Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 67 in total

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  1. Loh JP, Gao QH, Lee VJ, Tetteh K, Drakeley C
    Singapore Med J, 2016 Dec;57(12):686-689.
    PMID: 26805667 DOI: 10.11622/smedj.2016016
    INTRODUCTION: Although there have been several phylogenetic studies on Plasmodium knowlesi (P. knowlesi), only cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COX1) gene analysis has shown some geographical differentiation between the isolates of different countries.

    METHODS: Phylogenetic analysis of locally acquired P. knowlesi infections, based on circumsporozoite, small subunit ribosomal ribonucleic acid (SSU rRNA), merozoite surface protein 1 and COX1 gene targets, was performed. The results were compared with the published sequences of regional isolates from Malaysia and Thailand.

    RESULTS: Phylogenetic analysis of the circumsporozoite, SSU rRNA and merozoite surface protein 1 gene sequences for regional P. knowlesi isolates showed no obvious differentiation that could be attributed to their geographical origin. However, COX1 gene analysis showed that it was possible to differentiate between Singapore-acquired P. knowlesi infections and P. knowlesi infections from Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia.

    CONCLUSION: The ability to differentiate between locally acquired P. knowlesi infections and imported P. knowlesi infections has important utility for the monitoring of P. knowlesi malaria control programmes in Singapore.

    Matched MeSH terms: Plasmodium knowlesi/genetics*
  2. Assefa S, Lim C, Preston MD, Duffy CW, Nair MB, Adroub SA, et al.
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 2015 Oct 20;112(42):13027-32.
    PMID: 26438871 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1509534112
    Malaria cases caused by the zoonotic parasite Plasmodium knowlesi are being increasingly reported throughout Southeast Asia and in travelers returning from the region. To test for evidence of signatures of selection or unusual population structure in this parasite, we surveyed genome sequence diversity in 48 clinical isolates recently sampled from Malaysian Borneo and in five lines maintained in laboratory rhesus macaques after isolation in the 1960s from Peninsular Malaysia and the Philippines. Overall genomewide nucleotide diversity (π = 6.03 × 10(-3)) was much higher than has been seen in worldwide samples of either of the major endemic malaria parasite species Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. A remarkable substructure is revealed within P. knowlesi, consisting of two major sympatric clusters of the clinical isolates and a third cluster comprising the laboratory isolates. There was deep differentiation between the two clusters of clinical isolates [mean genomewide fixation index (FST) = 0.21, with 9,293 SNPs having fixed differences of FST = 1.0]. This differentiation showed marked heterogeneity across the genome, with mean FST values of different chromosomes ranging from 0.08 to 0.34 and with further significant variation across regions within several chromosomes. Analysis of the largest cluster (cluster 1, 38 isolates) indicated long-term population growth, with negatively skewed allele frequency distributions (genomewide average Tajima's D = -1.35). Against this background there was evidence of balancing selection on particular genes, including the circumsporozoite protein (csp) gene, which had the top Tajima's D value (1.57), and scans of haplotype homozygosity implicate several genomic regions as being under recent positive selection.
    Matched MeSH terms: Plasmodium knowlesi/genetics*
  3. Fong MY, Rashdi SA, Yusof R, Lau YL
    Malar. J., 2015;14:91.
    PMID: 25890095 DOI: 10.1186/s12936-015-0610-x
    Plasmodium knowlesi is one of the monkey malaria parasites that can cause human malaria. The Duffy binding protein of P. knowlesi (PkDBPαII) is essential for the parasite's invasion into human and monkey erythrocytes. A previous study on P. knowlesi clinical isolates from Peninsular Malaysia reported high level of genetic diversity in the PkDBPαII. Furthermore, 36 amino acid haplotypes were identified and these haplotypes could be separated into allele group I and allele group II. In the present study, the PkDBPαII of clinical isolates from the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah in North Borneo was investigated, and compared with the PkDBPαII of Peninsular Malaysia isolates.
    Matched MeSH terms: Plasmodium knowlesi/genetics*
  4. Lai MY, Ooi CH, Lau YL
    Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 2018 03;98(3):700-703.
    PMID: 29260656 DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.17-0738
    The aim of this study was to develop a recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) combined with a lateral flow (LF) strip method for specific diagnosis of Plasmodium knowlesi. With incubation at 37°C, the 18S rRNA gene of P. knowlesi was successfully amplified within 12 minutes. By adding a specifically designed probe to the reaction solution, the amplified RPA product can be visualized on a LF strip. The RPA assay exhibited high sensitivity with limits of detection down to 10 parasites/μL of P. knowlesi. Nonetheless, it was demonstrated that all P. knowlesi (N = 41) and other Plasmodium sp. (N = 25) were positive while negative samples (N = 8) were negative. Therefore, a combination of RPA and LF strip detection is a highly promising approach with the potential to be suitable for use in resource-limited settings.
    Matched MeSH terms: Plasmodium knowlesi/genetics
  5. Ahmed MA, Lau YL, Quan FS
    Malar. J., 2018 Jul 27;17(1):274.
    PMID: 30053885 DOI: 10.1186/s12936-018-2423-1
    BACKGROUND: Plasmodium knowlesi a parasite of the macaques is currently the most common cause of human malaria in Malaysia. The thrombospondin-related adhesive protein (TRAP) gene is pre-erythrocytic stage antigen. It is a well-characterized vaccine candidate in Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum, however, no study has been done in the orthologous gene of P. knowlesi. This study investigates nucleotide diversity, haplotypes, natural selection and population differentiation of full-length pktrap genes in clinical samples from Malaysia.

