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Parasitol Today. 2000 Sep;16(9):390-6.

The origin of antigenic diversity in Plasmodium falciparum.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, 200 Westboro Rd, Bldg 20, North Grafton, MA 01536, USA.


Most studies of genetic variability of Plasmodium falciparum have focused on protein antigens and the genes that encode them. The consensus is that populations exhibit high levels of genetic polymorphism, most notably the genes encoding surface proteins of the merozoite (Msp1, Msp2) and the sporozoite (Csp). The age and derivation of this variation is a subject that warrants further careful consideration, as discussed here by Stephen Rich, Marcelo Ferreira and Francisco Ayala.

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