Commentary

Theoretical origin of genetically homologous Plasmodium vivax malarial recurrences

Miles B. Markus
Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases | Vol 37, No 1 | a369 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajid.v37i1.369 | © 2022 Miles Berkeley Markus | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 November 2021 | Published: 30 March 2022

About the author(s)

Miles B. Markus, Wits Research Institute for Malaria, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; and, School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax is being diagnosed with increasing frequency in Africa. Some southern countries where it has been detected are Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Knowing the parasite origin of P. vivax infection recurrences (which can be reinfections, recrudescences or relapses) is important epidemiologically for malaria elimination in Africa. Although hypnozoites will no doubt be a source, we should try to determine how frequently the origin of non-reinfection recurrences of P. vivax malaria involving closely related parasites may be non-circulating merozoites rather than hypnozoites.

Keywords

epidemiology; genotyping; hypnozoite; identity by descent; meiotic sibling; Plasmodium vivax; primaquine; relapse; single-cell sequencing; whole-genome sequencing

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