Quantification of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes in differential stages of development by quantitative nucleic acid sequence-based amplification.
until further notice
SourceMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology, 137, 1, (2004), pp. 35-41
Article / Letter to editor
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Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
SubjectEBP 3: Effective Primary Care and Public Health; UMCN 4.1: Microbial pathogenesis and host defense
Two quantitative nucleic acid sequence-based amplification assays (QT-NASBA) based on Pfs16 and Pfs25, have been developed to quantify sexual stage commitment and mature gametocytes of Plasmodium falciparum. Pfs16 mRNA is expressed in all sexual forms including sexually committed ring stages while expression of Pfs25 mRNA is restricted to late stage gametocytes. Both assays showed a sensitivity of one sexual stage parasite/microl of blood. Blood samples from experimentally infected non-immune human volunteers were tested for Plasmodium falciparum by standard microscopy, a previously developed asexual 18S rRNA QT-NASBA, Pfs16 and Pfs25 mRNA QT-NASBA. Pfs16 QT-NASBA was positive in 9 out of 10 volunteers within 48 h after first detection of 18S rRNA, mostly before or at the day of positive microscopy. In contrast, the Pfs25 mRNA QT-NASBA was negative during the 28 days of follow-up, but consistently positive in gametocyte samples from naturally infected Kenyan patients. These data suggest that sexual stage commitment can occur early in the blood-stage infection without successful maturation into infectious gametocytes. In conclusion, Pfs16 and Pfs25 QT-NASBA assays in combination with a previously developed asexual stage QT-NASBA allow for the separate quantification of all developmental stages present in the circulation. The application of sexual stage QT-NASBA assays may contribute to a better understanding of the biology and epidemiology of malaria transmission.
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