    METHODS: Forty full-length pktrap sequences from clinical isolates of Malaysia along with the reference H-strain were downloaded from published databases. Genetic diversity, polymorphism, haplotype and natural selection were determined using DnaSP 5.10 software. McDonald-Kreitman test was conducted using P. vivax and Plasmodium coatneyi as ortholog sequence in DnaSP 5.10 software. Population genetic differentiation index (FST) of parasite populations was determined using Arlequin v3.5. Phylogenetic relationships between trap ortholog genes were determined using MEGA 5.0 software.

    RESULTS: Comparison of 40 full-length pktrap sequences along with the H-strain identified 74 SNPs (53 non-synonymous and 21 synonymous substitutions) resulting in 29 haplotypes. Analysis of the full-length gene showed that the nucleotide diversity was lower compared to its nearest ortholog pvtrap. Domain-wise analysis indicated that the proline/asparagine rich region had higher nucleotide diversity compared to the von Willebrand factor domain and the thrombospondin-type-1 domain. McDonald-Kreitman test identified that the ratio of the number of nonsynonymous to synonymous polymorphic sites within P. knowlesi was significantly higher than that of the number of nonsynonymous to synonymous fixed sites between P. knowlesi and P. vivax. The von Willebrand factor domain also indicated balancing selection using MK test, however, it did not give significant results when tested with P. coatneyi as an outgroup. Phylogenetic analysis of full-length genes identified three distinct sub-clusters of P. knowlesi, one originating from Peninsular Malaysia and two originating from Malaysian Borneo. High population differentiation values was observed within samples from Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo.

    CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first to report on the genetic diversity and natural selection of full-length pktrap. Low level of genetic diversity was found across the full-length gene of pktrap. Balancing selection of the von Willebrand factor domain indicated that TRAP could be a target in inducing immune response against P. knowlesi infections. However, higher number of samples would be necessary to further confirm the findings.

