- Open Access
Genotyping of Plasmodium vivax by minisatellite marker and its application in differentiating relapse and new infection
© Das et al. 2016
- Received: 18 June 2015
- Accepted: 2 February 2016
- Published: 24 February 2016
Plasmodium vivax malaria is a major public health problem in India. Control of vivax malaria is challenging due to various factors including relapse which increase the burden significantly. There is no well studied marker to differentiate relapse from reinfection. This creates hindrance in search for anti-relapse medicines. The genomic study of minisatellite can help in characterization of relapse and new infection of vivax malaria.
Eighty-eight samples of P. vivax were collected from malaria clinic. All the 14 chromosomes of P. vivax were scanned for minisatellite marker by Tandem Repeat Finder software Version 4.07b. Minisatellite marker CH1T1M13779 from chromosome one was applied for genotyping in 88 samples of P. vivax including 2 recurrence cases.
Whole genome of P. vivax was scanned and found to have one hundred minisatellite markers. CH1T1M13779 minisatellite marker from chromosome-1 was used for amplification in 88 samples of P. vivax. Of 66 amplified samples, 14 alleles were found with varied allele frequency. The base size of 280 (13.63 %) 320 bp (13.63 %) and 300 bp (16.66 %) showed the predominant allele in the P. vivax population. Genotyping of two paired samples (day 0 and day relapse) could demonstrate the presence of relapse and reinfection.
The CH1T1M13779 can be potential minisatellite marker which can be used to differentiate between relapse and new infection of P. vivax strain.
- Relapse malaria
- Plasmodium vivax
- Minisatellite marker
Malaria is a major global public health problem . Plasmodium vivax is the most prevalent malaria parasite in Asia . Relapsing nature of P. vivax poses a challenge for malaria elimination. Relapse rates of 5–40 % have been reported from India . Relapses are known to occur at different time intervals, ranged from 1 month to 1 year. The long-term relapsing malaria has been reported from India [3–5]. It is difficult to differentiate relapse from reinfection and the existing methods have limitations.
Attempts have been made by using polymorphic markers and techniques for phylogenetic analyses in P. vivax like VNTR analysis , PCR–RFLP of msp3 [7, 8], msp1 [9, 10]. csp , pvrbp-2 , andgam-1 [12, 13]. Sequencing technique was also used for polymorphism analysis in genes of msp1 , msp-3α , msp-3β , msp5 [15, 17], dpb  and vama1 . Microsatellite markers were used for polymorphism analysis by GeneMapper [4, 20, 21].
An attempt was made to evaluate the utility of a newly designed minisatellite marker for differentiating relapse from reinfection.
Identification of minisatellite markers
All the 14 chromosomes of P. vivax were downloaded from National Center for Biotechnology (NCBI) and chromosome wise scanning for minisatellite markers was performed by Tandem Repeat Finder (TRF) software Version 4.07b . One hundred minisatellite markers were identified by applying the parameters like period size (8–20), copy number (10–20), percent matches (90–100) and percent indels (0–2). Thirteen minisatellite markers were identified in the chromosome number one, of which three minisatellite marker’s primer sets were synthesized. Of three minisatellite markers, one minisatellite CH1T1M13779 which showed highly polymorphic nature was applied for amplification of 242 bp in 88 samples of P. vivax.
DNA isolation and PCR amplification
The genomic DNA of P. vivax was extracted from the blood samples collected on the filter paper using QIAamp DNA Blood Mini Kit (Qiagen, Hilden, Germany) as per manufacturer’s instructions. PCR amplification of CH1T1M13779 was carried out in the final volume of 25 µl reaction contained 1× Buffer (50 mM KCl, 10 mM Tris, pH 8.3) 1.5 mM MgCl2, 0.2 mM dNTPs, 10 pmol of each primer forward (F-5′-GCATCATAATGGGTAAAG-3′) and reverse (R-5′-TCTCAATCACTGCAACAA-3′), 0.2 µM of dNTPs, 0.75 U of Taq DNA polymerase and 2 µl of genomic DNA. The thermal cycler parameter: initial denaturation at 94 °C for 5 min followed by 45 cycles denaturation at 94 °C for 1 min, annealing at 46 °C for 1 min, extension at 72 °C for 1.30 min and final extension at 72 °C for 10 min. The amplified PCR products and control were resolved on 2 % of metaphore agarose gel. The gel was stained with ethidium bromide and visualised under the UV light.
Genome scanning for minisatellite marker and validation in clinical samples of Plasmodium vivax
Area wise distribution of patient samples and allele frequency in P. vivax population
Area wise distribution P. vivax samples
Total no. sample
Allele frequency (%)
Validation of minisatellite in case control study
Minisatellite marker CH1T1M13779 validate in 4 case control studies
Blood sample collection
Day 0 (zero)
After day 0 (zero)
II (after 9 months)
II (after 11 months)
(250 and 320 bp)
III and IV
Similar (240 bp)
Transmission of same parasite in father and son
Genotyping of another patient based on samples collected on day 0 and after a lapse of 11 months from Vijay Enclave showed two different genotypes (Fig. 4, Lane 3 and 4). Different genotype from same patient showed new infection due to different strain of P. vivax (Table 2). Genotyping of two patients from same family (father and son) who reported at the clinic on same day from Shahabad showed identical genotype (Fig. 4, Lane 5 and 6). The identical genotype of both the patients showed transmission of one P. vivax strain in the family (Table 2).
