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Nat Commun. 2014 Sep 9;5:4754. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5754.

Genome sequencing of chimpanzee malaria parasites reveals possible pathways of adaptation to human hosts.

Author information

1
Parasite Genomics, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Cambridge CB10 1SA, UK.
2
1] Parasite Genomics, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Cambridge CB10 1SA, UK [2] Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division, Computational Bioscience Research Center, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia.
3
1] National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, Maryland 20852, USA [2] Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DS, UK.
4
Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville, CIRMF, BP 769 Franceville, Gabon.
5
Laboratoire MIVEGEC, UMR 5290 CNRS-IRD-UMI-UMII, IRD, BP 64501, 34394 Montpellier, France.
6
Biomedical Primate Research Centre, Department of Parasitology, 2280 GH Rijswijk, The Netherlands.
7
1] Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville, CIRMF, BP 769 Franceville, Gabon [2] Laboratoire MIVEGEC, UMR 5290 CNRS-IRD-UMI-UMII, IRD, BP 64501, 34394 Montpellier, France.
8
Department of Pathogen Molecular Biology, London School of Hygiene &Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT, UK.
9
1] Parasite Genomics, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Cambridge CB10 1SA, UK [2] Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DS, UK [3].
10
1] Parasite Genomics, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Cambridge CB10 1SA, UK [2].

Abstract

Plasmodium falciparum causes most human malaria deaths, having prehistorically evolved from parasites of African Great Apes. Here we explore the genomic basis of P. falciparum adaptation to human hosts by fully sequencing the genome of the closely related chimpanzee parasite species P. reichenowi, and obtaining partial sequence data from a more distantly related chimpanzee parasite (P. gaboni). The close relationship between P. reichenowi and P. falciparum is emphasized by almost complete conservation of genomic synteny, but against this strikingly conserved background we observe major differences at loci involved in erythrocyte invasion. The organization of most virulence-associated multigene families, including the hypervariable var genes, is broadly conserved, but P. falciparum has a smaller subset of rif and stevor genes whose products are expressed on the infected erythrocyte surface. Genome-wide analysis identifies other loci under recent positive selection, but a limited number of changes at the host-parasite interface may have mediated host switching.

PMID:
25203297
PMCID:
PMC4166903
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms5754
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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