Random mating in a natural population of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

H. A. Babiker, L. C. Ranford-Cartwright, D. Currie, J. D. Charlwood, P. Billingsley, T. Teuscher, D. Walliker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

170 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The genetic structure of a population of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has been examined in a village in Tanzania. Seventeen alleles of the merozoite surface protein MSP-1 and 23 of MSP-2 were detected by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) among the blood parasites of the inhabitants. Most infections contained mixtures of genetically distinct parasite clones. PCR was then used to examine individual P. falciparum oocysts, the products of fertilization events, in wild-caught mosquitoes. Forty-five out of 71 oocysts were heterozygous for one or both genes, showing that crossing between clones was taking place frequently, following uptake of mixtures of gametocytes by the mosquitoes. The frequency of heterozygous forms showed that random mating events probably occurred within mosquito bloodmeals between gametes belonging to different parasite clones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-421
Number of pages9
JournalParasitology
Volume109
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1994

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • Cross-fertilization
  • Malaria
  • Oocysts
  • Plasmodium falciparum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Parasitology

Cite this

Babiker, H. A., Ranford-Cartwright, L. C., Currie, D., Charlwood, J. D., Billingsley, P., Teuscher, T., & Walliker, D. (1994). Random mating in a natural population of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Parasitology, 109(4), 413-421.