Background: Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinin emerged in the Greater Mekong Sub-region has been associated with mutations in the propeller domain of the kelch gene Pfk13. Methods: Here the polymorphisms in Pvk12 gene, the orthologue of Pfk13 in Plasmodium vivax, were determined by PCR and sequencing in 262 clinical isolates collected in recent years (2012-2015) from the China-Myanmar border area. Results: Sequencing of full-length Pvk12 genes from these isolates identified three synonymous mutations (N172N, S360S, S697S) and one non-synonymous mutation M124I, all of which were at very low prevalence (2.0-3.1%). Moreover, these mutations were non-overlapping between the two study sites on both sides of the border. Molecular evolutionary analysis detected signature of purifying selection on Pvk12. Conclusions: There is no direct evidence that Pvk12 is involved in artemisinin resistance in P. vivax, but it remains a potential candidate requiring further investigation. Continuous monitoring of potential drug resistance in this parasite is needed in order to facilitate the regional malaria elimination campaign.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases