Pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine efficacy and selection for mutations in Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase and dihydropteroate synthase in Mali.
To assess pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine (PS) efficacy in Mali, and the role of mutations in Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS) in in vivo PS resistance, 190 patients with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria were treated with PS and monitored for 56 days. Mutation-specific polymerase chain reactions and digestion with restriction endonucleases were used to detect DHFR and DHPS mutations on filter paper blood samples from pretreatment and post-treatment infections. Only one case each of RI and RII level resistance and no cases of RIII resistance or therapeutic failure were observed. Post-PS treatment infections had significantly higher rates of DHFR mutations at codons 108 and 59. No significant selection for DHPS mutations was seen. Pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine is highly efficacious in Mali, and while the low level of resistance precludes assessing the utility of molecular assays for in vivo PS resistance, rapid selection of DHFR mutations supports their role in PS failure. (+info)
A spatial statistical approach to malaria mapping.
BACKGROUND: Good maps of malaria risk have long been recognized as an important tool for malaria control. The production of such maps relies on modelling to predict the risk for most of the map, with actual observations of malaria prevalence usually only known at a limited number of specific locations. Estimation is complicated by the fact that there is often local variation of risk that cannot be accounted for by the known covariates and because data points of measured malaria prevalence are not evenly or randomly spread across the area to be mapped. METHOD: We describe, by way of an example, a simple two-stage procedure for producing maps of predicted risk: we use logistic regression modelling to determine approximate risk on a larger scale and we employ geo-statistical ('kriging') approaches to improve prediction at a local level. Malaria prevalence in children under 10 was modelled using climatic, population and topographic variables as potential predictors. After the regression analysis, spatial dependence of the model residuals was investigated. Kriging on the residuals was used to model local variation in malaria risk over and above that which is predicted by the regression model. RESULTS: The method is illustrated by a map showing the improvement of risk prediction brought about by the second stage. The advantages and shortcomings of this approach are discussed in the context of the need for further development of methodology and software. (+info)
The epidemiology of human hookworm infections in the southern region of Mali.
Two surveys of hookworm (Necator americanus) infections, conducted three years apart (December 1994 and January 1998) in a village in the Sikasso region of Mali, revealed that overall prevalence of infection was 68.7% and 53%, respectively. In both years there was a highly significant difference between the sexes in the prevalence and abundance of infection, with male subjects carrying heavier infections than females. Both prevalence and abundance of infection increased with age, although in 1998 there was a strong interaction between sex and age, arising from the declining egg counts among 16-20-year-old females and the continuing increase among males, reinforced by the subsequent reduction among the older males (> or = 61 years) and concomitant increase among females. After controlling for the effects of age, sex and their interaction, a highly significant positive relationship was detected between faecal egg counts of individuals who were examined in both 1994 and 1998 (n = 134), indicating predisposition to infection. This relationship remained significant in each of 4 age classes spanning 7-79 years. The members of some family compounds were shown to carry heavier infections than expected whilst others were less infected, suggesting compound-related clustering of hookworm infections. The use of footwear increased with age but there was no significant relationship between the extent of use of footwear and the abundance of hookworm infection. Eyesight deteriorated with age and impaired vision was particularly prominent among the older sectors of the community, a legacy from the time when onchocerciasis was widely prevalent in the region. Although men with partially damaged eyes carried lower infections than expected for their age, no overall significant relationship was found between quality of vision and hookworm infections. These results are discussed in relation to hookworm epidemiology in general and in Mali in particular. (+info)
What does a single determination of malaria parasite density mean? A longitudinal survey in Mali.
Temporal variations of blood parasite density were evaluated in a longitudinal study of young, asymptomatic men in a village with endemic malaria in Mali (West Africa). Our main intention was to challenge the value of a single measure of parasite density for the diagnosis of malaria, and to define the level of endemicity in any given area. Parasitaemia and body temperature were recorded three times a day in the wet season (in 39 subjects on 12 days) and in the dry season (in 41 subjects on 13 days). Two thousand nine hundred and fifty seven blood smears (98.5% of the expected number) were examined for malaria parasites. We often found 100-fold or greater variations in parasite density within a 6-hour period during individual follow-up. All infected subjects had frequent negative smears. Although fever was most likely to occur in subjects with a maximum parasite density exceeding 10000 parasites/mm3 (P = 0.009), there was no clear relationship between the timing of these two events. Examples of individual profiles for parasite density and fever are presented. These variations (probably due to a 'sequestration-release' mechanism, which remains to be elucidated) lead us to expect a substantial impact on measurements of endemicity when only a single sample is taken. In this study, the percentage of infected individuals varied between 28.9% and 57.9% during the dry season and between 27.5% and 70.7% during the wet season. The highest rates were observed at midday, and there were significant differences between days. Thus, high parasite density sometimes associated with fever can no longer be considered as the gold standard in the diagnosis of malaria. Other approaches, such as decision-making processes involving clinical, biological and ecological variables must be developed, especially in highly endemic areas where Plasmodium infection is the rule rather than the exception and the possible causes of fever are numerous. (+info)
Rapid selection of Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase mutants by pyrimethamine prophylaxis.