The control and elimination of P. vivax is a major challenge due to the relapses. Relapses need to be differentiated from reinfection for knowing true efficacy of anti-relapse medicines during clinical trials. Current techniques to differentiate relapse from reinfections have limitations. The technique PCR–RFLP is used for allelic discrimination and polymorphism analysis in the genes such as Pvmsp3α, msp1 [24, 25], sequencing of microsatellite , capillary electrophoresis-based heteroduplex tracking assay [25, 26]. Recently, deep sequencing technique has been used for differentiation of relapse and reinfection .
These techniques are time consuming, expensive and need well established molecular laboratory. In the present study, whole genome of P. vivax was scanned and designed the simple, rapid, cost effective technique for differentiation of relapse and reinfection. The newly designed minisatellite marker CH1T1M13779 is highly polymorphic in nature and showed 14 alleles with varied allele frequency. The base size of 280 bp (13.63 %), 320 bp (13.63 %) and 300 bp (16.66 %) were predominant allele in P. vivax population.
The paired samples from one patient (day 0 and day recurrence at nine months) were analysed by minisatellite marker CH1T1M13779. Samples from another patient collected on day 0 and 11 months showed two different genotypes demonstrating that it was new infection due to different strain of P. vivax. Thus, this minisatellite marker could help to differentiate the relapse from new infection of P. vivax. Genotyping data of P. vivax by minisatellite marker supports the hypothesis of Kim et al.  and Koepfli et al. .
Genetic diversity of P. vivax has significant impact on malaria transmission . The identical genotype of P. vivax in a father and son showed that transmission occurred due to same strain. Thus, the marker may also be helpful in identifying the origin and transmission of parasite in family or locality. Genotyping by the minisatellite marker can also help to differentiate P. vivax relapse from reinfection and thus help to determine efficacy of antirelapse medicines. This preliminary data shows that there is need to further strengthen data using more number of minisatellite markers in more paired P. vivax sample for statistical conclusions. This technique is rapid and cost effective as compared to the PCR–RFLP, sequencing, gene scanning and heteroduplex tracking assay.
Further, the study of polyclonal infections of P. vivax by the capillary electrophoresis-based heteroduplex tracking assay  and deep sequencing for detection of genetic signatures can generate important data that could be useful in developing antirelapse medicine trials.
Study provided preliminary evidence of identifying the relapse and new infection by newly designed minisatellite marker CH1T1M13779. Further studies are needed to validate the same.
NV, RD designed the research, DS, RD collected the samples, RD performed experiment and analysed the results, RD, ARA, RCD wrote the paper. All authors were involved in edited the manuscript and approved the manuscript.
We would like to acknowledge Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, India for financial supports (No. ICMR/REC NO ECD/ad-hoc/38).
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
- WHO. Guidelines for the treatment of malaria, second edition. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2010. http://www.who.int/malaria/publication/atos/978941547925/enindex.html.Google Scholar
- Hay SI, Guerra CA, Tatem AJ, Noor AM, Snow RW. The global distribution and population at risk of malaria: past, present and future. Lancet Infect Dis. 2004;4:327–36.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Adak T, Valecha N, Sharma VP. Plasmodium vivax polymorphism in a clinical drug trial. Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2001;8:891–4.PubMed CentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Imwong M, Snounou G, Pukrittayakamee S, Tanomsing N, Kim JR, Nandy A, et al. Relapses of Plasmodium vivax infection usually result from activation of heterologous hypnozoites. J Infect Dis. 2007;195:927–33.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Nicholas JW. Determinants of relapse periodicity in Plasmodium vivax malaria. Malar J. 2011;10(297):135. doi:10.1186/1475-2875-10-297.Google Scholar
- Prajapati SK, Joshi M, Shalini S, Patarroyo MA, Suwanarusk R, Kumar A, et al. Plasmodium vivax lineages: geographical distribution, tandem repeat polymorphism, and phylogenetic relationship. Malar J. 2011;10:374.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Zakeri S, Barjesteh H, Djadid ND. Merozoite surface protein-3alpha is a reliable marker for population genetic analysis of Plasmodium vivax. Malar J. 2006;5:53.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Prajapati SK, Joshi H, Valecha N. Plasmodium vivax merozoite surface protein-3a: a high resolution marker for genetic diversity studies. J Vector Borne Dis. 2010;47:85–90.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Imwong M, Pukrittayakamee S, Grüner AC, Rénia L, Letourneur F, Looareesuwan S, et al. Practical PCR genotyping protocols for Plasmodium vivax using Pvcs and Pvmsp1. Malar J. 2005;4:20.