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Plasmodium falciparum Genetic Diversity in Bangladesh Does Not Suggest a Hypoendemic Population Structure

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  • International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), Dhaka, Bangladesh; Department of Biochemistry, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia; Department of Microbiology and Infectious Disease, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Parasitology Branch, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Despite the recommendation for the use of merozoite surface protein 1 (msp1), merozoite surface protein 2 (msp2), and glutamate-rich protein (glurp) genes as markers in drug efficacy studies by World Health Organization and their limited use in Bangladesh, the circulating Plasmodium falciparum population genetic structure has not yet been assessed in Bangladesh. This study presents a comprehensive report on the circulating P. falciparum population structure based on msp1, msp2, and glurp polymorphic gene markers in Bangladesh. Among the 130 pretreatment (day 0) P. falciparum samples from seven malaria-endemic districts, 14 distinct genotypes were observed for msp1, 20 for msp2, and 13 for glurp. Polyclonal infection was reported in 94.6% (N = 123) of the samples. Multiplicity of infection (MOI) for msp1 was the highest (1.5) among the MOIs of the markers. The heterozygosity for msp1, msp2, and glurp was 0.89, 0.93, and 0.83, respectively. Data according to different malaria-endemic areas are also presented and discussed. Bangladesh is considered as a malaria-hypoendemic country. However, the prevalence of polyclonal infection and the genetic diversity of P. falciparum do not represent hypoendemicity.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Mohammad Shafiul Alam, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), 68 Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Sarani, Mohakhali, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh. E-mail: shafiul@icddrb.org† These authors contributed equally to this work.

Financial support: This study was funded by the SAMS and the Velux Foundation.

Authors' addresses: Mohammad Shafiul Alam, Hasan Mohammad Al-Amin, Mohammad Golam Kibria, Wasif A. Khan, and Rashidul Haque, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), Dhaka, Bangladesh, E-mails: shafiul@icddrb.org, alamin@icddrb.org, golam.kibria@icddrb.org, wakhan@icddrb.org, and rhaque@icddrb.org. Rubayet Elahi, Department of Biochemistry, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, E-mail: rubayet@vt.edu. Abu Naser Mohon, Department of Microbiology and Infectious Disease, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, E-mail: manmohon@ucalgary.ca. Hamida Khanum, Parasitology Branch, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh, E-mail: hamida_khanum@yahoo.com.

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