Sparse serological evidence of Plasmodium vivax transmission in the Ouest and Sud-Est departments of Haiti

Thomas A. Weppelmann, Michael E.von Fricken, Brandon Lam, Taina Telisma, Alexandre Existe, Jean F. Lemoine, Joseph Larkin, Bernard A. Okech*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background Plasmodium vivax infections, while quite prevalent throughout South and Central America, are virtually non-existent in Haiti, where P. falciparum infections are detected in over 99% of malaria cases. Historically, few cases of P. vivax have been reported in Haiti; all of which were identified by microscopy and none were confirmed by molecular diagnostics. To further examine the transmission of P. vivax in Haiti, a cross-sectional seroepidemiological study was conducted. Methods Whole blood was collected from 814 community members and school children ranging in age between 2 and 80 years-of-age from four locations in the Ouest and Sud-Est Departments of Haiti. After separation of serum, samples were screened for antibodies toward P. vivax apical membrane antigen (AMA-1) and merozoite surface protein-119 (MSP-1) using an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results Of all participants screened, 4.42% (36/814) were seropositive for AMA-1, 4.55% (37/814) were seropositive for MSP-1, 7.99% (65/814) were seropositive to either antigen, and only 0.98% (7/814) were seropositive for both antigens. Seroconversion rates (SCR) for AMA-1, MSP-1, either AMA-1 or MSP-1, and for both AMA-1 and MSP-1 estimated from the cross-sectional seroprevalence indicated rates of P. vivax transmission of less than 1% per year. Conclusion Given the lack of historical evidence of P. vivax infections on the island of Hispaniola, the sparse serological evidence of antibodies toward P. vivax identified in the current study further support the notion that the transmission of P. vivax malaria might be extremely low or even completely absent in Haiti.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-34
Number of pages8
JournalActa Tropica
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Haiti
  • Malaria
  • Plasmodium vivax
  • Seroepidemiology


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