Partner study description
Alfred Amambua-Ngwa, David Conway, and colleagues surveyed clinical Plasmodium falciparum isolates from The Gambia to assess several measures of genetic variation including allele frequency spectra and signatures of balancing selection, across geographical regions and developmental stages. Using Illumina sequencing data from these parasites, the team published the first population-based study of signatures of balancing selection throughout a pathogen genome — a landmark in understanding pathogen polymorphism. They continue to study the functional and immunological targets identified in this study, and to extend the geographical range of their population genetic studies. This study is contributing to the Plasmodium Diversity Network Africa (PDNA), an African-led network investigating the genetic diversity and drug resistance of Plasmodium parasites across Africa.