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The epidemiology of multiple-clone Plasmodium falciparum infections in Gambian patients

  • D. J. Conway (a1), B. M. Greenwood (a2) and J. S. McBride (a1)

Extract

The occurrence of multiple-clone Plasmodium falciparum haploid blood-stage infections is a pre-requisite for cross-fertilization and genetic exchange at the diploid stage in the mosquito. Using monoclonal antibodies against 3 polymorphic blood-stage antigens, a method of two-colour differential immunofluorescence allowed the resolution of between 1 and 4 clones/isolate. A mean of 2 P. falciparum clones was detected in the blood of malaria patients in The Gambia. The mean number of clones/patient showed no correlation with age, parasitaemia, or disease severity. There was a slight difference in mean number between sample periods, probably reflecting temporal differences in transmission intensity. A statistical analysis of 2-locus genetic diversity of clones within isolates concludes that not all multiple-clone infections result from superinfection, but that some are due to single multiple-clone inoculations.

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Carter, R. & McGregor, I. A. (1973). Enzyme variation in Plasmodium falciparum in the Gambia. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 67, 830–7.
Chang, S. P., Kramer, K. J., Yamaga, K. M., Kato, A., Case, S. E. & Siddiqui, W. A. (1988). Plasmodium falciparum: gene structure and hydropathy profile of the major merozoite surface antigen (gp 195) of the Uganda-Palo Alto isolate. Experimental Parasitology 67, 111.
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Creasey, A., Fenton, B., Walker, A., Thaithong, S., Oliveira, S., Mutambu, S. & Walliker, D. (1990). Genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum shows geographic variation. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 42, 403–13.
Deitz, K. (1988). Density dependence in parasite transmission dynamics. Parasitology Today 4, 91–7.
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Parasitology
  • ISSN: 0031-1820
  • EISSN: 1469-8161
  • URL: /core/journals/parasitology
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