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Kim JR, Imwong M, Nandy A, Chotivanich K, Nontprasert A, Tonomsing N, et al. Genetic diversity of Plasmodium vivax in Kolkata. India. Malar J. 2006;5:71.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Prajapati SK, Kumari P, Singh OP. Molecular analysis of reticulocyte binding protein-2 gene in Plasmodium vivax isolates from India. BMC Microbiol. 2012;12:243. doi:10.1186/1471-2180-12-243.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Imwong M, Pukrittakayamee S, Looareesuwan S, Poirriez J, Pasvol G, White NJ, et al. Plasmodium vivax: polymerase chain reaction amplification artifacts limit the suitability of pvgam1 as a genetic marker. Exp Parasitol. 2001;99:175–9.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Prajapati SK, Verma A, Adak T, Yadav RS, Kumar A, Eapen A, et al. Allelic dimorphism of Plasmodium vivax gam-1 in the Indian subcontinent. Malar J. 2006;5:90.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Putaporntip C, Jongwutiwes S, Sakihama N, Ferreira MU, Kho WG, Kaneoko A, et al. Mosaic organization and heterogeneity in frequency of allelic recombination of the Plasmodium vivax merozoite surface protein-1 locus. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2002;99:16348–53.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Rayner JC, Huber CS, Feldman D, Ingravallo P, Galinski MR, Barnwell JW. Plasmodium vivax merozoite surface protein PvMSP-3 beta is radically polymorphic through mutation and large insertions and deletions. Infect Genet Evol. 2004;4:309–19.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Yang Z, Miao J, Huang Y, Li X, Putaporntip C, Jongwutiwes S, et al. Genetic structures of geographically distinct Plasmodium vivax populations assessed by PCR/RFLP analysis of the merozoite surface protein 3beta gene. Acta Trop. 2006;100:205–12.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Gomez A, Suarez CF, Martinez P, Saravia C, Patarroyo MA. High polymorphism in Plasmodium vivax merozoite surface protein-5 (MSP5). Parasitology. 2006;133:661–72.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Sousa TN, Ceravolo IP, Fernandes FCJ, Couto A, Carvalho LH, Brito CF. The pattern of major polymorphisms in the Duffy binding protein ligand domain among Plasmodium vivax isolates from the Brazilian Amazon area. Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2006;146:251–4.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Han ET, Park JH, Shin EH, Choi MH, Oh MD, Chai JY. Apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA-1) gene sequences of re-emerging Plasmodium vivax in South Korea. Korean J Parasitol. 2002;40:157–62.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Prajapati SK, Joshi H, Carlton JM, Rizvi MA. Neutral polymorphisms in putative housekeeping genes and tandem repeats unravels the population genetics and evolutionary history of Plasmodium vivax in India. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013;7:e2425. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002425.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- McCollum AM, Valeria S, Salas CJ, Santolalla ML, Udhayakumar V, Escalante AA, et al. Genetic variation and recurrent parasitaemia in Peruvian Plasmodium vivax populations. Malar J. 2014;13:67.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- NVBDCP: National drug policy on malaria, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare/Directorate of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, Govt. of India. 2010. http://www.nvbdcp.gov.in.
- Benson G. Tandem repeats finder: a program to analyze DNA sequences. Nucleic Acids Res. 1999;27:573–80.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Lin JT, Juliano JJ, Kharabora O, Sem R, Lin FC, Muth S, et al. Individual Plasmodium vivax msp1 variants within polyclonal P. vivax infections display different propensities for relapse. J Clin Microbiol. 2012;50:1449–51.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Andrianaranjaka V, Lin JT, Golden C, Juliano JJ, Randrianarivelojosia M. Activation of minority-variant Plasmodium vivax hypnozoites following artesunate + amodiaquine treatment in a 23-year old manwith relapsing malaria in Antananarivo. Madagascar. Malar J. 2013;12:177.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Givens MB, Lin JT, Lon C, Gosi P, Char MC, Lanter CA, et al. Development of a capillary electrophoresis-cased heteroduplex tracking assay to measure in host genetic diversity of initial and recurrent Plasmodium vivax infections in Cambodia. J Clin Microbiol. 2014;52:298–301.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Lin JT, Hathaway NJ, Saunders DL, Lon C, Balasubramanian S, Kharabora O, et al. Using amplicon deep sequencing to detect genetic signatures of Plasmodium vivax relapse. J Infect Dis. 2015;212:999–1008. doi:10.1093/infdis/jiv142.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Koepfli C, Mueller I, Marfurt J, Goroti M, Sie A, et al. Evaluation of Plasmodium vivax genotyping markers for molecular monitoring in clinical trials. J Infect Dis. 2009;199:1074–80.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Cui L, Escalante AA, Imwong M, Snounou G. The genetic diversity of Plasmodium vivax populations. Trends Parasitol. 2003;19:220–6.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar