Dynamics of gametocytes among Plasmodium falciparum clones in natural infections in an area of highly seasonal transmission

Amel Abdel-Wahab, Abdel Muhsin A Abdel-Muhsin, Eltayeb Ali, Suad Suleiman, Salah Ahmed, David Walliker, Hamza A. Babiker

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The dynamics of gametocyte production in Plasmodium falciparurn clones were studied in inhabitants of an area of highly seasonal malaria transmission in eastern Sudan. Reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction was used to detect expression of 2 genes that encode gametocyte-specific proteins, pfs25 and pfg377, in parasites sampled from individuals throughout one year. Some patients who acquired infections during the wet season were found to harbor subpatent gametocytemia through the following dry season in the apparent absence of mosquito transmission. Genotyping of parasites in multiclonal infections showed considerable fluctuation of gametocyte production by individual clones. The gametocytes present at the end of the dry season provide the most probable source of the genetically complex cyclical malaria outbreaks following the rainy season in this region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1838-1842
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Immunology

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