A General System of Resistance to Malaria Infection in Anopheles gambiae Controlled by Two Main Genetic Loci

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  • Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

Genetic analysis of a system of Plasmodium refractoriness in Anopheles gambiae suggests that the joint action of 2 unlinked genetic loci substantially controls expression of the susceptible and refractory phenotypes. One genetic component, here named Pif-B (for Plasmodium infectivity factor), is closely linked or identical to a polymorphic autosomal esterase locus which can be visualized by gel electrophoresis. This locus exerts the major controlling effect on susceptibility to Plasmodium cynomolgi B. The other genetic component is independent of esterase and exerts major control over refractoriness to the P. cynomolgi Ceylon strain parasite. Genetic assortment of the esterase-independent component suggests that it is controlled by 1 principal locus, here named Pif-C. The 2 genetic components of Plasmodium refractoriness appear to contribute to the same phenotype through physiologically independent means.