Genetic diversity of Plasmodium vivax in Suriname

The extent of diversity and geographical dispersion of Plasmodium vivax (Pv) species in Suriname was investigated in two studies. Finger prick blood from Pv malaria positive patients was collected in the period January-September 2006 (Kwamalasemutu) and in October 2006 – October 2007 (Boven Suriname, Brokopondo and Marowijne).

The genetic markers Pv msp 1-F2, coding for the highly immunogenic region (F2) of the merozoite surface protein 1, Pv cs, coding for the circumsporozoite protein and Pv msp3α, coding for the merozoite surface protein 3, were independently assessed. We revealed a highly diverse P. vivax population in Suriname. Clustering of identical geno-types appeared to occur in Kwamalasemutu, since more than 50% of the isolates collected from this region were not only identical for all three investigated genes, but this specific allelic type was not detected in other parts of Suriname.

The genetic P.vivax diversity in East and Central Suriname seemed to be less pronounced than in South Suriname. The spatial dispersion of the repeat number variants seemed random throughout the investigated areas. RFLP-analysis could distinguish both the repeat number variants with 19 and 21 repeats as the VK210 type.

All isolates designated as VK210 were identical in the sub typing for pre- and post-repeat inserts (no inserts). However, the majority of the samples, although divided in three subtypes based on RFLP-analysis, could not be characterized as either VK210, VK247 or vivax-like. Nucleotide sequencing in collaboration with CDC Atlanta revealed that all tested parasites harbored the non-repeat GDRAD/AGQPA, characterizing all isolates as the classic VK210 variant.