Korean J Parasitol.  2017 Oct;55(5):465-472. 10.3347/kjp.2017.55.5.465.

Population Genetics of Plasmodium vivax in Four High Malaria Endemic Areas in Thailand

  • 1Department of Medical Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University, Bangkok 10600, Thailand. k.congpuong@gmail.com
  • 2Department of Entomology, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok 10400, Thailand.


Recent trends of malaria in Thailand illustrate an increasing proportion of Plasmodium vivax, indicating the importance of P. vivax as a major causative agent of malaria. P. vivax malaria is usually considered a benign disease so the knowledge of this parasite has been limited, especially the genetic diversity and genetic structure of isolates from different endemic areas. The aim of this study was to examine the population genetics and structure of P. vivax isolates from 4 provinces with different malaria endemic settings in Thailand using 6 microsatellite markers. Total 234 blood samples from P. vivax mono-infected patients were collected. Strong genetic diversity was observed across all study sites; the expected heterozygosity values ranged from 0.5871 to 0.9033. Genetic variability in this study divided P. vivax population into 3 clusters; first was P. vivax isolates from Mae Hong Son and Kanchanaburi Provinces located on the western part of Thailand; second, Yala isolates from the south; and third, Chanthaburi isolates from the east. P. vivax isolates from patients having parasite clearance time (PCT) longer than 24 hr after the first dose of chloroquine treatment had higher diversity when compared with those having PCT within 24 hr. This study revealed a clear evidence of different population structure of P. vivax from different malaria endemic areas of Thailand. The findings provide beneficial information to malaria control programme as it is a useful tool to track the source of infections and current malaria control efforts.


Plasmodium vivax; population genetics; microsatellite marker; Thailand

MeSH Terms

Genetic Structures
Genetic Variation
Genetics, Population*
Malaria, Vivax
Microsatellite Repeats
Plasmodium vivax*
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