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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1999 Feb;93 Suppl 1:11-4.

Genetic structure and dynamics of Plasmodium falciparum infections in the Kilombero region of Tanzania.

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  • 1Institute of Cell, Animal and Population Biology, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.


Plasmodium falciparum parasites exist as genetically distinct haploid clones in infected people. In the Kilombero valley in south-east Tanzania, at least 85% of the inhabitants of Michenga village harbour more than one clone. Using 2 highly polymorphic unlinked markers, it has been estimated that each infected person harbours between one and 6 P. falciparum clones at any one time, with a mean of 3.5 clones. When mosquitoes acquire gametocytes of 2 different clones in a blood meal, crossing generates recombinant clones differing from their parental genotypes. The inbreeding coefficient of the parasite population has been estimated as 0.33.

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