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J Parasitol. 2002 Jun;88(3):521-35.

Plasmodium vivax blood-stage dynamics.

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Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.


We examine the dynamics of parasitemia and gametocytemia reflected in the preintervention charts of 221 malaria-naive U.S. neurosyphilis patients infected with the St. Elizabeth strain of Plasmodium vivax, for malariatherapy, focusing on the 109 charts for which 15 or more days of patency preceded intervention and daily records encompassed an average 98% of the duration of each infection. Our approximations of merogony cycles (via "local peaks" in parasitemia) seldom fit patterns that correspond to "textbook" tertian brood structures. Peak parasitemia was higher in trophozoite-induced infections than in sporozoite-induced ones. Relative densities of male and female gametocytes appeared to alternate, though without a discernably regular period. Successful transmission to mosquitoes did not depend on detectable gametocytemia or on absence of fever. When gametocytes were detected, transmission success depended on densities of only male gametocytes. Successful feeds occurred on average 4.7 days later in an infection than did failures. Parasitemia was lower in homologous reinfection, gametocytemia lower or absent.

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