Is zoonotic Plasmodium vivax malaria an obstacle for disease elimination?

Bárbara Aparecida Chaves, Denise Anete Madureira de Alvarenga, Matheus de Oliveira Costa Pereira, Marcelo Gordo, Emanuelle L. Da Silva, Edson Rodrigues Costa, Aline Souza de Menezes Medeiros, Igor José Martins Pedrosa, Daniela Brito, Maurício Teixeira Lima, Maria Paula Mourão, Wuelton M. Monteiro, Nikos Vasilakis, Cristiana Ferreira Alves de Brito, Gisely C. Melo, Marcus V.G. Lacerda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The groundwork for malaria elimination does not currently consider the potential of Plasmodium zoonotic cycles that involve non-human primates (NHPs) in sylvatic environments. Since vivax malaria is less responsive to control measures, finding Plasmodium vivax infected NHPs adds even more concern. Methods: Both Free-living monkeys in forest fragments inside the urban area and captive monkeys from a local zoo had blood samples tested for Plasmodium species. Results: In this study, among the Neotropical monkeys tested, three (4.4%), one captive and two free-living, were found to be naturally infected by P. vivax. Conclusion: This important finding indicates that it is necessary to estimate the extent to which P. vivax NHP infection contributes to the maintenance of malaria transmission to humans. Therefore, the discussion on wildlife conservation and management must be incorporated into the malaria elimination agenda.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number343
JournalMalaria Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Malaria
  • Malaria elimination
  • Non-human primates
  • Plasmodium vivax
  • Zoonotic cycle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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