Matched Placental and Circulating Plasmodium falciparum Parasites are Genetically Homologous at the var2csa ID1-DBL2X Locus by Deep Sequencing

Andreea Waltmann Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina;

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Jaymin C. Patel Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina;

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Kyaw L. Thwai Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina;

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Nicholas J. Hathaway Program in Bioinformatics and Integrative Biology, University of Massachusetts, Worcester, Massachusetts;

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Christian M. Parobek Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina;

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Achille Massougbodji Centre d'Etude et de Recherche sur le paludisme associé à la Grossesse et à l'Enfance, Université d'Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou, Benin;

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Nadine Fievet UMR216 - MERIT, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, COMUE Sorbonne Paris Cité, Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France;

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Jeffery A. Bailey Program in Bioinformatics and Integrative Biology, University of Massachusetts, Worcester, Massachusetts;
Division of Transfusion Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts, Worcester, Massachusetts

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Philippe Deloron UMR216 - MERIT, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, COMUE Sorbonne Paris Cité, Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France;

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Jonathan J. Juliano Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina;
Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina;
Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina;

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Nicaise Tuikue Ndam UMR216 - MERIT, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, COMUE Sorbonne Paris Cité, Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France;

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Steven R. Meshnick Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina;
Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina;

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In pregnancy-associated malaria, infected erythrocytes accumulate in the placenta. It is unclear if in polyclonal infections this results in distinct peripheral and placental parasite populations. We used long amplicon deep sequencing of Plasmodium falciparum var2csa ID1-DBL2X from 15 matched peripheral and placental samples collected at delivery from a high transmission area to determine genetic homology. Despite substantial sequence variation and detecting 23 haplotypes, the matched pairs mostly contained the same genetic variants, with 11 pairs sharing 100% of their variants, whereas others showed some heterogeneity. Thus, at delivery, peripheral and placental parasites appear to intermix and placental genotypes can be inferred through peripheral sampling.

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Author Notes

Address correspondence to Andreea Waltmann, Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC. E-mail: waltmann@unc.edu

Financial support: This work was supported by National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases under award number R56 AI106129 01A1 (to S. R. M.). This work relies on a previous work undertaken in the context of the STOPPAM project, “Strategies to Prevent Pregnancy Associated Malaria” supported by the European Union Framework 7 (STOPPAM) contract number: 200889. The information has not been previously presented at a scientific meeting.

Authors’ addresses: Andreea Waltmann, Department of Medicine, Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, E-mail: waltmann@unc.edu. Jaymin C. Patel and Kyaw L. Thwai, Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, E-mails: jaymin86@gmail.com and thwai@email.unc.edu. Nicholas J. Hathaway, School of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, E-mail: nickjhathaway@gmail.com. Christian M. Parobek, Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, E-mail: christian.parobek@gmail.com. Achille Massougbodji, Faculté des Sciences de la Santé, Centre d’étude et de recherche sur le paludisme associé à la grossesse et à l’enfance (CERPAGE), Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou, Benin, E-mail: massougbodjiachille@yahoo.fr. Nadine Fievet, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, UMR 216, Paris, France and Faculté des sciences de la Santé, Laboratoire de parasitology, Cotonou, Benin, E-mail: fievet@ird.fr. Jeffery A. Bailey, Department of Medicine, Division of Transfusion and Program in Bioinformatics and Integrative Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, E-mail: jeffrey.bailey@umassmed.edu. Philippe Deloron, Institut de Recherche pour le Developpment, UR010, Faculté de Pharmacie, Paris, France, E-mail: philippe.deloron@ird.fr. Jonathan J. Juliano, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, E-mail: jonathan_juliano@med.unc.edu. Nicaise Tuikue Ndam, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, UMR 216, Paris, France and Faculté de Pharmacie, Université Paris descartes, Paris, France, E-mail: nicaise.ndam@ird.fr. Steven R. Meshnick, Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC and Department of Medicine, Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, Chapel Hill, NC, E-mail: meshnick@live.unc.edu.

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