Molecular epidemiology of Plasmodium falciparum malaria outbreak, Tumbes, Peru, 2010–2012

Okoth S. "Molecular epidemiology of Plasmodium falciparum malaria outbreak, Tumbes, Peru, 2010–2012." Emerging infectious diseases. 2015;21(5):797.


During 2010–2012, an outbreak of 210 cases of malaria occurred in Tumbes, in the northern coast of Peru, where no Plasmodium falciparum malaria case had been reported since 2006. To identify the source of the parasite causing this outbreak, we conducted a molecular epidemiology investigation. Microsatellite typing showed an identical genotype in all 54 available isolates. This genotype was also identical to that of parasites isolated in 2010 in the Loreto region of the Peruvian Amazon and closely related to clonet B, a parasite lineage previously reported in the Amazon during 1998–2000. These findings are consistent with travel history of index case-patients. DNA sequencing revealed mutations in the Pfdhfr, Pfdhps, Pfcrt, and Pfmdr1 loci, which are strongly associated with resistance to chloroquine and sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine, and deletion of the Pfhrp2 gene. These results highlight the need for timely molecular epidemiology investigations to trace the parasite source during malaria reintroduction events.

Keywords: Falciparum malaria, Plasmodium, Peru, microsatellite markers, parasites, malaria, Peru


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