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Plasmodium vivax populations are more genetically diverse and less structured than sympatric Plasmodium falciparum populations

Jennison, Charlie and Arnott, Alicia and Tessier, Natacha and Tavul, Livingstone and Koepfli, Cristian and Felger, Ingrid and Siba, Peter M. and Reeder, John C. and Bahlo, Melanie and Mueller, Ivo and Barry, Alyssa E.. (2015) Plasmodium vivax populations are more genetically diverse and less structured than sympatric Plasmodium falciparum populations. PLoS neglected tropical diseases, Vol. 9, H. 4 , e0003634.

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Abstract

The human malaria parasite, Plasmodium vivax, is proving more difficult to control and eliminate than Plasmodium falciparum in areas of co-transmission. Comparisons of the genetic structure of sympatric parasite populations may provide insight into the mechanisms underlying the resilience of P. vivax and can help guide malaria control programs.; P. vivax isolates representing the parasite populations of four areas on the north coast of Papua New Guinea (PNG) were genotyped using microsatellite markers and compared with previously published microsatellite data from sympatric P. falciparum isolates. The genetic diversity of P. vivax (He = 0.83-0.85) was higher than that of P. falciparum (He = 0.64-0.77) in all four populations. Moderate levels of genetic differentiation were found between P. falciparum populations, even over relatively short distances (less than 50 km), with 21-28% private alleles and clear geospatial genetic clustering. Conversely, very low population differentiation was found between P. vivax catchments, with less than 5% private alleles and no genetic clustering observed. In addition, the effective population size of P. vivax (30353; 13043-69142) was larger than that of P. falciparum (18871; 8109-42986).; Despite comparably high prevalence, P. vivax had higher diversity and a panmictic population structure compared to sympatric P. falciparum populations, which were fragmented into subpopulations. The results suggest that in comparison to P. falciparum, P. vivax has had a long-term large effective population size, consistent with more intense and stable transmission, and limited impact of past control and elimination efforts. This underlines suggestions that more intensive and sustained interventions will be needed to control and eventually eliminate P. vivax. This research clearly demonstrates how population genetic analyses can reveal deeper insight into transmission patterns than traditional surveillance methods.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology > Molecular Diagnostics (Felger)
UniBasel Contributors:Köpfli, Christian and Felger, Ingrid
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN:1935-2727
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
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Last Modified:31 Dec 2015 10:57
Deposited On:05 Jun 2015 08:53

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