A cohort study of Plasmodium falciparum diversity during the dry season in Ndiop, a Senegalese village with seasonal, mesoendemic malaria.Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1999 Jul-Aug; 93(4):375-80.TR
Prolonged carriage of Plasmodium falciparum in humans during the dry season is critical for parasite survival, as the infected subjects constitute a major reservoir in the absence of transmission. Yet, very little is known about the host/parasite interactions contributing to parasite persistence. In order to study the characteristics of P. falciparum infections during the dry season, we have genotyped parasites collected from untreated, asymptomatic individuals during 3 cross-sectional surveys conducted during the dry season in Ndiop, a Senegalese village with seasonal, mesoendemic malaria. Monthly entomological surveillance did not detect any transmission during that period. Parasite prevalence decreased markedly in the children aged < 7 years after 7 months of undetected transmission, but was stable in older children and adults throughout the dry season. In all chronically infected individuals, infection complexity remained stable, but there were substantial fluctuations of individual genotype(s), reflecting complex dynamics of multiple-clone infections during chronic asymptomatic parasite carriage. This fluctuation resulted in changes in the msp1 and msp2 allelic distribution within the cohort after 7 months of undetected transmission, contrasting with the stability observed during the preceding rainy season in that village.