    Matched MeSH terms: Plasmodium knowlesi/genetics*
  6. Saleh Huddin A, Md Yusuf N, Razak MRMA, Ogu Salim N, Hisam S
    Infect. Genet. Evol., 2019 11;75:103952.
    PMID: 31279818 DOI: 10.1016/j.meegid.2019.103952
    It has been discovered that Plasmodium knowlesi (P. knowlesi) is transmitted from macaque to man. Thus, the aim of the present study was to determine P. knowlesi genetic diversity in both human (n = 147) and long-tailed macaque (n = 26) samples from high- and low-endemicity localities. Genotyping was performed using seven neutral microsatellite loci markers. The size of the alleles, multiplicity of infection (MOI), mean number of alleles (Na), expected heterozygosity (HE), linkage disequilibrium (LD), and genetic differentiation (FST) were determined. In highly endemic P. knowlesi localities, the MOI for human and long-tailed macaque isolates was 1.04 and 1.15, respectively, while the Na was 11.14 and 7.86, respectively. Based on the allele frequency distribution for all loci, and with FST knowlesi endemicity, the MOI for human and long-tailed macaque isolates was 1.05 and 1.11, respectively, while the Na was 6.14 and 2.71, respectively. Further molecular analysis of the allele frequencies indicated that there was a significant genetic differentiation in human P. knowlesi isolates as compared to long-tailed macaque isolates, with a very low fixation index (FST = 0.016, p knowlesi of a single genotype, while long-tailed macaque tend to acquire polyclonal infections, which supports the assumption that there is a higher rate of transmission among long-tailed macaque. Understanding the genetic diversity of P. knowlesi isolates can provide invaluable information for characterising patterns of the population structure and the migration rate of P. knowlesi in peninsular Malaysia.
    Matched MeSH terms: Plasmodium knowlesi/genetics*
  7. Moon RW, Sharaf H, Hastings CH, Ho YS, Nair MB, Rchiad Z, et al.
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 2016 06 28;113(26):7231-6.
    PMID: 27303038 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1522469113
    The dominant cause of malaria in Malaysia is now Plasmodium knowlesi, a zoonotic parasite of cynomolgus macaque monkeys found throughout South East Asia. Comparative genomic analysis of parasites adapted to in vitro growth in either cynomolgus or human RBCs identified a genomic deletion that includes the gene encoding normocyte-binding protein Xa (NBPXa) in parasites growing in cynomolgus RBCs but not in human RBCs. Experimental deletion of the NBPXa gene in parasites adapted to growth in human RBCs (which retain the ability to grow in cynomolgus RBCs) restricted them to cynomolgus RBCs, demonstrating that this gene is selectively required for parasite multiplication and growth in human RBCs. NBPXa-null parasites could bind to human RBCs, but invasion of these cells was severely impaired. Therefore, NBPXa is identified as a key mediator of P. knowlesi human infection and may be a target for vaccine development against this emerging pathogen.
    Matched MeSH terms: Plasmodium knowlesi/genetics*
  8. Lau YL, Cheong FW, Chin LC, Mahmud R, Chen Y, Fong MY
    Trop Biomed, 2014 Dec;31(4):749-59.
    PMID: 25776601 MyJurnal
    Malaria causes high global mortality and morbidity annually. Plasmodium knowlesi has been recognised as the fifth human Plasmodium sp. and its infection is widely distributed in Southeast Asia. Merozoite surface protein-119 (MSP-119) appears as a potential candidate for malaria blood stage vaccine as it could induce protective immunity. In this study, codon optimized P. knowlesi MSP-119 (pkMSP-119) was expressed and purified in yeast Pichia pastoris expression system. The purified recombinant protein was further evaluated using Western blot assay using knowlesi malaria, non-knowlesi human malaria, non-malarial parasitic infections and healthy serum samples (n = 50). The sensitivity of purified pkMSP-119 towards detection of knowlesi infection was as 28.6% (2/7). pkMSP-119 did not react with all non-malarial parasitic infections and healthy donor sera, yet reacted with some non-knowlesi human malaria sera, therefore lead to a specificity of 86.0% (37/43).
    Matched MeSH terms: Plasmodium knowlesi/genetics*
  9. Fong MY, Wong SS, Silva JR, Lau YL
    Acta Trop., 2015 Dec;152:145-150.
    PMID: 26384455 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.09.009
    The simian malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi is now recognized as a species that can cause human malaria. The first report of large scale human knowlesi malaria was in 2004 in Malaysia Borneo. Since then, hundreds of human knowlesi malaria cases have been reported in Southeast Asia. The present study investigates the genetic polymorphism of P. knowlesi DI domain of the apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA-1), a protein considered as a promising vaccine candidate for malaria. The DI domain of AMA-1 gene of P. knowlesi clinical isolates from Peninsular Malaysia was amplified by PCR, cloned into Escherichia coli, then sequenced and analysed. Ninety-seven DI domain sequences were obtained. Comparison at the nucleotide level against P. knowlesi strain H as reference sequence showed 21 synonymous and 25 nonsynonymous mutations. Nonetheless, nucleotide sequence analysis revealed low genetic diversity of the DI domain, and it was under purifying (negative) selection. At the amino acid level, 26 different haplotypes were identified and 2 were predominant haplotypes (H1, H2) with high frequencies. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the 26 haplotypes could be clustered into 2 distinct groups (I and II). Members of the groups were basically derived from haplotypes H1 and H2, respectively.
    Matched MeSH terms: Plasmodium knowlesi/genetics*
  10. Fong MY, Lau YL, Chang PY, Anthony CN
    Parasit Vectors, 2014;7:161.
    PMID: 24693997 DOI: 10.1186/1756-3305-7-161
    The monkey malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi is now recognized as the fifth species of Plasmodium that can cause human malaria. Like the region II of the Duffy binding protein of P. vivax (PvDBPII), the region II of the P. knowlesi Duffy binding protein (PkDBPαII) plays an essential role in the parasite's invasion into the host's erythrocyte. Numerous polymorphism studies have been carried out on PvDBPII, but none has been reported on PkDBPαII. In this study, the genetic diversity, haplotyes and allele groups of PkDBPαII of P. knowlesi clinical isolates from Peninsular Malaysia were investigated.
    Matched MeSH terms: Plasmodium knowlesi/genetics
  11. Chua CY, Lee PC, Lau TY
    J. Genet., 2017 Sep;96(4):653-663.
    PMID: 28947714
    The apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA-1) of Plasmodium spp. is a merozoite surface antigen that is essential for the recognition and invasion of erythrocytes. Polymorphisms occurring in this surface antigen will cause major obstacles in developing effective malaria vaccines based on AMA-1. The objective of this study was to characterize ama1 gene in Plasmodium knowlesi isolates from Sabah. DNA was extracted from blood samples collected from Keningau, Kota Kinabalu and Kudat. The Pkama1 gene was amplified using nested PCR and subjected to bidirectional sequencing. Analysis of DNA sequence revealed that most of the nucleotide polymorphisms were synonymous and concentrated in domain I of PkAMA-1. Forteen haplotypes were identified based on amino acid variations and haplotype K5 was the most common haplotype. dN/dS ratios implied that purifying selection was prevalent in Pkama1 gene. Fu and Li's D and F values further provided evidence of negative selection acting on domain II of Pkama1. Lownucleotide diversitywas also detected for the Pkama1 sequences,which is similar to reports on Pkama1 from Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak. The presence of purifying selection and low nucleotide diversity indicated that domain II of Pkama1 can be used as a target for vaccine development.
    Matched MeSH terms: Plasmodium knowlesi/genetics*
  12. De Silva JR, Lau YL, Fong MY
    Parasit Vectors, 2017 01 03;10(1):2.
    PMID: 28049516 DOI: 10.1186/s13071-016-1935-1
    BACKGROUND: The simian malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi has been reported to cause significant numbers of human infection in South East Asia. Its merozoite surface protein-3 (MSP3) is a protein that belongs to a multi-gene family of proteins first found in Plasmodium falciparum. Several studies have evaluated the potential of P. falciparum MSP3 as a potential vaccine candidate. However, to date no detailed studies have been carried out on P. knowlesi MSP3 gene (pkmsp3). The present study investigates the genetic diversity, and haplotypes groups of pkmsp3 in P. knowlesi clinical samples from Peninsular Malaysia.

