Volume 61, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


The present study was designed to investigate the genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum among field isolates from India. A total of 71 clinical isolates were analyzed by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the amplification of repeat regions of malaria vaccine candidate antigen genes, i.e., merozoite surface antigen-1 (MSA-1), MSA-2, and circumsporozoite protein (CSP). All three genes showed variation; MSA-2 has the maximum number of 10 variant forms while MSA-1 and CSP had 8 and 6 variants, respectively. Some variant forms were more common than others among the clinical isolates. There were mixed alleles for each gene in several (27 of 71) cases. The MSA-2 gene showed the maximum number of cases with mixed alleles (22 of 65 [33.85%]) compared with MSA-1 (10 of 68 [14.7%]) and CSP (10 of 65 [15.38%]). Fifty-five (88.7%) of 62 clinical isolates of P. falciparum showed a different genotype. The malaria hyperendemic region (Orissa) not only showed the maximum number of variant forms of each gene but also the maximum number of cases with mixed alleles compared with the non-hyperendemic regions (Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan). The presence of such large numbers of P. falciparum strains in India should be taken into account in future malaria vaccine programs.


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