Population genetic structure and adaptation of malaria parasites on the edge of endemic distribution.


Duffy, CW; Ba, H; Assefa, S; Ahouidi, AD; Deh, YB; Tandia, A; Kirsebom, FC; Kwiatkowski, DP; Conway, DJ; (2017) Population genetic structure and adaptation of malaria parasites on the edge of endemic distribution. Molecular ecology. ISSN 0962-1083 DOI: 10.1111/mec.14066

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Abstract

To determine whether the major human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum exhibits fragmented population structure or local adaptation at the northern limit of its African distribution where the dry Sahel zone meets the Sahara, samples were collected from diverse locations within Mauritania over a range of ~ 1000 kilometres. Microsatellite genotypes were obtained for 203 clinical infection samples from eight locations, and Illumina paired-end sequences were obtained to yield high coverage genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data for 65 clinical infection samples from four locations. Most infections contained single parasite genotypes, reflecting low rates of transmission and superinfection locally, in contrast to the situation seen in population samples from countries further south. A minority of infections shared related or identical genotypes locally, indicating some repeated transmission of parasite clones without recombination. This caused some multi-locus linkage disequilibrium and local divergence, but aside from the effect of repeated genotypes there was minimal differentiation between locations. Several chromosomal regions had elevated integrated haplotype scores (|iHS|) indicating recent selection, including those containing drug resistance genes. A genome-wide FST scan comparison with previous sequence data from an area in West Africa with higher infection endemicity indicates that regional gene flow prevents genetic isolation, but revealed allele frequency differentiation at three drug resistance loci and an erythrocyte invasion ligand gene. Contrast of extended haplotype signatures revealed none to be unique to Mauritania. Discrete foci of infection on the edge of the Sahara are genetically highly connected to the wider continental parasite population, and local elimination would be difficult to achieve without very substantial reduction in malaria throughout the region. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Pathogen Molecular Biology
Research Centre: Malaria Centre
PubMed ID: 28214367
Web of Science ID: 402040000006
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/3515672

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