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PLASMODIUM FALCIPARUM GENOTYPING BY MICROSATELLITES AS A METHOD TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN RECRUDESCENT AND NEW INFECTIONS

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  • 1 Department of Parasitology, Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium

In vivo tests for susceptibility to antimalarial drugs require molecular methods to distinguish recrudescence from new infection. The most commonly used DNA markers (merozoite surface proteins [MSPs]) are under immune selective pressure, which might lead to misclassification. We evaluated immunologically neutral microsatellite markers in blood samples collected during a drug efficacy trial in Rwanda. Fifty percent of the infections classified as recrudescent by MSP were classified as new by microsatellite markers. Reciprocally, 23.3% of infections classified as recrudescent by microsatellite markers were identified as new by MSP. In drug efficacy studies, microsatellite markers should complement MSP genotyping to distinguish a recrudescence from a new infection.

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