    METHODS: Blood samples were collected from P. knowlesi malaria patients within a period of 4 years (2008-2012). The pkmsp3 gene of the isolates was amplified via PCR, and subsequently cloned and sequenced. The full length pkmsp3 sequence was divided into Domain A and Domain B. Natural selection, genetic diversity, and haplotypes of pkmsp3 were analysed using MEGA6 and DnaSP ver. 5.10.00 programmes.

    RESULTS: From 23 samples, 48 pkmsp3 sequences were successfully obtained. At the nucleotide level, 101 synonymous and 238 non-synonymous mutations were observed. Tests of neutrality were not significant for the full length, Domain A or Domain B sequences. However, the dN/dS ratio of Domain B indicates purifying selection for this domain. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequences revealed 42 different haplotypes. Neighbour Joining phylogenetic tree and haplotype network analyses revealed that the haplotypes clustered into two distinct groups.

    CONCLUSIONS: A moderate level of genetic diversity was observed in the pkmsp3 and only the C-terminal region (Domain B) appeared to be under purifying selection. The separation of the pkmsp3 into two haplotype groups provides further evidence of the existence of two distinct P. knowlesi types or lineages. Future studies should investigate the diversity of pkmsp3 among P. knowlesi isolates in North Borneo, where large numbers of human knowlesi malaria infection still occur.

