Malaria journal 2018 01 1917(1) 40 doi 10.1186/s12936-018-2188-6
Malaria is highly prevalent in many parts of India and is mostly caused by the parasite species Plasmodium vivax followed by Plasmodium falciparum. Chloroquine (CQ) is the first-line treatment for blood stage P. vivax parasites, but cases of drug resistance to CQ have been reported from India. One of the surveillance strategies which is used to monitor CQ drug resistance, is the analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the associated gene markers. Susceptibility to CQ can also be determined by copy number assessment of multidrug resistant gene (mdr-1). The current study has examined the prevalence of SNPs in P. vivax orthologs of P. falciparum chloroquine resistant and multi-drug resistant genes (pvcrt-o and pvmdr-1, respectively) and pvmdr-1 copy number variations in isolates from the highly endemic Mangaluru city near the South Western Coastal region of India.
A total of 140 blood samples were collected from P. vivax infected patients attending Wenlock Hospital Mangaluru during July 2014 to January 2016. Out of these 140 samples, sequencing was carried out for 54 (38.5%) and 85 (60.7%) isolates for pvcrt-o and pvmdr-1, respectively. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the pvcrt-o and pvmdr-1 genes were analysed by direct sequencing method, while copy number variations of 60 isolates (42. 8%) were determined by real time PCR.
Out of 54 clinical isolates analysed for pvcrt-o, three (5.6%) showed K10 insertion and the rest had wild type sequence. This is the first report to show K10 insertion in P. vivax isolates from India. Further, out of 85 clinical isolates of P. vivax analysed for mutations in pvmdr-1 gene, only one isolate had wild type sequence (~ 1%) while the remaining (99%) carried mutant alleles. Seven non-synonymous mutations with two novel mutations (I946V and Y1028C) were observed. Of all the observed mutations in pvmdr-1 gene, T958M was most highly prevalent (present in 90% of samples) followed by F1076L (76%), and Y976F (7%). Amplification of pvmdr-1 gene was observed in 31.6% of the isolates, out of 60 amplified.
The observed variations both in pvmdr-1 and pvcrt-o genes indicate a trend towards parasite acquiring CQ resistance in this endemic area.