Limited Polymorphism of the Kelch Propeller Domain in Plasmodium malariae and P. ovale Isolates from Thailand
Nakeesathit S., Saralamba N., Pukrittayakamee S., Dondorp A., Nosten F., White NJ., Imwong M.
ABSTRACT Artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum , the agent of severe malaria, is currently a major obstacle to malaria control in Southeast Asia. A gene named “ kelch13 ” has been associated with artemisinin resistance in P. falciparum . The orthologue of the kelch gene in P. vivax was identified and a small number of mutations were found in previous studies. The kelch orthologues in the other two human malaria parasites, P. malariae and P. ovale , have not yet been studied. Therefore, in this study, the orthologous kelch genes of P. malariae , P. ovale wallikeri , and P. ovale curtisi were isolated and analyzed for the first time. The homologies of the kelch genes of P. malariae and P. ovale were 84.8% and 82.7%, respectively, compared to the gene in P. falciparum . kelch polymorphisms were studied in 13 P. malariae and 5 P. ovale isolates from Thailand. There were 2 nonsynonymous mutations found in these samples. One mutation was P533L, which was found in 1 of 13 P. malariae isolates, and the other was K137R, found in 1 isolate of P. ovale wallikeri ( n = 4). This result needs to be considered in the context of widespread artemisinin used within the region; their functional consequences for artemisinin sensitivity in P. malariae and P. ovale will need to be elucidated.