Dyann F Wirth

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (290)1458.59 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Despite decades of eradication efforts, malaria remains a global burden. Recent renewed interest in regional elimination and global eradication has been accompanied by increased genomic information about Plasmodium parasite species responsible for malaria, including characteristics of geographical populations as well as variations associated with reduced susceptibility to anti-malarial drugs. One common genetic variation, single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), offers attractive targets for parasite genotyping. These markers are useful not only for tracking drug resistance markers but also for tracking parasite populations using markers not under drug or other selective pressures. SNP genotyping methods offer the ability to track drug resistance as well as to fingerprint individual parasites for population surveillance, particularly in response to malaria control efforts in regions nearing elimination status. While informative SNPs have been identified that are agnostic to specific genotyping technologies, high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis is particularly suited to field-based studies. Compared to standard fluorescent-probe based methods that require individual SNPs in a single labeled probe and offer at best 10% sensitivity to detect SNPs in samples that contain multiple genomes (polygenomic), HRM offers 2-5% sensitivity. Modifications to HRM, such as blocked probes and asymmetric primer concentrations as well as optimization of amplification annealing temperatures to bias PCR towards amplification of the minor allele, further increase the sensitivity of HRM. While the sensitivity improvement depends on the specific assay, we have increased detection sensitivities to less than 1% of the minor allele. In regions approaching malaria eradication, early detection of emerging or imported drug resistance is essential for prompt response. Similarly, the ability to detect polygenomic infections and differentiate imported parasite types from cryptic local reservoirs can inform control programs. This manuscript describes modifications to high resolution melting technology that further increase its sensitivity to identify polygenomic infections in patient samples.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of Visualized Experiments
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    ABSTRACT: Background The RTS,S/AS01 vaccine targets the circumsporozoite protein of Plasmodium falciparum and has partial protective efficacy against clinical and severe malaria disease in infants and children. We investigated whether the vaccine efficacy was specific to certain parasite genotypes at the circumsporozoite protein locus. Methods We used polymerase chain reaction-based next-generation sequencing of DNA extracted from samples from 4985 participants to survey circumsporozoite protein polymorphisms. We evaluated the effect that polymorphic positions and haplotypic regions within the circumsporozoite protein had on vaccine efficacy against first episodes of clinical malaria within 1 year after vaccination. Results In the per-protocol group of 4577 RTS,S/AS01-vaccinated participants and 2335 control-vaccinated participants who were 5 to 17 months of age, the 1-year cumulative vaccine efficacy was 50.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 34.6 to 62.3) against clinical malaria in which parasites matched the vaccine in the entire circumsporozoite protein C-terminal (139 infections), as compared with 33.4% (95% CI, 29.3 to 37.2) against mismatched malaria (1951 infections) (P = 0.04 for differential vaccine efficacy). The vaccine efficacy based on the hazard ratio was 62.7% (95% CI, 51.6 to 71.3) against matched infections versus 54.2% (95% CI, 49.9 to 58.1) against mismatched infections (P = 0.06). In the group of infants 6 to 12 weeks of age, there was no evidence of differential allele-specific vaccine efficacy. Conclusions These Results suggest that among children 5 to 17 months of age, the RTS,S vaccine has greater activity against malaria parasites with the matched circumsporozoite protein allele than against mismatched malaria. The overall vaccine efficacy in this age category will depend on the proportion of matched alleles in the local parasite population; in this trial, less than 10% of parasites had matched alleles.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · New England Journal of Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Rationale: Plasma-detectable biomarkers that rapidly and accurately diagnose bacterial infections in children with suspected pneumonia could reduce the morbidity of respiratory disease and decrease the unnecessary use of antibiotic therapy. Objectives: Using 56 markers measured in a multiplexed immunoassay, we sought to identify proteins and protein combinations that could discriminate bacterial from viral or malarial diagnoses. Measurements and main results: We selected 80 patients with clinically diagnosed pneumonia (as defined by the World Health Organization) who also met criteria for bacterial, viral or malarial infection based on clinical, radiographic, and laboratory results. Ten healthy community controls were enrolled to assess marker reliability. Patients were subdivided into two sets: one for identifying potential markers