The Epidemiology of Plasmodium vivax Circumsporozoite Protein Polymorphs in Thailand

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  • Department of Entomology, U.S. Army Medical Component, Department of Entomology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Bangkok, Thailand
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Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) highly specific for the characteristic repeat units of the circumsporozoite proteins of the VK 247 and VK 210 polymorphs of Plasmodium vivax were used to test sporozoites produced by feeding mosquitoes on 1,711 human volunteers presenting at four locations in Thailand over five years. There was no evidence for the existence of any polymorph other than the two already described. Based on the ELISAs, the overall prevalence of the VK 247 type was 29.5%, including those found mixed with VK 210. Relative proportions of VK 210 and VK 247 differed between collection sites. At all places, the ratio of VK 210 to VK 247 was significantly higher at the end of the nontransmission season than it was later during the annual monsoon, suggesting that there may be intrinsic biological differences between the polymorphs that affect their survival.