learning and has the potential for cross-fertilisation of ideas and technical approaches.
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The N-terminal domain of Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein represents a target of protective immunity.
Vaccine
PUBLISHED: 03-18-2009
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The N-terminal domain of the circumsporozoite protein (CSP) has been largely neglected in the search for a malaria vaccine in spite of being a target of inhibitory antibodies and protective T cell responses in mice. Thus, in order to develop this region as a vaccine candidate to be eventually associated with other candidates and, in particular, with the very advanced C-terminal counterpart, synthetic constructs representing N- and C-terminal regions of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium berghei CSP were administered as single or combined formulations in mice. We show that the antisera generated against the combinations inhibit sporozoite invasion of hepatocytes in vitro better than antisera against single peptides. Furthermore, two different P. falciparum CSP N-terminal constructs (PfCS22-110 and PfCS65-110) were recognized by serum samples from people living in malaria-endemic regions. Importantly, recognition of the short N-terminal peptide (PfCS65-110) by sera from children living in a malaria-endemic region was associated with protection from disease. Taken together, these results underline the potential of using such fragments as malaria vaccine candidates.
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Evaluation of Plasmodium vivax genotyping markers for molecular monitoring in clinical trials.
J. Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 03-12-2009
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Many antimalarial interventions are accompanied by molecular monitoring of parasite infections, and a number of molecular typing techniques based on different polymorphic marker genes are used. Here, we describe a genotyping technique that provides a fast and precise approach to study Plasmodium vivax infection dynamics during circumstances in which individual clones must be followed over time. The method was tested with samples from an in vivo drug efficacy study.
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PCR Diagnosis of Opisthorchis viverrini and Haplorchis taichui Infections in a Lao Community in an area of endemicity and comparison of diagnostic methods for parasitological field surveys.
J. Clin. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 03-11-2009
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Opisthorchiasis is a major public health problem in Southeast Asia. Affected individuals often have mixed infections with the liver fluke Opisthorchis viverrini and minute intestinal flukes such as Haplorchis taichui. The usual methods of diagnosing these infections involve the demonstration of fluke eggs in stool samples under light microscopy, but sensitivity and specificity are low. We developed two PCR tests that detect and discriminate between O. viverrini and H. taichui infections. PCR tests were validated by stool samples from purged individuals. We then applied the PCR tests to estimate the prevalence of O. viverrini and H. taichui infections from a random sample of individuals selected from a community in an area of endemicity in Khong District, Laos. PCR results were compared with those from the Kato-Katz (KK) method and the formalin-ether concentration technique (FECT). When validated with purge results, PCR tests of O. viverrini and H. taichui had sensitivities of 93.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 85.8 to 97.9%) and 73.3% (95% CI, 60.3 to 83.9%) and could detect as little as 0.75 pg DNA and 1.32 ng DNA, respectively. The PCR-determined community prevalences of O. viverrini and H. taichui infections were 63.9% (95% CI, 54.1 to 72.9%) and 30.6% (95% CI, 22.1 to 40.2%), respectively. Using PCR as the gold standard to detect O. viverrini, three KK thick smears performed comparably well, whereas one KK smear and FECT were poorer (sensitivities of 91.4% [95% CI, 81.0 to 97.1%,], 62.3% [95% CI, 49.8 to 73.7%], and 49.3% [95% CI, 37.0 to 61.6%], respectively). PCR may be a valuable and sensitive diagnostic tool, particularly for low-intensity O. viverrini and H. taichui infections.
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Evaluation of two long synthetic merozoite surface protein 2 peptides as malaria vaccine candidates.
Vaccine
PUBLISHED: 02-16-2009
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Merozoite surface protein 2 (MSP2) is a promising vaccine candidate against Plasmodium falciparum blood stages. A recombinant 3D7 form of MSP2 was a subunit of Combination B, a blood stage vaccine tested in the field in Papua New Guinea. A selective effect in favour of the allelic family not represented by the vaccine argued for a MSP2 vaccine consisting of both dimorphic variants. An alternative approach to recombinant manufacture of vaccines is the production of long synthetic peptides (LSP). LSP exceeding a length of well over 100 amino acids can now be routinely synthesized. Synthetic production of vaccine antigens cuts the often time-consuming steps of protein expression and purification short. This considerably reduces the time for a candidate to reach the phase of clinical trials. Here we present the evaluation of two long synthetic peptides representing both allelic families of MSP2 as potential vaccine candidates. The constructs were well recognized by human immune sera from different locations and different age groups. Furthermore, peptide-specific antibodies in human immune sera were associated with protection from clinical malaria. The synthetic fragments share major antigenic properties with native MSP2. Immunization of mice with these antigens yielded high titre antibody responses and monoclonal antibodies recognized parasite-derived MSP2. Our results justify taking these candidate poly-peptides into further vaccine development.
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Optimization and validation of multi-coloured capillary electrophoresis for genotyping of Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface proteins (msp1 and 2).
Malar. J.
PUBLISHED: 01-08-2009
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Genotyping of Plasmodium falciparum based on PCR amplification of the polymorphic genes encoding the merozoite surface proteins 1 and 2 (msp1 and msp2) is well established in the field of malaria research to determine the number and types of concurrent clones in an infection. Genotyping is regarded essential in anti-malarial drug trials to define treatment outcome, by distinguishing recrudescent parasites from new infections. Because of the limitations in specificity and resolution of gel electrophoresis used for fragment analysis in most genotyping assays it became necessary to improve the methodology. An alternative technique for fragment analysis is capillary electrophoresis (CE) performed using automated DNA sequencers. Here, one of the most widely-used protocols for genotyping of P. falciparum msp1 and msp2 has been adapted to the CE technique. The protocol and optimization process as well as the potentials and limitations of the technique in molecular epidemiology studies and anti-malarial drug trials are reported.