    Matched MeSH terms: Plasmodium knowlesi/genetics*
  13. Divis PC, Shokoples SE, Singh B, Yanow SK
    Malar. J., 2010 Nov 30;9:344.
    PMID: 21114872 DOI: 10.1186/1475-2875-9-344
    BACKGROUND: The misdiagnosis of Plasmodium knowlesi by microscopy has prompted a re-evaluation of the geographic distribution, prevalence and pathogenesis of this species using molecular diagnostic tools. In this report, a specific probe for P. knowlesi, that can be used in a previously described TaqMan real-time PCR assay for detection of Plasmodium spp., and Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium ovale, was designed and validated against clinical samples.

    METHODS: A hydrolysis probe for a real-time PCR assay was designed to recognize a specific DNA sequence within the P. knowlesi small subunit ribosomal RNA gene. The sensitivity, linearity and specificity of the assay were determined using plasmids containing P. knowlesi DNA and genomic DNA of P. falciparum, P. knowlesi, P. malariae, P. ovale and P. vivax isolated from clinical samples. DNA samples of the simian malaria parasites Plasmodium cynomolgi and Plasmodium inui that can infect humans under experimental conditions were also examined together with human DNA samples.

    RESULTS: Analytical sensitivity of the P. knowlesi-specific assay was 10 copies/μL and quantitation was linear over a range of 10-106 copies. The sensitivity of the assay is equivalent to nested PCR and P. knowlesi DNA was detected from all 40 clinical P. knowlesi specimens, including one from a patient with a parasitaemia of three parasites/μL of blood. No cross-reactivity was observed with 67 Plasmodium DNA samples (31 P. falciparum, 23 P. vivax, six P. ovale, three P. malariae, one P. malariae/P. ovale, one P. falciparum/P. malariae, one P. inui and one P. cynomolgi) and four samples of human DNA.

    CONCLUSIONS: This test demonstrated excellent sensitivity and specificity, and adds P. knowlesi to the repertoire of Plasmodium targets for the clinical diagnosis of malaria by real-time PCR assays. Furthermore, quantitation of DNA copy number provides a useful advantage over other molecular assays to investigate the correlation between levels of infection and the spectrum of disease.

