Malaria and Hepatocystis species in wild macaques, southern Thailand.
ABSTRACT Southeast Asian macaques are natural hosts for a number of nonhuman primate malaria parasites; some of these can cause diseases in humans. We conducted a cross-sectional survey by collecting 99 blood samples from Macaca fascicularis in southern Thailand. Giemsa-stained blood films showed five (5.1%) positive samples and six (6.1%) isolates had positive test results by polymerase chain reaction. A phylogenetic tree inferred from the A-type sequences of the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene confirmed Plasmodium inui in five macaques; one of these macaques was co-infected with P. coatneyi. Hepatocystis, a hemoprotozoan parasite transmitted by Culicoides, was identified in an isolate that was confirmed by analysis of mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences. All malaria-infected monkeys lived in mangrove forests, but no infected monkeys were found in an urban area. These findings indicate regional differences in malaria distribution among these macaques, as well as differences in potential risk of disease transmission to humans.
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ABSTRACT: Plasmodium knowlesi, a simian malaria parasite, has been reported in humans in many Southeast Asian countries. In Thailand, most of the limited numbers of cases reported so far were from areas near neighbouring countries, including Myanmar. Blood samples collected from 171 Thai and 248 Myanmese patients attending a malaria clinic in Ranong province, Thailand, located near the Myanmar border were investigated for P. knowlesi using nested PCR assays. Positive samples were also investigated by PCR for Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium ovale, and were confirmed by sequencing the gene encoding the circumsporozoite protein (csp). Two samples, one obtained from a Thai and the other a Myanmese, were positive for P. knowlesi only. Nucleotide sequences of the csp gene derived from these two patients were identical and phylogenetically indistinguishable from other P. knowlesi sequences derived from monkeys and humans. Both patients worked in Koh Song, located in the Kawthoung district of Myanmar, which borders Thailand. This study indicates that transmission of P. knowlesi is occurring in the Ranong province of Thailand or the Kawthoung district of Myanmar. Further studies are required to assess the incidence of knowlesi malaria and whether macaques in these areas are the source of the infections.Malaria Journal 01/2012; 11:36. · 3.40 Impact Factor
Chapter: Biology of Malaria Parasites03/2012; , ISBN: 978-953-51-0326-4
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ABSTRACT: Malaria and filariasis still continue to pose public health problems in developing countries of the tropics. Although plans are in progress for the elimination of both these parasitic vector borne diseases, we are now faced with a daunting challenge as we have a fifth species, Plasmodium knowlesi a simian malaria parasite affecting humans. Similarly in peninsular Malaysia, filariasis was mainly due to Brugia malayi. However, we now see cases of Wuchereria bancrofti in immigrant workers coming into the country. In order to successfully eliminate both these diseases we need to know the vectors involved and introduce appropriate control measures to prevent the diseases occurring in the future. As for knowlesi malaria it is still uncertain if human to human transmission through mosquito bites is occurring. However, P. knowlesi in human is not a rare occurrence anymore and has all the characteristics of a pathogen spreading due to changes in the ecosystem, international travel, and cross border migration. This has created a more complex situation. In order to overcome these challenges we need to revamp our control measures. This paper reviews the vectors of malaria and filariasis in Southeast Asia with special emphasis on P. knowlesi and W. bancrofti in Malaysia and their control strategies.Frontiers in Physiology 01/2012; 3:115.