Serologial evidence ofdiscrete spatial clusters of Plasmodium falciparum parasites

Philip Bejon, Louise Turner, Thomas Lavstsen, Gerald Cham, Ally Olotu, Chris J. Drakeley, Marc Lievens, Johan Vekemans, Barbara Savarese, John Lusingu, Lorenz von Seidlein, Peter C. Bull, Kevin Marsh, Thor G. Theander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Malaria transmission may be considered to be homogenous with well-mixed parasite populations (as in the classic Ross/Macdonald models). Marked fine-scale heterogeneity of transmission has been observed in the field (i.e., over a few kilometres), but there are relatively few data on the degree of mixing. Since the Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) is highly polymorphic, the host's serological responses may be used to infer exposure to parasite sub-populations.

Methods and Findings: We measured the antibody responses to 46 individual PfEMP1 domains at four time points among 450 children in Kenya, and identified distinct spatial clusters of antibody responses to individual domains. 35 domains showed strongly significant sero-clusters at p = 0.001. Individuals within the high transmission hotspot showed the greatest diversity of anti-PfEMP1 responses. Individuals outside the hotspot had a less diverse range of responses, even if as individuals they were at relatively intense exposure.

Conclusions: We infer that antigenically distinct sub-populations of parasites exist on a fine spatial scale in a study area of rural Kenya. Further studies should examine antigenic variation over longer periods of time and in different study areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere21711
JournalPLoS One
Volume6
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2011

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Plasmodium falciparum
membrane proteins
Parasites
erythrocytes
Kenya
parasites
Antibody Formation
Population
Antigenic Variation
antigenic variation
antibodies
Antibodies
rural areas
malaria
Malaria
Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1
methodology

Cite this

Bejon, P., Turner, L., Lavstsen, T., Cham, G., Olotu, A., Drakeley, C. J., ... Theander, T. G. (2011). Serologial evidence ofdiscrete spatial clusters of Plasmodium falciparum parasites. PLoS One, 6(6), [e21711]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0021711
Bejon, Philip ; Turner, Louise ; Lavstsen, Thomas ; Cham, Gerald ; Olotu, Ally ; Drakeley, Chris J. ; Lievens, Marc ; Vekemans, Johan ; Savarese, Barbara ; Lusingu, John ; von Seidlein, Lorenz ; Bull, Peter C. ; Marsh, Kevin ; Theander, Thor G. / Serologial evidence ofdiscrete spatial clusters of Plasmodium falciparum parasites. In: PLoS One. 2011 ; Vol. 6, No. 6.
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abstract = "Background: Malaria transmission may be considered to be homogenous with well-mixed parasite populations (as in the classic Ross/Macdonald models). Marked fine-scale heterogeneity of transmission has been observed in the field (i.e., over a few kilometres), but there are relatively few data on the degree of mixing. Since the Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) is highly polymorphic, the host's serological responses may be used to infer exposure to parasite sub-populations. Methods and Findings: We measured the antibody responses to 46 individual PfEMP1 domains at four time points among 450 children in Kenya, and identified distinct spatial clusters of antibody responses to individual domains. 35 domains showed strongly significant sero-clusters at p = 0.001. Individuals within the high transmission hotspot showed the greatest diversity of anti-PfEMP1 responses. Individuals outside the hotspot had a less diverse range of responses, even if as individuals they were at relatively intense exposure. Conclusions: We infer that antigenically distinct sub-populations of parasites exist on a fine spatial scale in a study area of rural Kenya. Further studies should examine antigenic variation over longer periods of time and in different study areas.",
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Bejon, P, Turner, L, Lavstsen, T, Cham, G, Olotu, A, Drakeley, CJ, Lievens, M, Vekemans, J, Savarese, B, Lusingu, J, von Seidlein, L, Bull, PC, Marsh, K & Theander, TG 2011, 'Serologial evidence ofdiscrete spatial clusters of Plasmodium falciparum parasites', PLoS One, vol. 6, no. 6, e21711. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0021711

Serologial evidence ofdiscrete spatial clusters of Plasmodium falciparum parasites. / Bejon, Philip; Turner, Louise; Lavstsen, Thomas; Cham, Gerald; Olotu, Ally; Drakeley, Chris J.; Lievens, Marc; Vekemans, Johan; Savarese, Barbara; Lusingu, John; von Seidlein, Lorenz; Bull, Peter C.; Marsh, Kevin; Theander, Thor G.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 6, No. 6, e21711, 29.06.2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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T1 - Serologial evidence ofdiscrete spatial clusters of Plasmodium falciparum parasites

AU - Bejon, Philip

AU - Turner, Louise

AU - Lavstsen, Thomas

AU - Cham, Gerald

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AU - Drakeley, Chris J.

AU - Lievens, Marc

AU - Vekemans, Johan

AU - Savarese, Barbara

AU - Lusingu, John

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AU - Bull, Peter C.

AU - Marsh, Kevin

AU - Theander, Thor G.

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N2 - Background: Malaria transmission may be considered to be homogenous with well-mixed parasite populations (as in the classic Ross/Macdonald models). Marked fine-scale heterogeneity of transmission has been observed in the field (i.e., over a few kilometres), but there are relatively few data on the degree of mixing. Since the Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) is highly polymorphic, the host's serological responses may be used to infer exposure to parasite sub-populations. Methods and Findings: We measured the antibody responses to 46 individual PfEMP1 domains at four time points among 450 children in Kenya, and identified distinct spatial clusters of antibody responses to individual domains. 35 domains showed strongly significant sero-clusters at p = 0.001. Individuals within the high transmission hotspot showed the greatest diversity of anti-PfEMP1 responses. Individuals outside the hotspot had a less diverse range of responses, even if as individuals they were at relatively intense exposure. Conclusions: We infer that antigenically distinct sub-populations of parasites exist on a fine spatial scale in a study area of rural Kenya. Further studies should examine antigenic variation over longer periods of time and in different study areas.

AB - Background: Malaria transmission may be considered to be homogenous with well-mixed parasite populations (as in the classic Ross/Macdonald models). Marked fine-scale heterogeneity of transmission has been observed in the field (i.e., over a few kilometres), but there are relatively few data on the degree of mixing. Since the Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) is highly polymorphic, the host's serological responses may be used to infer exposure to parasite sub-populations. Methods and Findings: We measured the antibody responses to 46 individual PfEMP1 domains at four time points among 450 children in Kenya, and identified distinct spatial clusters of antibody responses to individual domains. 35 domains showed strongly significant sero-clusters at p = 0.001. Individuals within the high transmission hotspot showed the greatest diversity of anti-PfEMP1 responses. Individuals outside the hotspot had a less diverse range of responses, even if as individuals they were at relatively intense exposure. Conclusions: We infer that antigenically distinct sub-populations of parasites exist on a fine spatial scale in a study area of rural Kenya. Further studies should examine antigenic variation over longer periods of time and in different study areas.

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Bejon P, Turner L, Lavstsen T, Cham G, Olotu A, Drakeley CJ et al. Serologial evidence ofdiscrete spatial clusters of Plasmodium falciparum parasites. PLoS One. 2011 Jun 29;6(6). e21711. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0021711