and another for validating them. Three proteins (haptoglobin, TNFR2 or IL-10, and TIMP-1) were identified that when combined through a classification tree signature accurately classified patients into bacterial, malarial and viral etiologies, and misclassified only one patient with bacterial pneumonia from the validation set. The overall sensitivity and specificity of this signature for the bacterial diagnosis were 96% and 86%, respectively. Alternative combinations of markers with comparable accuracy were selected by support vector machine and regression models and included haptoglobin, IL-10, and CK-MB. Conclusions: Combinations of plasma proteins accurately identified children with a respiratory syndrome who were likely to have bacterial infections and who would benefit from antibiotic therapy. When used in conjunction with malaria diagnostic tests, they may improve diagnostic specificity and simplify treatment decisions for clinicians.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The World Health Organization has recommended rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for use in the diagnosis of suspected malaria cases. In addition to providing quick and accurate detection of Plasmodium parasite proteins in the blood, these tests can be used as sources of DNA for further genetic studies. As sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine is used currently for intermittent presumptive treatment of pregnant women in both Senegal and in the Comoros Islands, resistance mutations in the dhfr and dhps genes were investigated using DNA extracted from RDTs. Methods: The proximal portion of the nitrocellulose membrane of discarded RDTs was used for DNA extraction. This genomic DNA was amplified using HRM to genotype the molecular markers involved in resistance to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine: dhfr (51, 59, 108, and 164) and dhps (436, 437, 540, 581, and 613). Additionally, the msp1 and msp2 genes were amplified to determine the average clonality between Grande-Comore (Comoros) and Thiès (Senegal). Results: A total of 201 samples were successfully genotyped at all codons by HRM; whereas, in 200 msp1 and msp2 genes were successfully amplified and genotyped by nested PCR. A high prevalence of resistance mutations were observed in the dhfr gene at codons 51, 59, and 108 as well as in the dhps gene at codons 437 and 436. A novel mutant in dhps at codon positions 436Y/437A was observed. The dhfr I164L codon and dhps K540 and dhps A581G codons had 100 % wild type alleles in all samples. Conclusion: The utility of field-collected RDTs was validated as a source of DNA for genetic studies interrogating frequencies of drug resistance mutations, using two different molecular methods (PCR and High Resolution Melting). RDTs should not be discarded after use as they can be a valuable source of DNA for genetic and epidemiological studies in sites where filter paper or venous blood collected samples are nonexistent.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Malaria Journal
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    ABSTRACT: In regions with high malaria endemicity, the withdrawal of chloroquine (CQ) as first-line treatment of Plasmodium falciparum infections has typically led to the restoration of CQ susceptibility through the reexpansion of the wild-type (WT) allele K76 of the chloroquine resistance transporter gene (pfcrt) at the expense of less fit mutant alleles carrying the CQ resistance (CQR) marker K76T. In low-transmission settings, such as South America, drug resistance mutations can attain 100% prevalence, thereby precluding the return of WT parasites after the complete removal of drug pressure. In French Guiana, despite the fixation of the K76T allele, the prevalence of CQR isolates progressively dropped from >90% to <30% during 17 y after CQ withdrawal in 1995. Using a genome-wide association study with CQ-sensitive (CQS) and CQR isolates, we have identified a single mutation in pfcrt encoding a C350R substitution that is associated with the restoration of CQ susceptibility. Genome editing of the CQR reference strain 7G8 to incorporate PfCRT C350R caused a complete loss of CQR. A retrospective molecular survey on 580 isolates collected from 1997 to 2012 identified all C350R mutant parasites as being CQS. This mutation emerged in 2002 and rapidly spread throughout the P. falciparum population. The C350R allele is also associated with a significant decrease in piperaquine susceptibility in vitro, suggesting that piperaquine pressure in addition to potential fitness costs associated with the 7G8-type CQR pfcrt allele may have selected for this mutation. These findings have important implications for understanding the evolutionary dynamics of antimalarial drug resistance.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: A series of 3-piperidin-4-yl-1H-indoles with building block diversity was synthesized based on a hit derived from an HTS whole-cell screen against Plasmodium falciparum. Thirty-eight compounds were obtained following a three-step synthetic approach and evaluated for anti-parasitic activity. The SAR shows that 3-piperidin-4-yl-1H-indole is intolerant to most N-piperidinyl modifications. Nevertheless, we were able to identify a new compound (10d) with lead-like properties (MW = 305; cLogP = 2.42), showing antimalarial activity against drug-resistant and sensitive strains (EC50 values ∼ 3 μM), selectivity for malaria parasite and no cross-resistance with chloroquine, thus representing a potential new chemotype for further optimization towards novel and affordable antimalarial drugs. