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Plasmodium vivax malaria in Mali: a study from three different regions

Maria Bernabeu1, Gloria P Gomez-Perez1, Sibiri Sissoko2, Mohamed B Niambélé2, Allassane Ag Haibala23, Ariadna Sanz1, Mahamadou A Théra2, Carmen Fernandez-Becerra1, Klénon Traoré23, Pedro L Alonso1, Quique Bassat1, Hernando A del Portillo14* and Ogobara Doumbo2*

Author Affiliations

1 Barcelona Centre for International Health Research (CRESIB, Hospital Clínic-Universitat de Barcelona), Barcelona, 08036, Spain

2 Malaria Research and Training Centre, Department of Epidemiology of Parasitic Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry, UMI-Mali 3189, University of Sciences, Techniques and Technologies, Bamako, Bamako, B.P. 1805, Mali

3 Programme National de Lutte Contre le Paludisme, Ministère de la Santé, Bamako, B.P. 232, Mali

4 Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA), Barcelona, 08010, Spain

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Malaria Journal 2012, 11:405  doi:10.1186/1475-2875-11-405

Published: 5 December 2012



Plasmodium vivax has traditionally been considered virtually absent from Western and Central Africa, due to the absence of the Duffy blood group in most of the population living in these areas. Recent reports, however, suggest the circulation of P. vivax in sub-Saharan Africa.


Giemsa/Field-stained smears from febrile patients recruited in five different cities (Goundam, Tombouctou, Gao, Bourem and Kidal) pertaining to three regions from Northern Mali were examined. Nested-PCR and DNA sequence analyses of selected samples were performed to fully confirm the presence of P. vivax infections.


Results demonstrated the presence of P. vivax infections in close to 30% of the cases as detected by Giemsa/Field-stained smears and nested-PCR and DNA-sequence analyses of selected samples unequivocally confirmed the presence of P. vivax.


The diagnostics of this human malaria parasite should be taken into account in the context of malaria control and elimination efforts, not only in Mali, but also in sub-Saharan Africa.

Mali; Sub-Saharan Africa; Plasmodium vivax; Vivax malaria; Nested-PCR; DNA sequencing; SSU RNA; Giemsa-smears