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Open Access Research

Genetic diversity of Plasmodium vivax clinical isolates from southern Pakistan using pvcsp and pvmsp1 genetic markers

Afsheen Raza1, Najia K Ghanchi1, Ali M Thaver2, Sana Jafri1 and Mohammad A Beg1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pathology and Microbiology, Aga Khan University, Stadium Road, PO Box 3500, Karachi, 74800, Pakistan

2 Aga Khan Medical College, Stadium Road, PO Box 3500, Karachi, 74800, Pakistan

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Malaria Journal 2013, 12:16  doi:10.1186/1475-2875-12-16

Published: 11 January 2013

Abstract

Background

Plasmodium vivax is the prevalent malarial species accounting for 70% of malaria burden in Pakistan; however, there is no baseline data on the circulating genotypes. Studies have shown that polymorphic loci of gene encoding antigens pvcsp and pvmsp1 can be used reliably for conducting molecular epidemiological studies. Therefore, this study aimed to bridge the existing knowledge gap on population structure on P. vivax from Pakistan using these two polymorphic genes.

Methods

During the period January 2008 to May 2009, a total of 250 blood samples were collected from patients tested slide positive for P. vivax, at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, or its collection units located in Baluchistan and Sindh Province. Nested PCR/RFLP was performed, using pvcsp and pvmsp1 markers to detect the extent of genetic diversity in clinical isolates of P. vivax from southern Pakistan.

Results

A total of 227/250 (91%) isolates were included in the analysis while the remainder were excluded due to negative PCR outcome for P.vivax. Pvcsp analysis showed that both VK 210 (85.5%, 194/227) and VK 247 type (14.5%, 33/227) were found to be circulating in P. vivax isolates from southern Pakistan. A total of sixteen and eighty-seven genotypes of pvcsp and pvmsp-1 were detected respectively.

Conclusion

This is the first report from southern Pakistan on characterization of P. vivax isolates confirming that extensively diverse pvcsp and pvmsp1 variants are present within this region. Results from this study provide valuable data on genetic diversity of P. vivax that will be helpful for further epidemiological studies.

Keywords:
Malaria; Plasmodium vivax; Pakistan; Genetic diversity; Population structure; Circumsporozoite protein; Merozoite surface protein 1