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Background The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has a complex and multi-stage life cycle that requires extensive and precise gene regulation to allow invasion and hijacking of host cells, transmission, and immune escape. To date, the regulatory elements orchestrating these critical parasite processes remain largely unknown. Yet it is becoming increasingly clear that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) could represent a missing regulatory layer across a broad range of organisms. Results To investigate the regulatory capacity of lncRNA in P. falciparum, we harvested fifteen samples from two time-courses. Our sample set profiled 56 h of P. falciparum blood stage development. We then developed and validated strand-specific, non-polyA-selected RNA sequencing methods, and pursued the first assembly of P. falciparum strand-specific transcript structures from RNA sequencing data. This approach enabled the annotation of over one thousand lncRNA transcript models and their comprehensive global analysis: coding prediction, periodicity, stage-specificity, correlation, GC content, length, location relative to annotated transcripts, and splicing. We validated the complete splicing structure of three lncRNAs with compelling properties. Non-polyA-selected deep sequencing also enabled the prediction of hundreds of intriguing P. falciparum circular RNAs, six of which we validated experimentally. Conclusions We found that a subset of lncRNAs, including all subtelomeric lncRNAs, strongly peaked in expression during invasion. By contrast, antisense transcript levels significantly dropped during invasion. As compared to neighboring mRNAs, the expression of antisense-sense pairs was significantly anti-correlated during blood stage development, indicating transcriptional interference. We also validated that P. falciparum produces circRNAs, which is notable given the lack of RNA interference in the organism, and discovered that a highly expressed, five-exon antisense RNA is poised to regulate P. falciparum gametocyte development 1 (PfGDV1), a gene required for early sexual commitment events. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1603-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2015 · BMC Genomics
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    ABSTRACT: The emergence of drug resistance is a major limitation of current antimalarials. The discovery of new druggable targets and pathways including those that are critical for multiple life cycle stages of the malaria parasite is a major goal for developing next-generation antimalarial drugs. Using an integrated chemogenomics approach that combined drug resistance selection, whole-genome sequencing, and an orthogonal yeast model, we demonstrate that the cytoplasmic prolyl-tRNA (transfer RNA) synthetase (PfcPRS) of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is a biochemical and functional target of febrifugine and its synthetic derivative halofuginone. Febrifugine is the active principle of a traditional Chinese herbal remedy for malaria. We show that treatment with febrifugine derivatives activated the amino acid starvation response in both P. falciparum and a transgenic yeast strain expressing PfcPRS. We further demonstrate in the Plasmodium berghei mouse model of malaria that halofuginol, a new halofuginone analog that we developed, is active against both liver and asexual blood stages of the malaria parasite. Halofuginol, unlike halofuginone and febrifugine, is well tolerated at efficacious doses and represents a promising lead for the development of dual-stage next-generation antimalarials.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Science translational medicine
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    ABSTRACT: To study the effects of malaria-control interventions on parasite population genomics, we examined a set of 1,007 samples of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum collected in Thiès, Senegal between 2006 and 2013. The parasite samples were genotyped using a molecular barcode of 24 SNPs. About 35% of the samples grouped into subsets with identical barcodes, varying in size by year and sometimes persisting across years. The barcodes also formed networks of related groups. Analysis of 164 completely sequenced parasites revealed extensive sharing of genomic regions. In at least two cases we found first-generation recombinant offspring of parents whose genomes are similar or identical to genomes also present in the sample. An epidemiological model that tracks parasite genotypes can reproduce the observed pattern of barcode subsets. Quantification of likelihoods in the model strongly suggests a reduction of transmission from 2006-2010 with a significant rebound in 2012-2013. The reduced transmission and rebound were confirmed directly by incidence data from Thiès. These findings imply that intensive intervention to control malaria results in rapid and dramatic changes in parasite population genomics. The results also suggest that genomics combined with epidemiological modeling may afford prompt, continuous, and cost-effective tracking of progress toward malaria elimination.
