Submicroscopic Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte densities frequently result in mosquito infection.


Schneider, P; Bousema, JT; Gouagna, LC; Otieno, S; van de Vegte-Bolmer, M; Omar, SA; Sauerwein, RW; (2007) Submicroscopic Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte densities frequently result in mosquito infection. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene, 76 (3). pp. 470-4. ISSN 0002-9637

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Abstract

Submicroscopic Plasmodium falciparum gametocytemia (<5,000 gametocytes/mL) is common and may result in mosquito infection. We assessed the relation between gametocyte density and mosquito infection under experimental and field conditions using real-time quantitative nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (QT-NASBA) for gametocyte quantification. Serial dilutions of NF54 P. falciparum gametocytes showed a positive association between gametocyte density and the proportion of infected mosquitoes (beta=6.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.7-9.6; P=0.001). Successful infection became unlikely below an estimated density of 250-300 gametocytes/mL. In the field, blood samples of 100 naturally infected children showed a positive association between gametocyte density and oocyst counts in mosquitoes (beta=0.38; 95% CI, 0.14-0.61; P=0.002). The relative contribution to malaria transmission was similar for carriers with submicroscopic and microscopic gametocytemia. Our results show that transmission occurs efficiently at submicroscopic gametocyte densities and that carriers harboring submicroscopic gametocytemia constitute a considerable proportion of the human infectious reservoir.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Immunology and Infection
Research Centre: Malaria Centre
PubMed ID: 17360869
Web of Science ID: 244918700012
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/4974

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