Higher gametocyte production and mosquito infectivity in chronic compared to incident Plasmodium falciparum infections

Barry, A. et al. (2021) Higher gametocyte production and mosquito infectivity in chronic compared to incident Plasmodium falciparum infections. Nature Communications, 12, 2443. (doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-22573-7) (PMID:33903595) (PMCID:PMC8076179)

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Abstract

Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte kinetics and infectivity may differ between chronic and incident infections. In the current study, we assess parasite kinetics and infectivity to mosquitoes among children (aged 5–10 years) from Burkina Faso with (a) incident infections following parasite clearance (n = 48) and (b) chronic asymptomatic infections (n = 60). In the incident infection cohort, 92% (44/48) of children develop symptoms within 35 days, compared to 23% (14/60) in the chronic cohort. All individuals with chronic infection carried gametocytes or developed them during follow-up, whereas only 35% (17/48) in the incident cohort produce gametocytes before becoming symptomatic and receiving treatment. Parasite multiplication rate (PMR) and the relative abundance of ap2-g and gexp-5 transcripts are positively associated with gametocyte production. Antibody responses are higher and PMR lower in chronic infections. The presence of symptoms and sexual stage immune responses are associated with reductions in gametocyte infectivity to mosquitoes. We observe that most incident infections require treatment before the density of mature gametocytes is sufficient to infect mosquitoes. In contrast, chronic, asymptomatic infections represent a significant source of mosquito infections. Our observations support the notion that malaria transmission reduction may be expedited by enhanced case management, involving both symptom-screening and infection detection.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by a fellowship from the European Research Council (ERC-2014-StG 639776), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (INDIE OPP1173572) and the Radboud-Glasgow Collaboration Fund. J.B. received support from the UK MRC and the UK DFID (#MR/R010161/1) under the MRC/DFID Concordat agreement and as part of the EDCTP2 Programme supported by the European Union. W.S. is funded on a Sir Henry Wellcome fellowship (number 218676/Z/19/Z) from the Wellcome Trust, UK.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Marti, Professor Matthias
Authors: Barry, A., Bradley, J., Stone, W., Guelbeogo, M. W., Lanke, K., Ouedraogo, A., Soulama, I., Nébié, I., Serme, S. S., Grignard, L., Patterson, C., Wu, L., Briggs, J. J., Janson, O., Awandu, S. S., Ouedraogo, M., Tarama, C. W., Kargougou, D., Zongo, S., Sirima, S. B., Marti, M., Drakeley, C., Tiono, A. B., and Bousema, T.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Nature Communications
Publisher:Nature Research
ISSN:2041-1723
ISSN (Online):2041-1723
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Nature Communications 12: 2443
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
Data DOI:10.5061/dryad.pc866t1n3

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