A prospective study was conducted to measure the selective effect of pyrimethamine prophylaxis on point mutations in Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). A total of 109 Malian children were given pyrimethamine weekly for 5 weeks. P. falciparum infections were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction for DHFR mutations, which were dramatically more frequent among prophylaxis-breakthrough infections than at baseline: the prevalence of Asn-108 rose from 13% to 100%, Ile-51 from 4% to 50%, and Arg-59 from 11% to 90%. Eight persistent infections lacking detectable DHFR mutations at baseline developed multiple mutations within 1 week of the patients' starting pyrimethamine prophylaxis. Microsatellite analysis found no evidence of clonal identity among baseline and breakthrough infections. Analysis of these data demonstrates that under prophylaxis conditions, pyrimethamine is strongly selective for DHFR mutations, which arise extremely rapidly under drug pressure, even when undetectable in the initial infection. These findings have implications for prophylaxis regimens with other antifolate drugs. (+info)
Hemoglobin C associated with protection from severe malaria in the Dogon of Mali, a West African population with a low prevalence of hemoglobin S.
The malaria hypothesis proposes a survival advantage for individuals with hemoglobin variants in areas of endemic Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Hemoglobin C (HbC) is a possible example in West Africa, where this hemoglobin has a centric distribution with high frequencies among certain populations including the Dogon ethnic group. To test whether HbC is associated with protection from malaria, we performed a case-control study in the Dogon of Bandiagara, Mali. HbC was present in 68 of 391 (17.4%) of uncomplicated malaria control cases, whereas it was detected in only 3 of 67 cases (4.5%) of severe malaria (odds ratio [OR], 0.22; P =. 01). Further, HbC was present in only 1 of 34 cases (2.9%) with cerebral manifestations, the most common presentation of severe malaria in this population (OR, 0.14; P =.03). Episodes of uncomplicated malaria and parasitemias (4800-205 050/microL) were identified in cases of homozygous HbC (HbCC), which indicates that P falciparum parasites are able to efficiently replicate within HbCC erythrocytes in vivo. These findings suggest that HbC does not protect against infection or uncomplicated malaria but can protect against severe malaria in the Dogon population of Bandiagara, Mali. The data also suggest that the protective effect associated with HbC may be greater than that of HbS in this population. (+info)
Gene flow among populations of the malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae, in Mali, West Africa.
The population structure of the Anopheles gambiae complex is unusual, with several sibling species often occupying a single area and, in one of these species, An. gambiae sensu stricto, as many as three "chromosomal forms" occurring together. The chromosomal forms are thought to be intermediate between populations and species, distinguishable by patterns of chromosome gene arrangements. The extent of reproductive isolation among these forms has been debated. To better characterize this structure we measured effective population size, N(e), and migration rates, m, or their product by both direct and indirect means. Gene flow among villages within each chromosomal form was found to be large (N(e)m > 40), was intermediate between chromosomal forms (N(e)m approximately 3-30), and was low between species (N(e)m approximately 0.17-1.3). A recently developed means for distinguishing among certain of the forms using PCR indicated rates of gene flow consistent with those observed using the other genetic markers. (+info)
Child malaria treatment practices among mothers in the district of Yanfolila, Sikasso region, Mali.
We studied child malaria treatment practices among mothers living in the District of Yanfolila in southern Mali. For sampling, we first chose five of 13 health areas with probability proportional to size. Then villages, compounds and mothers with at least one child aged 1-5 years were randomly chosen. We assessed the spleen size of one 1-5 year-old child of each mother, collected a thick blood film and recorded the body temperature of every child whose mother thought he/she was sick. 399 mothers in 28 villages were interviewed with a structured questionnaire divided into two parts. If the child had had soumaya (a term previously associated with uncomplicated malaria) during the past rainy season, we asked about signs and symptoms, health-seeking behaviour (who the mother consulted first) and treatment. If not, information about knowledge of the disease and treatment to be given was collected. 86% of the mothers interviewed stated that their child had been sick and almost half of them had had soumaya. All mothers named at least one sign by which they recognized the disease. Vomiting, fever and dark urine/yellow eyes/jaundice were the three most common signs mentioned. 75.8% managed their child's disease at home and used both traditional and modern treatment. The most common anti-malarial drug was chloroquine, often given at inappropriate dosage. The sensitivity and specificity of the mothers' diagnosis was poor, although this might be explained by the large percentage of children who had already been treated at the time of the interview. The results of our survey call for prompt educational action for the correct treatment of uncomplicated malaria/soumaya, particularly for mothers and possibly for shopkeepers. The high spleen rate (58.1%) among randomly selected children confirms that malaria is a common disease in this area. Improved case-management at home could only be beneficial. (+info)