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Plasmodium falciparum gametocytaemia with chloroquine chemotherapy in persistent malaria in an endemic area of India
P.K. Kar, V.K. Dua, N.C. Gupta, , A.P. Dash
Published in
PMID: 19491423
Volume: 129
Issue: 3
Pages: 299 - 304
Background & objectives: Gametocyte sex-ratio in Plasmodium falciparum malaria is an important determinant of transmission success and basis of disease epidemiology. Information on ratio of male to female gametocytes after an exposure of antimalarial regimens under field conditions is very limited. In this retrospective study we observed high densities of gametocytes along with high sex-ratio in P. falciparum cases, which may be responsible for persistent malaria transmission in this area. Methods: Laksar PHC of Hardwar district, Uttarakhand State, India was selected because it contributed 90 per cent of the total malaria cases. A total of 568 uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria patients were assessed to investigate prevalence of gametocytes while 339 P. falciparum thick smears containing 5620 gametocytes were screened for measuring the gametocyte density for microgametocyte (male) and macrogametocyte (female). Homology of variance ('F' test) was checked on days 7 and 14 including the variables and risk factors namely fever, parasitaemia, gametocyte carriage in sensitive and resistant chloroquine treated P. falciparum cases. Results: Slide positivity rate (SPR) increased drastically from 0.23 to 11.4 per cent with the predominance in P. falciparum infection after 1998. All 568 cases showed gametocytes in their peripheral blood, of which 109 (19%) were infected with rings and gametocytes and 459 (81%) had gametocytes stages in their peripheral blood while 422 (74.3%) cases were infected with ring stages only. Of the 339 P. falciparum positive blood smears, 5620 gametocytes were screened for their sex-ratio. The mean sex-ratio was 0.31 (3.22 female per male). Prevalence of gametocytaemia was significantly higher (P<0.05) in chloroquine (CQ)- resistant than in CQ-sensitive patients with days 7 and 14 follow up. The homology of variance with risk factors for gametocytes on days 7 and 14 were highly significant (P<0.001) in the study period but during the post-exposure period of days 3 and 5, these were insignificantly correlated. Interpretation & conclusion: A high density of P. falciparum gametocytes was observed at the time of preparation of blood slide on day 0. Improper chloroquine treatment along with poor patient compliance for radical treatment and the presence of chloroquine resistant P. falciparum malaria may have enhanced the prevalence and density of P. falciparum gametocytes which was instrumental in signaling the persistent malaria in this area.
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