GENETIC DIVERSITY IN THE MEROZOITE SURFACE PROTEIN 1 GENE OF PLASMODIUM FALCIPARUM IN DIFFERENT MALARIA-ENDEMIC LOCALITIES

DIPAK KUMAR RAJ Institute of Life Sciences, Chandrasekharpur, Bhubaneswar, India

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BIBHU RANJAN DAS Institute of Life Sciences, Chandrasekharpur, Bhubaneswar, India

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A. P. DASH Institute of Life Sciences, Chandrasekharpur, Bhubaneswar, India

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PRAKASH C. SUPAKAR Institute of Life Sciences, Chandrasekharpur, Bhubaneswar, India

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A number of stage-specific antigens have been characterized for vaccine development in Plasmodium falciparum malaria. The polymorphic merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP-1) of Plasmodium falciparum is a major asexual blood stage malaria vaccine candidate antigen. In the present study, we analyzed the impact of hyperendemic malaria transmission, mesoendemic malaria transmission, and multiple infection on allelic diversity. We have used a simple strategy of polymerase chain reaction amplification and slot-blot hybridization to analyze variable regions of block-2, block-4 and blocks 6–10 of the MSP-1 gene. The allelic types of isolates collected from regions of hyperendemic malaria transmission (RHEMT) and mesoendemic malaria transmission (RMEMT) were compared. In RHEMT, 20 of 24 possible gene types were found among 163 isolates and more than one allelic type was found in 82 (50.3%) of the isolates. Thirteen of 24 possible gene types were found among 125 isolates in RMEMT and 27 (21.6%) of them contained more than one allele type. Our results suggest for the first time that the allelic distribution or allelic diversity and chances of finding multi-strain parasites in isolates in an area vary with the rate of transmission. Analyses of isolates containing more than one strain of parasite suggest that allelic types are randomly distributed, no specific type of alleles predominately show multi-strain infection, and neither strain of the parasite affect the process of infection and development of another.

Author Notes

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