The antimalarial drug chloroquine has been reported to increase the infectivity of the forms of blood-stage malaria parasites (gametocytes) that are capable of infecting mosquito vectors. This effect has been demonstrated convincingly in the short term (12h post treatment), although several authors have suggested infectivity enhancement a week or more after treatment. We carried out experiments to investigate the effects of chloroquine on the longer-term infectivity of gametocytes of the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium chabaudi, to Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes. Gametocytes of chloroquine-treated infections were significantly more infectious than untreated infections 6 and 7days post-treatment, although not on days 8 and 9. However, this effect was most likely the result of a reduction in infectivity in untreated infections, caused by immune activity which was not so pronounced in chloroquine-treated infections. Gametocytaemia (gametocytes per r.b.c.) showed a strong positive and linear relationship with infectivity. Infectivity was not influenced by either asexual parasitaemia, asexual density or anaemia. Parsimonious interpretations of the effect of chloroquine on gametocyte infectivity are discussed. Copyright (C) 1999 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases