Partner study description
Plasmodium falciparum var genes are a large and diverse gene family that encode PfEMP1, an important set of antigenic virulence molecules that are inserted into the surface of parasite erythrocytes. Pete Bull and colleagues have a long-standing collaboration with the Sanger Malaria Programme using capillary sequence tag analysis to measure expression of var genes in clinical isolates from Kilifi, Kenya, and have identified genes that are associated with severe malaria and low levels of host immunity. Their current interests extend this work to whole transcriptome analysis, which will provide information on whole var genes that are associated with severe forms of malaria, as well as other variant antigens such as the RIFINS and STEVORS. Peter Bull and colleagues have kindly agreed to allow these samples to also be whole genome sequenced for analysis in the MalariaGEN P. falciparum Community Project.