    Preview · Article · May 2015 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Identifying the source of resurgent parasites is paramount to a strategic, successful intervention for malaria elimination. Although the malaria incidence in Panama is low, a recent outbreak resulted in a 6-fold increase in reported cases. We hypothesized that parasites sampled from this epidemic might be related and exhibit a clonal population structure. We tested the genetic relatedness of parasites, using informative single-nucleotide polymorphisms and drug resistance loci. We found that parasites were clustered into 3 clonal subpopulations and were related to parasites from Colombia. Two clusters of Panamanian parasites shared identical drug resistance haplotypes, and all clusters shared a chloroquine-resistance genotype matching the pfcrt haplotype of Colombian origin. Our findings suggest these resurgent parasite populations are highly clonal and that the high clonality likely resulted from epidemic expansion of imported or vestigial cases. Malaria outbreak investigations that use genetic tools can illuminate potential sources of epidemic malaria and guide strategies to prevent further resurgence in areas where malaria has been eliminated.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · The Journal of Infectious Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: The widespread emergence of Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) strains resistant to frontline agents has fuelled the search for fast-acting agents with novel mechanism of action. Here, we report the discovery and optimization of novel antimalarial compounds, the triaminopyrimidines (TAPs), which emerged from a phenotypic screen against the blood stages of Pf. The clinical candidate (compound 12) is efficacious in a mouse model of Pf malaria with an ED99 <30 mg kg(-1) and displays good in vivo safety margins in guinea pigs and rats. With a predicted half-life of 36 h in humans, a single dose of 260 mg might be sufficient to maintain therapeutic blood concentration for 4-5 days. Whole-genome sequencing of resistant mutants implicates the vacuolar ATP synthase as a genetic determinant of resistance to TAPs. Our studies highlight the potential of TAPs for single-dose treatment of Pf malaria in combination with other agents in clinical development.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Nature Communications
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    Full-text · Dataset · Apr 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Plasmodium vivax, one of the five species of Plasmodium parasites that cause human malaria, is responsible for 25-40% of malaria cases worldwide. Malaria global elimination efforts will benefit from accurate and effective genotyping tools that will provide insight into the population genetics and diversity of this parasite. The recent sequencing of P. vivax isolates from South America, Africa, and Asia presents a new opportunity by uncovering thousands of novel single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Genotyping a selection of these SNPs provides a robust, low-cost method of identifying parasite infections through their unique genetic signature or barcode. Based on our experience in generating a SNP barcode for P. falciparum using High Resolution Melting (HRM), we have developed a similar tool for P. vivax. We selected globally polymorphic SNPs from available P. vivax genome sequence data that were located in putatively selectively neutral sites (i.e., intergenic, intronic, or 4-fold degenerate coding). From these candidate SNPs we defined a barcode consisting of 42 SNPs. We analyzed the performance of the 42-SNP barcode on 87 P. vivax clinical samples from parasite populations in South America (Brazil, French Guiana), Africa (Ethiopia) and Asia (Sri Lanka). We found that the P. vivax barcode is robust, as it requires only a small quantity of DNA (limit of detection 0.3 ng/μl) to yield reproducible genotype calls, and detects polymorphic genotypes with high sensitivity. The markers are informative across all clinical samples evaluated (average minor allele frequency > 0.1). Population genetic and statistical analyses show the barcode captures high degrees of population diversity and differentiates geographically distinct populations. Our 42-SNP barcode provides a robust, informative, and standardized genetic marker set that accurately identifies a genomic signature for P. vivax infections.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
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    Preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Annals of Global Health
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    ABSTRACT: Host nutrition can affect the outcome of parasitic diseases through metabolic effects on host immunity and/or the parasite. Here we show that modulation of mouse immunometabolism through brief restriction of food intake (dietary restriction, DR) prevents neuropathology in experimental cerebral malaria (ECM). While no effects are detected on parasite growth, DR reduces parasite accumulation in peripheral tissues including the brain, and increases clearance in the spleen. Leptin, a host-derived adipokine linking appetite, energy balance and immune function, is required for ECM pathology and its levels are reduced upon DR. Recombinant leptin abrogates DR benefits, while pharmacological or genetic inhibition of leptin signalling protects against ECM. DR reduces mTORC1 activity in T cells, and this effect is abrogated upon leptin administration. Furthermore, mTORC1 inhibition with rapamycin prevents ECM pathology. Our results suggest that leptin and mTORC1 provide a novel mechanistic link between nutrition, immunometabolism and ECM pathology, with potential therapeutic implications for cerebral malaria.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Nature Communications
