METHODS: A total of 70 blood samples were collected from Macaca fascicularis dwelling in the forest of Hulu Selangor by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. DNA was extracted using PureLink™ Genomic DNA Kits. Conventional and nested PCR were used to detect the genus and species of Plasmodium parasites respectively. In addition, phylogenetic analysis was carried out to confirm the species of Plasmodium parasites.
RESULTS: Thirty-five (50 %) of the 70 samples were positive for Plasmodium using genus-specific primers. These positive samples were then subjected to nested PCR targeting the 18S ribosomal RNA genes to detect all five simian malaria parasites: namely, P. knowlesi, Plasmodium inui, Plasmodium cynomolgi, Plasmodium fieldi, and Plasmodium coatneyi. All five species of simian malaria parasites were detected. Of these, P. inui was the predominant (65.7 %), followed by P. knowlesi (60 %), P. cynomolgi (51.4 %) P. coatneyi (45.7 %) and P. fieldi (2.9 %). A total of nine macaques had mono-infection with P. knowlesi (four), P. cynomolgi (two), P. coatneyi (two) and P. fieldi (one). Eleven of the macaques had dual infections while 12 had triple infections. Three macaques were infected with four species of Plasmodium. Molecular and phylogenetic analysis confirmed the five species of Plasmodium parasites.
CONCLUSION: This study has provided evidence to elucidate the presence of transmission of malaria parasites among the local macaques in Hulu Selangor. Since malaria is a zoonosis, it is important to determine the new control strategies for the control of malaria.
METHODS: Blood was drawn from patients infected with P. falciparum in seven sentinel provinces along Thai international borders with Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, and Malaysia. In vitro parasite sensitivity was tested using the World Health Organization's microtest (mark III) (between 1994 and 2002) and the histidine-rich protein-2 (HRP2)-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (in 2010). Following World Health Organization protocol, at least 30 isolates were collected for each province and year represented in this study. Where possible, t-tests were used to test for significant differences.
RESULTS: There appears to be little variation across study sites with regard to parasite sensitivity to chloroquine. Quinine resistance appears to have been rising prior to 1997, but has subsequently decreased. Mefloquine sensitivity appears high across the provinces, especially along the north-western border with Myanmar and the eastern border with Cambodia. Finally, the data suggest that parasite sensitivity to artemisinin and its derivatives is significantly higher in provinces along the north-western border with Myanmar.
CONCLUSIONS: Parasite sensitivity to anti-malarials in Thailand is highly variable over time and largely mirrors official drug use policy. The findings with regard to reduced sensitivity to artemisinin derivatives are supported by recent reports of reduced parasite clearance associated with artemisinin. This trend is alarming since artemisinin is considered the last defence against malaria. Continued surveillance in Thailand, along with increased collaboration and surveillance across the entire Greater Mekong sub-region, is clearly warranted.