Unstable malaria in Sudan: The influence of the dry season. Plasmodium falciparum population in the unstable malaria area of eastern Sudan is stable and genetically complex

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This paper reviews surveys carried out, over a period of 6 years between 1989 and 1995, to examine Plasmodium falciparum population structure in Asar village in eastern Sudan, an area of unstable malaria, the incidence of which is confined to a few weeks following the short: rainy season (June-October). The first phase of the study involved regular cross sectional surveys, between 1989 and 1993 during the seasons of malaria incidence, while the second involved surveys during the malaria-free months of the dry seasons. The parasites were examined for 20 polymorphic loci, including enzyme electrophoretic variants, proteins detected by 2 dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, antigens detected by monoclonal antibodies, and in vitro responses to antimalarial drugs. In addition, alleles of the polymorphic genes for merozoite surface proteins 1 and 2 (MSP-1, MSP-2) were examined using the polymerase chain reaction and oligonucleotide probes. Great genetic complexity was observed among the parasites which appeared during the short transmission seasons. A large proportion of the patients who were infected during the transmission season maintained asymptomatic, subpatent parasitaemias throughout the subsequent dry season, often as genetically complex infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-589
Number of pages5
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1998



  • Genetics
  • Malaria
  • Msp1 gene
  • Msp2 gene
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Population structure
  • Sudan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Medicine(all)

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