Genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum and distribution of drug resistance haplotypes in Yemen

Salama Al-Hamidhi, Mohammed Ak Mahdy, Zainab Al-Hashami, Hissa Al-Farsi, Abdulsalam M. Al-Mekhlafi, Mohamed A. Idris, Albano Beja-Pereira, Hamza A. Babiker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Despite evident success of malaria control in many sites in the Arabian Peninsula, malaria remains endemic in a few spots, in Yemen and south-west of Saudi Arabia. In addition to local transmission, imported malaria sustains an extra source of parasites that can challenge the strengths of local control strategies. This study examined the genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum in Yemen and mutations of drug resistant genes, to elucidate parasite structure and distribution of drug resistance genotypes in the region. Methods. Five polymorphic loci (MSP-2, Pfg377 and three microsatellites on chromosome 8) not involved in anti-malarial drug resistance, and four drug resistant genes (pfcrt, pfmdr1, dhfr and dhps) were genotyped in 108 P. falciparum isolates collected in three sites in Yemen: Dhamar, Hodeidah and Taiz. Results: High diversity was seen in non-drug genes, pfg377 (He = 0.66), msp-2 (He = 0.80) and three microsatellites on chr 8, 7.7 kb (He = 0.88), 4.3 kb (He = 0.77) and 0.8 kb (He = 0.71). There was a high level of mixed-genotype infections (57%), with an average 1.8 genotypes per patient. No linkage disequilibrium was seen between drug resistant genes and the non-drug markers (p <0.05). Genetic differentiation between populations was low (most pair-wise F ssub ST esub values

Original languageEnglish
Article number244
JournalMalaria Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Arabian Peninsula
  • Drug resistance
  • Genetic diversity
  • Malaria
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Yemen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Parasitology
  • Medicine(all)


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