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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2012 Apr;86(4):580-6. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.2012.11-0627.

High degree of Plasmodium vivax diversity in the Peruvian Amazon demonstrated by tandem repeat polymorphism analysis.

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Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


Molecular tools to distinguish strains of Plasmodium vivax are important for studying the epidemiology of malaria transmission. Two sets of markers-tandem repeat (TR) polymorphisms and MSP3α-were used to study Plasmodium vivax in patients in the Peruvian Amazon region of Iquitos. Of 110 patients, 90 distinct haplotypes were distinguished using 9 TR markers. An MSP3α polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) using HhaI and AluI revealed 8 and 9 profiles, respectively, and 36 profiles when analyzed in combination. Combining TR and PCR-RFLP markers, 101 distinct molecular profiles were distinguished among these 110 patients. Nine TR markers arrayed along a 100 kB stretch of a P. vivax chromosome containing the gene for circumsporozoite protein showed non-linear linkage disequilibrium (I(SA) = 0.03, P = 0.001). These findings demonstrate the potential use of TR markers for molecular epidemiology studies.

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