    Matched MeSH terms: Plasmodium knowlesi/genetics
  14. Ta TT, Salas A, Ali-Tammam M, Martínez Mdel C, Lanza M, Arroyo E, et al.
    Malar. J., 2010;9:219.
    PMID: 20663184 DOI: 10.1186/1475-2875-9-219
    Previously, Plasmodium knowlesi was not considered as a species of Plasmodium that could cause malaria in human beings, as it is parasite of long-tailed (Macaca fascicularis) and pig-tailed (Macaca nemestrina) macaques found in Southeast Asia. A case of infection by P. knowlesi is described in a Spanish traveller, who came back to Spain with daily fever after his last overseas travel, which was a six-month holiday in forested areas of Southeast Asia between 2008 and 2009. His P. knowlesi infection was detected by multiplex Real time quantitative PCR and confirmed by sequencing the amplified fragment. Using nested multiplex malaria PCR (reference method in Spain) and a rapid diagnostic test, the P. knowlesi infection was negative. This patient was discharged and asymptomatic when the positive result to P. knowlesi was reported. Prior to this case, there have been two more reports of European travellers with malaria caused by P. knowlesi, a Finnish man who travelled to Peninsular Malaysia during four weeks in March 2007, and a Swedish man who did a short visit to Malaysian Borneo in October 2006. Taken together with this report of P. knowlesi infection in a Spanish traveller returning from Southeast Asia, this is the third case of P. knowlesi infection in Europe, indicating that this simian parasite can infect visitors to endemic areas in Southeast Asia. This last European case is quite surprising, given that it is an untreated-symptomatic P. knowlesi in human, in contrast to what is currently known about P. knowlesi infection. Most previous reports of human P. knowlesi malaria infections were in adults, often with symptoms and relatively high parasite densities, up to the recent report in Ninh Thuan province, located in the southern part of central Vietnam, inhabited mainly by the Ra-glai ethnic minority, in which all P. knowlesi infections were asymptomatic, co-infected with P. malariae, with low parasite densities and two of the three identified cases were very young children under five years old.
    Matched MeSH terms: Plasmodium knowlesi/genetics
  15. Van den Eede P, Vythilingam I, Ngo DT, Nguyen VH, Le XH, D'Alessandro U, et al.
    Malar. J., 2010;9:20.
    PMID: 20082717 DOI: 10.1186/1475-2875-9-20
    A recently published comment on a report of Plasmodium knowlesi infections in Vietnam states that this may not accurately represent the situation in the study area because the PCR primers used may cross-hybridize with Plasmodium vivax. Nevertheless, P. knowlesi infections have been confirmed by sequencing. In addition, a neighbour-joining tree based on the 18S S-Type SSUrRNA gene shows that the Vietnamese samples clearly cluster with the P. knowlesi isolates identified in Malaysia and are distinct from the corresponding P. vivax sequences. All samples came from asymptomatic individuals who did not consult for fever during the months preceding or following the survey, indicating that asymptomatic P. knowlesi infections occur in this population, although this does not exclude the occurrence of symptomatic cases. Large-scale studies to determine the extent and the epidemiology of P. knowlesi malaria in Vietnam are further needed.
    Matched MeSH terms: Plasmodium knowlesi/genetics
  16. Jiram AI, Vythilingam I, NoorAzian YM, Yusof YM, Azahari AH, Fong MY
    Malar. J., 2012;11:213.
    PMID: 22727041
    The first natural infection of Plasmodium knowlesi in humans was recorded in 1965 in peninsular Malaysia. Extensive research was then conducted and it was postulated that it was a rare incident and that simian malaria will not be easily transmitted to humans. However, at the turn of the 21st century, knowlesi malaria was prevalent throughout Southeast Asia and is life threatening. Thus, a longitudinal study was initiated to determine the vectors, their seasonal variation and preference to humans and macaques.
    Matched MeSH terms: Plasmodium knowlesi/genetics
  17. Chong ETJ, Neoh JWF, Lau TY, Lim YA, Chua KH, Lee PC
    Acta Trop., 2018 May;181:35-39.
    PMID: 29409854 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2018.01.018
    Malaria is a notorious disease which causes major global morbidity and mortality. This study aims to investigate the genetic and haplotype differences of Plasmodium knowlesi (P. knowlesi) isolates in Malaysian Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia based on the molecular analysis of the cytochrome b (cyt b) gene. The cyt b gene of 49 P. knowlesi isolates collected from Sabah, Malaysian Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia was amplified using PCR, cloned into a commercialized vector and sequenced. In addition, 45 cyt b sequences were retrieved from humans and macaques bringing to a total of 94 cyt b gene nucleotide sequences for phylogenetic analysis. Genetic and haplotype analyses of the cyt b were analyzed using MEGA6 and DnaSP ver. 5.10.01. The haplotype genealogical linkage of cyt b was generated using NETWORK ver. 4.6.1.3. Our phylogenetic tree revealed the conservation of the cyt b coding sequences with no distinct cluster across different geographic regions. Nucleotide analysis of cyt b showed that the P. knowlesi isolates underwent purifying selection with population expansion, which was further supported by extensive haplotype sharing between the macaques and humans from Malaysian Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia in the median-joining network analysis. This study expands knowledge on conservation of the zoonotic P. knowlesi cyt b gene between Malaysian Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia.
    Matched MeSH terms: Plasmodium knowlesi/genetics*
  18. Ahmed MA, Chu KB, Vythilingam I, Quan FS
    Malar. J., 2018 Nov 29;17(1):442.
    PMID: 30497496 DOI: 10.1186/s12936-018-2583-z
    BACKGROUND: The C-terminal 42 kDa domain of Plasmodium knowlesi merozoite surface protein 1 (PkMSP1) is a potential asexual blood-stage vaccine candidate, however, only a limited number of clinical isolates have been analysed from Malaysia and no inter-country comparative diversity study has been conducted. In the present study, nucleotide diversity, haplotypes and natural selection levels of pkmsp1 in clinical samples from geographically distinct regions of Malaysia and Thailand were investigated. The overall population structure of the parasite from the region was determined.

    METHODS: Eleven full-length pkmsp1 sequences obtained from clinical isolates of Malaysia along with the H-strain were downloaded from the database for domain wise characterization of pkmsp1 gene. Additionally, 76 pkmsp-142 sequences from Thailand and Malaysia were downloaded from the database for intra and inter-population analysis. DnaSP 5.10 and MEGA 5.0 software were used to determine genetic diversity, polymorphism, haplotypes and natural selection. Genealogical relationships were determined using haplotype network tree in NETWORK software v5.0. Population genetic differentiation index (FST) of parasites were analysed using Arlequin v3.5.

