Blood-stage parasitaemia and age determine Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax gametocytaemia in Papua New Guinea
journal contributionposted on 2015-05-21, 00:00 authored by C Koepfli, L J Robinson, P Rarau, M Salib, N Sambale, R Wampfler, I Betuela, W Nuitragool, Alyssa BarryAlyssa Barry, P Siba, I Felger, I Mueller
© 2015 Koepfli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. A better understanding of human-to-mosquito transmission is crucial to control malaria. In order to assess factors associated with gametocyte carriage, 2083 samples were collected in a cross-sectional survey in Papua New Guinea. Plasmodium species were detected by light microscopy and qPCR and gametocytes by detection of pfs25 and pvs25mRNA transcripts by reverse-transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR). The parasite prevalence by PCR was 18.5% for Plasmodium falciparumand 13.0% for P. vivax. 52.5% of all infections were submicroscopic. Gametocytes were detected in 60% of P. falciparum-positive and 51% of P. vivax-positive samples. Each 10-fold increase in parasite density led to a 1.8-fold and 3.3-fold increase in the odds of carrying P. falciparum and P. vivax gametocytes. Thus the proportion of gametocyte positive and gametocyte densities was highest in young children carrying high asexual parasite densities and in symptomatic individuals. Dilution series of gametocytes allowed absolute quantification of gametocyte densities by qRT-PCR and showed that pvs25expression is 10-20 fold lower than pfs25expression. Between 2006 and 2010 parasite prevalence in the study site has decreased by half. 90% of the remaining infections were asymptomatic and likely constitute an important reservoir of transmission. However, mean gametocyte densities were low (approx. 1-2 gametocyte/μL) and it remains to be determined to what extent low-density gametocyte positive individuals are infective to mosquitos.