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Emergence of New Alleles of the MSP-3α Gene in Plasmodium vivax Isolates from Korea

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  • 1 Department of Laboratory Medicine, Brain Korea 21 Graduate School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Korea; Laboratory of Cellular Oncology, Brain Korea 21 Graduate School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Korea; Laboratory of Medical Entomology, Korean Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Seoul, Korea; Department of Entomology, U.S. Army Medical Component, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Science, Bangkok, Thailand; Force Health Protection, 65th Medical Brigade, Unit 15281, Seoul, Korea; Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine, California

Nucleotide sequence analysis of the Plasmodium vivax PvMSP-3α gene was conducted on blood from 143 malaria patients admitted to Korea University Medical Center from 1996 to 2007 in the Republic of Korea (ROK). From 1996 to 2002, the PvMSP-3α alleles were of two types, SKOR-67 (2.53 kb) and SKOR-69 (1.78 kb), which differed in length and amino acid sequence. Two new variants with similar size to SKOR-67 were first observed in 2002 and in 2006–2007 accounted for nearly 50% (25/51) of the sampled isolates. The new variants had the same amino acid sequence as SKOR-69 in the N-terminal region, but in Blocks I and II and in the C-terminal region, they were similar to previously reported isolates from Thailand, Papua New Guinea, India, Brazil, and Ecuador strains.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Chae Seung Lim, Department of Laboratory Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University Ansan Hospital, 516, Gojan-1 Dong, Ansan, Gyeonggi do 425-707, Korea. E-mail: malarim@korea.ac.kr†Deok Hwa Nam and Jun Seo Oh contributed equally to this work.

Financial support: Partial funding for this project was provided by the Military Infectious Diseases Research Program of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Fort Detrick, MD, and the Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response Systems, Silver Spring, MD.

Authors' addresses: Deok Hwa Nam, Myoung Hyun Nam, and Chae Seung Lim, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Brain Korea 21 Graduate School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea, E-mail: malarim@korea.ac.kr. Jun Seo Oh, Laboratory of Cellular Oncology, Brain Korea 21 Graduate School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Hae Chul Park, Laboratory of Neurodevelopment, Brain Korea 21 Graduate School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Won Ja Lee, Laboratory of Medical Entomology, Korean Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Jetsumon Sattabongkot, Department of Entomology, Armed Forces Institute of Medical Sciences–United States Army Military Component, Bangkok, Thailand. Terry A. Klein, Force Health Protection, 65th Medical Brigade, Unit 15281, Seoul, Korea. Francisco J. Ayala, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine, CA.

Reprint requests: Chae Seung Lim, Department of Laboratory Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University Ansan Hospital, 516, Gojan Dong, Ansan City, Gyoenggi Province, Republic of Korea, 425-707, E-mail: malarim@korea.ac.kr, Tel: +82-31-412-5300, Fax: +82-31-412-5314.

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