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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2016 Sep;111(9):570-6. doi: 10.1590/0074-02760160222. Epub 2016 Aug 25.

Detection of Plasmodium in faeces of the New World primate Alouatta clamitans.

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Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Centro de Pesquisas René Rachou, Laboratório de Malária, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil.
Universidade Regional de Blumenau, Blumenau, SC, Brasil.
Centro de Pesquisas Biológicas de Indaial, Indaial, SC, Brasil.


Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax have evolved with host switches between non-human primates (NHPs) and humans. Studies on the infection dynamics of Plasmodium species in NHPs will improve our understanding of the evolution of these parasites; however, such studies are hampered by the difficulty of handling animals in the field. The aim of this study was to detect genomic DNA of Plasmodium species from the faeces of New World monkeys. Faecal samples from 23 Alouatta clamitans from the Centre for Biological Research of Indaial (Santa Catarina, Brazil) were collected. Extracted DNA from faecal samples was used for molecular diagnosis of malaria by nested polymerase chain reaction. One natural infection with Plasmodium simium was identified by amplification of DNA extracted from the faeces of A. clamitans. Extracted DNA from a captive NHP was also used for parasite genotyping. The detection limit of the technique was evaluated in vitro using an artificial mixture of cultured P. falciparum in NHP faeces and determined to be 6.5 parasites/µL. Faecal samples of New World primates can be used to detect malaria infections in field surveys and also to monitor the genetic variability of parasites and dynamics of infection.

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