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    ABSTRACT: Complex malaria infections are defined as those containing more than one genetically distinct lineage of Plasmodium parasite. Complexity of infection (COI) is a useful parameter to estimate from patient blood samples because it is associated with clinical outcome, epidemiology and disease transmission rate. This manuscript describes a method for estimating COI using likelihood, called COIL, from a panel of bi-allelic genotyping assays. COIL assumes that distinct parasite lineages in complex infections are unrelated and that genotyped loci do not exhibit significant linkage disequilibrium. Using the population minor allele frequency (MAF) of the genotyped loci, COIL uses the binomial distribution to estimate the likelihood of a COI level given the prevalence of observed monomorphic or polymorphic genotypes within each sample. COIL reliably estimates COI up to a level of three or five with at least 24 or 96 unlinked genotyped loci, respectively, as determined by in silico simulation and empirical validation. Evaluation of COI levels greater than five in patient samples may require a very large collection of genotype data, making sequencing a more cost-effective approach for evaluating COI under conditions when disease transmission is extremely high. Performance of the method is positively correlated with the MAF of the genotyped loci. COI estimates from existing SNP genotype datasets create a more detailed portrait of disease than analyses based simply on the number of polymorphic genotypes observed within samples. The capacity to reliably estimate COI from a genome-wide panel of SNP genotypes provides a potentially more accurate alternative to methods relying on PCR amplification of a small number of loci for estimating COI. This approach will also increase the number of applications of SNP genotype data, providing additional motivation to employ SNP barcodes for studies of disease epidemiology or control measure efficacy. The COIL program is available for download from GitHub, and users may also upload their SNP genotype data to a web interface for simple and efficient determination of sample COI.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Malaria Journal
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    ABSTRACT: This paper demonstrates the enrichment of reticulocytes by centrifuging whole blood through aqueous multiphase systems (AMPSs)—immiscible phases of solutions of polymers that form step-gradients in density. The interfaces of an AMPS concentrate cells; this concentration facilitates the extraction of blood enriched for reticulocytes. AMPS enrich reticulocytes from blood from both healthy and hemochromatosis donors. Varying the osmolality and density of the phases of AMPS provides different levels of enrichment and yield of reticulocytes. A maximum enrichment of reticulocytemia of 64 ± 3 % was obtained from donors with hemochromatosis. When used on peripheral blood from normal donors, AMPS can provide a higher yield of enriched reticulocytes and a higher proportion of reticulocytes expressing CD71 than differential centrifugation followed by centrifugation over Percoll. Blood enriched for reticulocytes by AMPS could be useful for research on malaria. Several species of malaria parasites show a preference to invade young erythrocytes and reticulocytes; this preference complicates in vitro cultivation of these species in human blood. Plasmodium knowlesi malaria parasites invade normal human blood enriched for reticulocytes by AMPSs at a rate 2.2 times greater (p-value < 0.01) than they invade unenriched blood. Parasite invasion in normal blood enriched by AMPS was 1.8 times greater (p-value < 0.05) than in blood enriched to a similar reticulocytemia by differential centrifugation followed by centrifugation over Percoll. The enrichment of reticulocytes that are invaded by malaria parasites demonstrates that AMPSs can provide a label-free method to enrich cells for biological research.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · American Journal of Hematology
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    ABSTRACT: Background Drug resistance remains a major public health challenge for malaria treatment and eradication. Individual loci associated with drug resistance to many antimalarials have been identified, but their epistasis with other resistance mechanisms has not yet been elucidated.ResultsWe previously described two mutations in the cytoplasmic prolyl-tRNA synthetase (cPRS) that confer resistance to halofuginone. We describe here the evolutionary trajectory of halofuginone resistance of two independent drug resistance selections in Plasmodium falciparum. Using this novel methodology, we discover an unexpected non-genetic drug resistance mechanism that P. falciparum utilizes before genetic modification of the cPRS. P. falciparum first upregulates its proline amino acid homeostasis in response to halofuginone pressure. We show that this non-genetic adaptation to halofuginone is not likely mediated by differential RNA expression and precedes mutation or amplification of the cPRS gene. By tracking the evolution of the two drug resistance selections with whole genome sequencing, we further demonstrate that the cPRS locus accounts for the majority of genetic adaptation to halofuginone in P. falciparum. We further validate that copy-number variations at the cPRS locus also contribute to halofuginone resistance.Conclusions We provide a three-step model for multi-locus evolution of halofuginone drug resistance in P. falciparum. Informed by genomic approaches, our results provide the first comprehensive view of the evolutionary trajectory malaria parasites take to achieve drug resistance. Our understanding of the multiple genetic and non-genetic mechanisms of drug resistance informs how we will design and pair future anti-malarials for clinical use.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Genome Biology
