Plasma Circulating Nucleic Acids Levels Increase According to the Morbidity of Plasmodium vivax MalariaReportar como inadecuado

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Given the increasing evidence of Plasmodium vivax infections associated with severe and fatal disease, the identification of sensitive and reliable markers for vivax severity is crucial to improve patient care. Circulating nucleic acids CNAs have been increasingly recognized as powerful diagnostic and prognostic tools for various inflammatory diseases and tumors as their plasma concentrations increase according to malignancy. Given the marked inflammatory status of P. vivax infection, we investigated here the usefulness of CNAs as biomarkers for malaria morbidity.

Methods and Findings

CNAs levels in plasma from twenty-one acute P. vivax malaria patients from the Brazilian Amazon and 14 malaria non-exposed healthy donors were quantified by two different methodologies: amplification of the human telomerase reverse transcriptase hTERT genomic sequence by quantitative real time PCR qPCR, and the fluorometric dsDNA quantification by Pico Green. CNAs levels were significantly increased in plasma from P. vivax patients as compared to healthy donors p<0.0001. Importantly, plasma CNAs levels were strongly associated with vivax morbidity p<0.0001, including a drop in platelet counts p = 0.0021. These findings were further sustained when we assessed CNAS levels in plasma samples from 14 additional P. vivax patients of a different endemic area in Brazil, in which CNAS levels strongly correlated with thrombocytopenia p = 0.0072. We further show that plasma CNAs levels decrease and reach physiological levels after antimalarial treatment. Although we found both host and parasite specific genomic sequences circulating in plasma, only host CNAs clearly reflected the clinical spectrum of P. vivax malaria.


Here, we provide the first evidence of increased plasma CNAs levels in malaria patients and reveal their potential as sensitive biomarkers for vivax malaria morbidity.

Autor: Bernardo S. Franklin , Barbara L. F. Vitorino, Helena C. Coelho, Armando Menezes-Neto, Marina L. S. Santos, Fernanda M. F. Campos



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