Genetic Diversity of Plasmodium Falciparum and Plasmodium Vivax Isolates in Different Endemic Zones of Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Genetic typing of the parasites has been used as a marker for determining the level of transmission, level of acquired immune response and for analyzing the relationship between infection and pathogenesis of malaria. The present study is aimed at describing the prevalent parasite population dynamics of Ethiopian isolates in relation to age related protection and parasite pathogencity in different geographical settings. For this purpose, finger prick blood samples were collected on filter paper and slides from microscopically confirmed malaria patients (age > 3 months) attending health clinics in Arbaminch, Burie, Derra, and Zeway. Then DNA was extracted by chelex extraction method and used for PCR amplification: family-specific nested PCR of MSP-2 gene for genotyping P. falciparum and PCR-RFLP analysis of MSP-3α gene was used to genotype P.vivax. The findings of the study showed that mean number of genotypes for P. falciparum was 2.34 with a range of 1 to 6 and 78.2% of the isolates were multiclonal majority of them carrying double infection. Thirty-seven alleles were detected in FC27 (17) and IC-1 (20) allelic families. No significant associations found between age and multiplicity of infection while the difference was significant in different geographical areas. Fifteen different genotypes of P. vivax were found and 7.2% of the isolates were multiclonal. Based on the results of the study it was concluded that Ethiopian isolates P. vivax and P. falciparum are highly diverse with a pattern similar to other countries with the same level of transmission. Further nation wide investigation is recommended to better understand polymorphism of malaria parasites in relation to acquired immune response and pathogenicity.