Background: Since a large focus of human infection with Plasmodium knowlesi, a simian malaria parasite naturally found in long-tailed and pig tailed macaques, was reported in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, it was pertinent to study the situation in peninsular Malaysia. A study was thus initiated to screen human cases of Plasmodium malariae using molecular techniques, to determine the presence of P. knowlesi in non-human primates and to elucidate its vectors.
BackgroundThe simian malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi is emerging as a public health problem in Southeast Asia, particularly in Malaysian Borneo where it now accounts for the greatest burden of malaria cases and deaths. Control is hindered by limited understanding of the ecology of potential vector species.Methodology/Principal FindingsWe conducted a one year longitudinal study of P. knowlesi vectors in three sites within an endemic area of Sabah, Malaysia. All mosquitoes were captured using human landing catch. Anopheles mosquitoes were dissected to determine, oocyst, sporozoites and parous rate. Anopheles balabacensis is confirmed as the primary vector of. P. knowlesi (using nested PCR) in Sabah for the first time. Vector densities were significantly higher and more seasonally variable in the village than forest or small scale farming site. However An. balabacensis survival and P. knowlesi infection rates were highest in forest and small scale farm sites. Anopheles balabacensis mostly bites humans outdoors in the early evening between 1800 to 2000hrs.Conclusions/SignificanceThis study indicates transmission is unlikely to be prevented by bednets. This combined with its high vectorial capacity poses a threat to malaria elimination programmes within the region.
Background: A large focus of human infections with Plasmodium knowlesi, a simian parasite naturally found in long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques was discovered in the Kapit Division of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. A study was initiated to identify the vectors of malaria, to elucidate where transmission is taking place and to understand the bionomics of the vectors in Kapit.
a v a i l a b l e a t w w w . s c i e n c e d i r e c t . c o m j o u r n a l h o m e p a g e : w w w . e l s e v i e r h e a l t h . c o m / j o u r n a l s / t r s t SHORT COMMUNICATION Natural transmission of
BackgroundThe 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.MethodsMonthly mosquito collections were carried out in Kuala Lipis, Pahang, peninsular Malaysia, using human-landing collection and monkey-baited traps at ground and canopy levels. All mosquitoes were identified and all anopheline mosquitoes were dissected and the gut and gland examined for oocysts and sporozoites. Nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was conducted on positive samples, followed by sequencing of the csp gene.Results and discussionAnopheles cracens was the predominant mosquito biting humans as well as the macaques. It comprised 63.2% of the total collection and was the only species positive for sporozoites of P. knowlesi. It was exophagic and did not enter houses. Besides An. cracens, Anopheles kochi was also found in the monkey-bait trap. Both species preferred to bite monkeys at ground level compared to canopy.ConclusionAnopheles cracens, which belongs to the Dirus complex, Leucosphyrus subgroup, Leucosphyrus group of mosquitoes, has been confirmed to be the only vector for this site from Pahang during this study. It was the predominant mosquito at the study sites and with deforestation humans and villages are entering deeper in the forests, and nearer to the mosquitoes and macacques. The close association of humans with macaques and mosquitoes has led to zoonotic transmission of malaria.
BackgroundPlasmodium knowlesi is a zoonotic pathogen, transmitted among macaques and to humans by anopheline mosquitoes. Information on P. knowlesi malaria is lacking in most regions so the first step to understand the geographical distribution of disease risk is to define the distributions of the reservoir and vector species.MethodsWe used macaque and mosquito species presence data, background data that captured sampling bias in the presence data, a boosted regression tree model and environmental datasets, including annual data for land classes, to predict the distributions of each vector and host species. We then compared the predicted distribution of each species with cover of each land class.ResultsFine-scale distribution maps were generated for three macaque host species (Macaca fascicularis, M. nemestrina and M. leonina) and two mosquito vector complexes (the Dirus Complex and the Leucosphyrus Complex). The Leucosphyrus Complex was predicted to occur in areas with disturbed, but not intact, forest cover (> 60 % tree cover) whereas the Dirus Complex was predicted to occur in areas with 10–100 % tree cover as well as vegetation mosaics and cropland. Of the macaque species, M. nemestrina was mainly predicted to occur in forested areas whereas M. fascicularis was predicted to occur in vegetation mosaics, cropland, wetland and urban areas in addition to forested areas.ConclusionsThe predicted M. fascicularis distribution encompassed a wide range of habitats where humans are found. This is of most significance in the northern part of its range where members of the Dirus Complex are the main P. knowlesi vectors because these mosquitoes were also predicted to occur in a wider range of habitats. Our results support the hypothesis that conversion of intact forest into disturbed forest (for example plantations or timber concessions), or the creation of vegetation mosaics, will increase the probability that members of the Leucosphyrus Complex occur at these locations, as well as bringing humans into these areas. An explicit analysis of disease risk itself using infection data is required to explore this further. The species distributions generated here can now be included in future analyses of P. knowlesi infection risk.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13071-016-1527-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
BackgroundIn recent years, the primate malaria Plasmodium knowlesi has emerged in human populations throughout South East Asia, with the largest hotspot being in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Control efforts are hindered by limited knowledge of where and when people get exposed to mosquito vectors. It is assumed that exposure occurs primarily when people are working in forest areas, but the role of other potential exposure routes (including domestic or peri-domestic transmission) has not been thoroughly investigated.Methodology/Principal FindingsWe integrated entomological surveillance within a comprehensive case-control study occurring within a large hotspot of transmission in Sabah, Malaysia. Mosquitoes were collected at 28 pairs households composed of one where an occupant had a confirmed P. knowlesi infection within the preceding 3 weeks (“case”) and an associated “control” where no infection was reported. Human landing catches were conducted to measure the number and diversity of mosquitoes host seeking inside houses and in the surrounding peri-domestic (outdoors but around the household) areas. The predominant malaria vector species was Anopheles balabacensis, most of which were caught outdoors in the early evening (6pm - 9pm). It was significantly more abundant in the peri-domestic area than inside houses (5.5-fold), and also higher at case than control households (0.28±0.194 vs 0.17±0.127, p<0.001). Ten out of 641 An. balabacensis tested were positive for simian malaria parasites, but none for P. knowlesi.Conclusions/SignificanceThis study shows there is a possibility that humans can be exposed to P. knowlesi infection around their homes. The vector is highly exophagic and few were caught indoors indicating interventions using bednets inside households may have relatively little impact.
Background: Considering increasing reports on human infections by Plasmodium knowlesi in Southeast Asian countries, blood samples collected during two large cross-sectional malariometric surveys carried out in a forested area of central Vietnam in 2004 and 2005 were screened for this parasite.
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