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    ABSTRACT: As the intensity of malaria transmission has declined, Plasmodium falciparum parasite populations have displayed decreased clonal diversity resulting from the emergence of many parasites with common genetic signatures (CGS). We have monitored such CGS parasite clusters from 2006 to 2013 in Thiès, Senegal, using the molecular barcode. The first, and one of the largest observed clusters of CGS parasites, was present in 24% of clinical isolates in 2008, declined to 3.4% of clinical isolates in 2009, and then disappeared. To begin to explore the relationship between the immune responses of the population and the emergence and decline of specific parasite genotypes, we have determined whether antibodies to CGS parasites correlate with their prevalence. We measured (i) antibodies capable of inhibiting parasite growth in culture and (ii) antibodies recognizing the surfaces of infected erythrocytes (RBCs). IgG obtained from volunteers in 2009 showed increased reactivity to the surfaces of CGS-parasitized erythrocytes over IgG from 2008. Since P. falciparum EMP-1 (PfEMP-1) is a major variant surface antigen, we used var Ups quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) and sequencing with degenerate DBL1α domain primers to characterize the var genes expressed by CGS parasites after short-term in vitro culture. CGS parasites show upregulation of UpsA var genes and 2-cysteine-containing PfEMP-1 molecules and express the same dominant var transcript. Our work indicates that the CGS parasites in this cluster express similar var genes, more than would be expected by chance in the population, and that there is year-to-year variation in immune recognition of surface antigens on CGS parasite-infected erythrocytes. This study lays the groundwork for detailed investigations of the mechanisms driving the expansion or contraction of specific parasite clones in the population.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Infection and Immunity
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    ABSTRACT: Antimalarial drug resistance is the biggest threat to the current malaria eradication agenda (MaLERA) based on oral artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). ACTs are the standard of care for uncomplicated malaria, but reports of clinical treatment failures (defined as a reduced parasite clearance rate or persistence of parasites on the third day of treatment) of artesunate (AS) / mefloquine (MQ) combinations are rapidly emerging from South-East Asia. The Thai Plasmodium falciparum C2A clone is a Multiple Drug Resistant (MDR) isolate obtained from a patient in Thailand in 1992 before deployment of this ACT, first introduced in 1994 and adopted in 2005, though, artemisinins had been in use in western Cambodia since the late 70's (Witkowski et al, 2013). In a previous in vivo adaptation study in Aotus monkeys, we observed that even in the absence of MQ pressure, C2A appeared to gradually loose its susceptibility to MQ as passage levels increased. In order to further characterize this observation we assessed the efficacy of MQ and AS alone or in combination in infected splenectomized Aotus monkeys. Our results confirmed the previous findings of resistance to oral MQ at 40 mg / Kg given once or to oral AS at 33 mg / Kg x 3 days alone or in combination with MQ at 40 mg / kg once. Strikingly, in the AS alone group, clearance occur in 1 / 2 animals on day 7 post-treatment (PT) but recrudesce on day 8 PT (slow clearance phenotype) and persisted in the other one until day 10 PT when it was finally rescue treated. As a comparison, AS at 20 mg / Kg orally x 3 days against infections of the Vietnam CQ resistant FVO strain, clears infection within 1-2 days PT in spleen intact Aotus. Only when AS was administered IV at 20 mg / Kg x 3 days in combination with oral MQ at 40 mg / Kg, infections were cured in 4 / 5, but cleared and recrudesce in 1 / 5 rescue treated animals. Additional in vitro assays of C2A demonstrated reduced susceptibility to MQ, CQ, artemisinin, dihydro-arteminsinin, and atovaquone-proguanil, arteether and AS compared to the sensitive D6 strain, the in vitro adapted TM90-C2A line or passage III Aotus adapted C2A when compared to the later monkey passage X. Analysis of drug resistance loci and copy number variation is underway to determine the genetic basis for the observed drug resistance profile. We anticipate that these studies will shed light on the early spread and evolution of multi drug resistance and reduced artemisinin susceptibility in South-East Asia.
    Full-text · Conference Paper · Nov 2014

Publication Stats

8k Citations
1,458.59 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2009-2015
    • Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
    • State University of New York College at Geneseo
      • Department of Biology
      Geneseo, New York, United States
  • 1983-2015
    • Harvard University
      • • Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases
      • • Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1984-2011
    • Harvard Medical School
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1987-2008
    • Massachusetts Department of Public Health
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2007
    • Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar
      Dakar, Dakar, Senegal
  • 1996
    • Leiden University
      Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 1993
    • Chulalongkorn University
      Krung Thep, Bangkok, Thailand
  • 1990
    • Armed Forces Institute of Pathology
      Ralalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan
  • 1989
    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States