Volume 84, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The malaria vaccine candidate antigens erythrocyte binding antigen 175 (EBA-175), merozoite surface protein 3 (MSP-3), and apical membrane antigen (AMA-1) from isolates from countries in central and west Africa were assessed for allelic diversity. Samples were collected on filter paper from 600 -infected symptomatic patients in Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Senegal and screened for class-specific amplification fragments. Genetic diversity, assessed by mean heterozygosity, was comparable among countries. We detected a clinical increase in allele frequency from west to east across the study region. No statistical difference in allele distribution between countries was observed. The 3D7 alleles were present at a lower frequency in central Africa than in West Africa. We also detected little to no genetic differentiation among sampling locations. This finding indicates that, at least at the level of resolution offered by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, these antigens showed remarkable genetic homogeneity throughout the region sampled, perhaps caused by balancing selection to maintain a diverse array of antigen haplotyes.


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Supplemental Table

  • Received : 27 Jun 2010
  • Accepted : 02 Nov 2010
  • Published online : 04 Feb 2011

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