Dinkorma T Ouologuem 1, Laurent Dembele 1, Antoine Dara 1, Aminatou K Kone 1, Nouhoum Diallo 1, Cheick P O Sangare 1, Fatoumata I Ballo 1, François Dao 1, Siaka Goita 1, Aboubecrin S Haidara 1, Aliou Traore 1, Amadou B Niangaly 1, Souleymane Dama 1, Sekou Sissoko 1, Fanta Sogore 1, Jacob N Dara 1, Yacouba N Barre 1, Amadou Daou 1, Fatoumata Cisse 1, Ousmaila Diakite 1, Diagassan Doumbia 1, Sekou Koumare 1, Bakary Fofana 1, Fatalmoudou Tandina 1, Daman Sylla 1, Adama Sacko 1, Mamadou Coulibaly 1, Mamadou M Tekete 1, Amed Ouattara 1 2, Abdoulaye A Djimde 1
Antimicrob Agents Chemother
The discovery and development of transmission-blocking therapies challenge malaria elimination and necessitate standard and reproducible bioassays to measure the blocking properties of antimalarial drugs and candidate compounds. Most of the current bioassays evaluating the transmission-blocking activity of compounds rely on laboratory-adapted Plasmodium strains. Transmission-blocking data from clinical gametocyte isolates could help select novel transmission-blocking candidates for further development. Using freshly collected Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes from asymptomatic individuals, we first optimized ex vivo culture conditions to improve gametocyte viability and infectiousness by testing several culture parameters. We next pre-exposed ex vivo field-isolated gametocytes to chloroquine, dihydroartemisinin, primaquine, KDU691, GNF179, and oryzalin for 48 h prior to direct membrane feeding. We measured the activity of the drug on the ability of gametocytes to resume the sexual life cycle in Anopheles after drug exposure. Using 57 blood samples collected from Malian volunteers aged 6 to 15 years, we demonstrate that the infectivity of freshly collected field gametocytes can be preserved and improved ex vivo in a culture medium supplemented with 10% horse serum at 4% hematocrit for 48 h. Moreover, our optimized drug assay displays the weak transmission-blocking activity of chloroquine and dihydroartemisinin, while primaquine and oryzalin exhibited a transmission-blocking activity of ~50% at 1 μM. KDU691 and GNF179 both interrupted Plasmodium transmission at 1 μM and 5 nM, respectively. This new approach, if implemented, has the potential to accelerate the screening of compounds with transmission-blocking activity.