Plasmodium vivax Infections in Chimpanzees for Sporozoite Challenge Studies in Monkeys

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  • Division of Parasitic Diseases and Scientific Resources Program, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

The development and testing of vaccines directed against Plasmodium vivax has relied on Saimiri and Aotus monkeys as the animal test system and on chimpanzees to provide infective gametocytes to produce sporozoites for monkey challenge studies and vaccine development. One sporozoite-induced and 29 blood-induced infections with the Salvador I strain of P. vivax were studied in splenectomized chimpanzees. Eighteen primary infections with P. vivax resulted in maximum parasite counts ranging from 1,519 to 81,810/µl (median 29,100/µl). Twelve infections induced in animals previously infected with the homologous or heterologous strains of P. vivax had maximum parasite counts ranging from 155 to 14,136/µl (median 1,736/µl). A total of 202 of 237 lots containing a total of 293,175 Anopheles freeborni, An. stephensi, An. gambiae, An. dirus, An. quadrimaculatus, and An. maculatus mosquitoes were infected by membrane feeding on gametocytes from chimpanzees. Despite lower levels of parasitemia during secondary (reinfection) parasitemia, 66 of 70 lots of mosquitoes (94.3%) were infected. Based on the mean number of oocysts per positive mosquito gut, An. freeborni was more heavily infected than An. stephensi; An. stephensi was more heavily infected than An. gambiae; there was no significant difference between An. stephensi and An. dirus. Sporozoites from An. stephensi, An. gambiae, An. dirus, and An. freeborni infected with the Salvador I strain of P. vivax produced in chimpanzees were used to infect 193 Saimiri and six Aotus monkeys as well as one chimpanzee.

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