Increasingly inbred and fragmented populations of Plasmodium vivax associated with the eastward decline in malaria transmission across the Southwest Pacific

Waltmann, Andrea, Koepfli, Cristian, Tessier, Natacha, Karl, Stephan, Fola, Abebe, Darcy, Andrew W., Wini, Lyndes, Harrison, G. L. Abby, Barnadas, Céline, Jennison, Charlie, Karunajeewa, Harin, Boyd, Sarah, Whittaker, Maxine, Kazura, James, Bahlo, Melanie, Mueller, Ivo, and Barry, Alyssa E. (2018) Increasingly inbred and fragmented populations of Plasmodium vivax associated with the eastward decline in malaria transmission across the Southwest Pacific. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 12 (1).

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The human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax is more resistant to malaria control strategies than Plasmodium falciparum, and maintains high genetic diversity even when transmission is low. To investigate whether declining P. vivax transmission leads to increasing population structure that would facilitate elimination, we genotyped samples from across the Southwest Pacific region, which experiences an eastward decline in malaria transmission, as well as samples from two time points at one site (Tetere, Solomon Islands) during intensified malaria control. Analysis of 887 P. vivax microsatellite haplotypes from hyperendemic Papua New Guinea (PNG, n = 443), meso-hyperendemic Solomon Islands (n = 420), and hypoendemic Vanuatu (n = 24) revealed increasing population structure and multilocus linkage disequilibrium yet a modest decline in diversity as transmission decreases over space and time. In Solomon Islands, which has had sustained control efforts for 20 years, and Vanuatu, which has experienced sustained low transmission for many years, significant population structure was observed at different spatial scales. We conclude that control efforts will eventually impact P. vivax population structure and with sustained pressure, populations may eventually fragment into a limited number of clustered foci that could be targeted for elimination.

Item ID: 52179
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1935-2735
Keywords: P vivax, malaria, malaria elimination, South West Pacific, Solomon Islands
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Copyright Information: Copyright: © 2018 Waltmann et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Previously released with the titles: 'Long-term sustained malaria control leads to inbreeding and fragmentation of Plasmodium vivax populations'; and 'Increasingly inbred and fragmented populations of Plasmodium vivax with declining transmission'. See Related URLs.

Funders: National Institute of Health (NIH), National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NIH U19AI089686, NHMRC 1021544, NHMRC 1003825
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2018 04:10
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3207 Medical microbiology > 320704 Medical parasitology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 75%
92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920308 Pacific Peoples Health - Health Status and Outcomes @ 25%
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