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Cell biological characterization of the malaria vaccine candidate trophozoite exported protein 1.
PLoS ONE
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In a genome-wide screen for alpha-helical coiled coil motifs aiming at structurally defined vaccine candidates we identified PFF0165c. This protein is exported in the trophozoite stage and was named accordingly Trophozoite exported protein 1 (Tex1). In an extensive preclinical evaluation of its coiled coil peptides Tex1 was identified as promising novel malaria vaccine candidate providing the rational for a comprehensive cell biological characterization of Tex1. Antibodies generated against an intrinsically unstructured N-terminal region of Tex1 and against a coiled coil domain were used to investigate cytological localization, solubility and expression profile. Co-localization experiments revealed that Tex1 is exported across the parasitophorous vacuole membrane and located to Maurers clefts. Change in location is accompanied by a change in solubility: from a soluble state within the parasite to a membrane-associated state after export to Maurers clefts. No classical export motifs such as PEXEL, signal sequence/anchor or transmembrane domain was identified for Tex1.
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Placental infection with Plasmodium vivax: a histopathological and molecular study.
J. Infect. Dis.
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Evidence of the presence of Plasmodium vivax in the placenta is scarce and inconclusive. This information is relevant to understanding whether P. vivax affects placental function and how it may contribute to poor pregnancy outcomes.
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The dynamics of natural Plasmodium falciparum infections.
PLoS ONE
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Natural immunity to Plasmodium falciparum has been widely studied, but its effects on parasite dynamics are poorly understood. Acquisition and clearance rates of untreated infections are key elements of the dynamics of malaria, but estimating these parameters is challenging because of frequent super-infection and imperfect detectability of parasites. Consequently, information on effects of host immune status or age on infection dynamics is fragmentary.
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Estimating the numbers of malaria infections in blood samples using high-resolution genotyping data.
PLoS ONE
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People living in endemic areas often habour several malaria infections at once. High-resolution genotyping can distinguish between infections by detecting the presence of different alleles at a polymorphic locus. However the number of infections may not be accurately counted since parasites from multiple infections may carry the same allele. We use simulation to determine the circumstances under which the number of observed genotypes are likely to be substantially less than the number of infections present and investigate the performance of two methods for estimating the numbers of infections from high-resolution genotyping data. The simulations suggest that the problem is not substantial in most datasets: the disparity between the mean numbers of infections and of observed genotypes was small when there was 20 or more alleles, 20 or more blood samples, a mean number of infections of 6 or less and where the frequency of the most common allele was no greater than 20%. The issue of multiple infections carrying the same allele is unlikely to be a major component of the errors in PCR-based genotyping. Simulations also showed that, with heterogeneity in allele frequencies, the observed frequencies are not a good approximation of the true allele frequencies. The first method that we proposed to estimate the numbers of infections assumes that they are a good approximation and hence did poorly in the presence of heterogeneity. In contrast, the second method by Li et al estimates both the numbers of infections and the true allele frequencies simultaneously and produced accurate estimates of the mean number of infections.
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Force of infection is key to understanding the epidemiology of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Papua New Guinean children.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
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Genotyping Plasmodium falciparum parasites in longitudinal studies provides a robust approach to estimating force of infection (FOI) in the presence of superinfections. The molecular parameter (mol)FOI, defined as the number of new P. falciparum clones acquired over time, describes basic malaria epidemiology and is suitable for measuring outcomes of interventions. This study was designed to test whether (mol)FOI influenced the risk of clinical malaria episodes and how far (mol)FOI reflected environmental determinants of transmission, such as seasonality and small-scale geographical variation or effects of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs). Two hundred sixty-four children 1-3 y of age from Papua New Guinea were followed over 16 mo. Individual parasite clones were tracked longitudinally by genotyping. On average, children acquired 5.9 (SD 9.6) new P. falciparum infections per child per y. (mol)FOI showed a pronounced seasonality, was strongly reduced in children using ITNs (incidence rate ratio, 0.49; 95% confidence interval, [0.38, 0.61]), increased with age, and significantly varied within villages (P = 0.001). The acquisition of new parasite clones was the major factor determining the risk of clinical illness (incidence rate ratio, 2.12; 95% confidence interval, [1.93, 2.31]). Adjusting for individual differences in (mol)FOI completely explained spatial variation, age trends, and the effect of ITN use. This study highlights the suitability of (mol)FOI as a measure of individual exposure and its central role in malaria epidemiology. It has substantial advantages over entomological measures in studies of transmission patterns, and could be used in analyses of host variation in susceptibility, in field efficacy trials of novel interventions or vaccines, and for evaluating intervention effects.
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What is Visualize?

JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.

How does it work?

We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.

Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...

In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.