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Acta Trop. 2019 Jan 31;192:75-81. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2019.01.018. [Epub ahead of print]

Novel high resolution melting (HRM) and snapback assays for simultaneous detection and differentiation of Plasmodium ovale spp.

Author information

1
Institute of Specific Prophylaxis and Tropical Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Austria. Electronic address: aline.lamienmeda@meduniwien.ac.at.
2
Institute of Parasitology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria.
3
Institute of Specific Prophylaxis and Tropical Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Austria.

Abstract

Plasmodium ovale spp. are two of the six species of apicomplexan parasites belonging to the genus Plasmodium commonly causing disease in humans. A recent phylogeny study has identified both Plasmodium ovale species (P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri) as two sympatric occurring species. The actual prevalence and clinical relevance of P. ovale spp. are likely underestimated due to low parasitemia and mixed infections, which pose a major challenge to microscopic diagnosis and are frequently undetectable using malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs). The aim of this work is to develop a HRM-based assay for simultaneous detection and differentiation of P. ovale wallikeri and P. ovale curtisi. Thirty three well-documented P. ovale spp. samples from previous studies were used for this study. The newly developed High Resolution Melting (HRM) assay targeting the apicoplast genome was highly specific to both P. ovale species. Adding a snapback tail at the 5' end of the forward primer for a nested HRM PCR, increased the melting temperature (Tm) difference between the two species. To our knowledge this study reports the first direct HRM assay developed on the apicoplast genome, specific for both P. ovale species. This method provides added value to the WHO open request of developing new practical malaria diagnostic methods for the malaria elimination program and could contribute to a quick and efficient diagnosis of low-level parasitemia, symptomatic or asymptomatic, as well as mixed or single P. ovale infections.

KEYWORDS:

Apicoplast; High resolution melting; Malaria; Plasmodium ovale curtisi; Plasmodium ovale wallikeri; Snapback assay

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