Prevalence and force of Plasmodium vivax blood-stage infection and associated clinical malaria burden in the Brazilian Amazon

Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2022 Jun 24:117:e210330. doi: 10.1590/0074-02760210330. eCollection 2022.


Background: Understanding the epidemiology of malaria through the molecular force of the blood-stage infection of Plasmodium vivax (molFOB) may provide a detailed assessment of malaria transmission.

Objectives: In this study, we investigated risk factors and spatial-temporal patterns of incidence of Plasmodium infection and clinical malaria episodes in three peri-urban communities of Manaus, Western Brazilian Amazon.

Methods: Monthly samples were collected in a cohort of 1,274 individuals between April 2013 and March 2014. DNA samples were subject to Plasmodium species. molFOB was calculated by counting the number of genotypes observed on each visit, which had not been present in the preceding two visits and adjusting these counts by the respective times-at-risk.

Findings: Respectively, 77.8% and 97.2% of the population remained free of P. vivax and P. falciparum infection. Expected heterozygosity for P. vivax was 0.69 for MSP1_F3 and 0.86 for MS2. Multiplicity of infection in P. vivax was close to the value of 1. The season was associated with P. vivax positivity [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 2.6 (1.9-5.7)] and clinical disease [aHR 10.6 (2.4-47.2)]. P. falciparum infection was associated with previous malarial episodes [HR 9.7 (4.5-20.9)]. Subjects who reported possession of a bed net [incidence rate ratio (IRR) 1.6 (1.2-2.2)] or previous malaria episodes [IRR 3.0 (2.0-4.5)] were found to have significantly higher P. vivax molFOB.

Main conclusions: Overall, P. vivax infection prevailed in the area and infections were mostly observed as monoclonal. Previous malaria episodes were associated with significantly higher P. vivax molFOB.

MeSH terms

  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Malaria, Falciparum*
  • Malaria, Vivax* / epidemiology
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Plasmodium vivax / genetics
  • Prevalence