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Molecular inference of sources and spreading patterns of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites in internally displaced persons settlements in Myanmar-China border area

  • Author(s): Lo, E
  • Zhou, G
  • Oo, W
  • Lee, MC
  • Baum, E
  • Felgner, PL
  • Yang, Z
  • Cui, L
  • Yan, G
  • et al.
Abstract

© 2015. In Myanmar, civil unrest and establishment of internally displaced persons (IDP) settlement along the Myanmar-China border have impacted malaria transmission. The growing IDP populations raise deep concerns about health impact on local communities. Microsatellite markers were used to examine the source and spreading patterns of Plasmodium falciparum between IDP settlement and surrounding villages in Myanmar along the China border. Genotypic structure of P. falciparum was compared over the past three years from the same area and the demographic history was inferred to determine the source of recent infections. In addition, we examined if border migration is a factor of P. falciparum infections in China by determining gene flow patterns across borders. Compared to local community, the IDP samples showed a reduced and consistently lower genetic diversity over the past three years. A strong signature of genetic bottleneck was detected in the IDP samples. P. falciparum infections from the border regions in China were genetically similar to Myanmar and parasite gene flow was not constrained by geographical distance. Reduced genetic diversity of P. falciparum suggested intense malaria control within the IDP settlement. Human movement was a key factor to the spread of malaria both locally in Myanmar and across the international border.

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