Volume 90, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Although the geographic origin of malaria cases imported into the United States can often be inferred from travel histories, these histories may be lacking or incomplete. We hypothesized that mitochondrial haplotypes could provide region-specific molecular barcodes for tracing the origin of imported infections. An analysis of 348 mitochondrial genomes from worldwide parasites and new sequences from 69 imported malaria cases diagnosed across the United States allowed for a geographic assignment of most infections originating from the Americas, southeast Asia, east Asia, and Melanesia. However, mitochondrial lineages from Africa, south Asia, central Asia, and the Middle East, which altogether contribute the vast majority of imported malaria cases in the United States, were closely related to each other and could not be reliably assigned to their geographic origins. More mitochondrial genomes are required to characterize molecular barcodes of from these regions.


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Supplementary PDF

  • Received : 11 Oct 2013
  • Accepted : 06 Feb 2014
  • Published online : 04 Jun 2014

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