    RESULTS: Sequence analysis of 11 full-length pkmsp1 sequences along with the H-strain identified 477 (8.4%) polymorphic sites, of which 107 were singleton sites. The overall diversity observed in the full-length genes were high in comparison to its ortholog pvmsp1 and the 4 variable domains showed extensive size variations. The nucleotide diversity was low towards the pkmsp1-42 compared to the conserved domains. The 19 kDa domain was less diverse and completely conserved among isolates from Malaysian Borneo. The nucleotide diversity of isolates from Peninsular Malaysia and Thailand were higher than Malaysian Borneo. Network analysis of pkmsp1-42 haplotypes showed geographical clustering of the isolates from Malaysian Borneo and grouping of isolates from Peninsular Malaysia and Thailand. Population differentiation analysis indicated high FST values between parasite populations originating from Malaysian Borneo, Peninsular Malaysia and Thailand attributing to geographical distance. Moderate genetic differentiation was observed for parasite populations from Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia. Evidence of population expansion and purifying selection were observed in all conserved domains with strongest selection within the pkmsp1-42 domain.

    CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first to report on inter country genetic diversity and population structure of P. knowlesi based on msp1. Strong evidence of negative selection was observed in the 42 kDa domain, indicating functional constrains. Geographical clustering of P. knowlesi and moderate to high genetic differentiation values between populations identified in this study highlights the importance of further evaluation using larger number of clinical samples from Southeast Asian countries.

    Matched MeSH terms: Plasmodium knowlesi/genetics*
  19. Divis PC, Lin LC, Rovie-Ryan JJ, Kadir KA, Anderios F, Hisam S, et al.
    Emerging Infect. Dis., 2017 04;23(4):616-624.
    PMID: 28322705 DOI: 10.3201/eid2304.161738
    Multilocus microsatellite genotyping of Plasmodium knowlesi isolates previously indicated 2 divergent parasite subpopulations in humans on the island of Borneo, each associated with a different macaque reservoir host species. Geographic divergence was also apparent, and independent sequence data have indicated particularly deep divergence between parasites from mainland Southeast Asia and Borneo. To resolve the overall population structure, multilocus microsatellite genotyping was conducted on a new sample of 182 P. knowlesi infections (obtained from 134 humans and 48 wild macaques) from diverse areas of Malaysia, first analyzed separately and then in combination with previous data. All analyses confirmed 2 divergent clusters of human cases in Malaysian Borneo, associated with long-tailed macaques and pig-tailed macaques, and a third cluster in humans and most macaques in peninsular Malaysia. High levels of pairwise divergence between each of these sympatric and allopatric subpopulations have implications for the epidemiology and control of this zoonotic species.
    Matched MeSH terms: Plasmodium knowlesi/genetics*
  20. Lubis IND, Wijaya H, Lubis M, Lubis CP, Divis PCS, Beshir KB, et al.
    J. Infect. Dis., 2017 Apr 01;215(7):1148-1155.
    PMID: 28201638 DOI: 10.1093/infdis/jix091
    Background: As Indonesia works toward the goal of malaria elimination, information is lacking on malaria epidemiology from some western provinces. As a basis for studies of antimalarial efficacy, we set out to survey parasite carriage in 3 communities in North Sumatera Province.

    Methods: A combination of active and passive detection of infection was carried out among communities in Batubara, Langkat, and South Nias regencies. Finger-prick blood samples from consenting individuals of all ages provided blood films for microscopic examination and blood spots on filter paper. Plasmodium species were identified using nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of ribosomal RNA genes and a novel assay that amplifies a conserved sequence specific for the sicavar gene family of Plasmodium knowlesi.

    Results: Of 3731 participants, 614 (16.5%) were positive for malaria parasites by microscopy. PCR detected parasite DNA in samples from 1169 individuals (31.3%). In total, 377 participants (11.8%) harbored P. knowlesi. Also present were Plasmodium vivax (14.3%), Plasmodium falciparum (10.5%) and Plasmodium malariae (3.4%).

    Conclusions: Amplification of sicavar is a specific and sensitive test for the presence of P. knowlesi DNA in humans. Subpatent and asymptomatic multispecies parasitemia is relatively common in North Sumatera, so PCR-based surveillance is required to support control and elimination activities.

    Matched MeSH terms: Plasmodium knowlesi/genetics*
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