Assessing the Gametocyte Production in Field Isolates of Plasmodium falciparum

Purva Gupta, Veena Yadavendu and Vineeta Singh

The production of gametocytes in field isolates of Plasmodium falciparum is not clearly understood even though the gametocytes are crucial for disease transmission. Samples collected during the malaria transmission period from two different regions of India were cultured in vitro for gametocyte production and analyzed by PCR and RT-PCR assay for Pfs25 gene. A total of 20 P. falciparum field isolates were collected which showed varying intensity of in vitro gametocyte production. The isolates which produced mature gametocytes in vitro also had an increase in their Pfs25 expression, indicating that the gametocyte produced is directly proportional to the Pfs25 gene expression. The expression ranged from 0.32 to 4.56 fold in field isolates when compared to the reference strain. The in vitro gametocyte production in fresh field isolates directly correlated with the expression of Pfs25 gene in these isolates as shown by ANOVA test.