Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

We describe the dynamics of co-infections of Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax in 28 asymptomatic children by genotyping these species using the polymorphic loci Msp2 and Msp3α, respectively. The total number of Plasmodium spp. infections detected using 3 day sampling over 61 days varied between 1 and 14 (mean 6·6). The dynamics of P. falciparum and P. vivax genotypes varied greatly both within and amongst children. Periodicity in the detection of P. falciparum infections is consistent with the synchronous replication of individual genotypes. Replication synchrony of multiple co- infecting genotypes was not detected. In 4-year-old children P. falciparum genotype complexity was reduced and episodes lasted significantly longer (median duration > 60 days) when compared to children aged 5–14 years (median duration 9 days). P. vivax genotype complexity was not correlated with age but the episode duration was also longer for this species in 4-year-olds than in older children but was not as long as P. falciparum episodes. Recurrence of P. falciparum and P. vivax genotypes over weeks was observed. We interpret these major fluctuations in the density of genotypes over time as the result of the mechanism of antigenic variation thought to be present in these Plasmodium species.

Original publication




Journal article




Cambridge University Press (CUP)

Publication Date





257 - 272