1014 Plasmodium falciparum samples from UK travellers returning from malaria endemic countries


Locations: Ghana (GH), Kenya (KE), Mozambique (MZ), United Kingdom (GB)

Partner study description

In collaboration with Colin Sutherland and Tim Robinson, we sequenced samples obtained from travellers returning to the UK from malaria-endemic countries being treated for clinical malaria in the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, London. Malaria isolates were obtained from four patients, two of which had recently travelled to Ghana, one to Kenya and one to Mozambique. We have previously described parasite clearance dynamics in each of these patients while they were being treated (Beshir et al, 2010).

Analysis of the genome sequences obtained from these isolates resulted in the first manuscript published using data generated from the MalariaGEN P. falciparum Community Project: Drug-resistant genotypes and multi-clonality in Plasmodium falciparum analysed by direct genome sequencing from peripheral blood of malaria patients by Robinson T, Campino SG (co-first authors) et al.

Each patient was found to harbour multiple clone infections, and this was verified in each case using standard PCR genotyping of the original blood sample. Evidence was found for known and novel gene deletions and amplifications, and full–length sequence was analysed for eight known loci implicated in drug resistance. We were thus able to demonstrate that Illumina whole genome sequencing of peripheral blood P. falciparum taken directly from malaria patients provides high quality data useful for drug resistance studies, genomic structural analyses and population genetics, and also robustly represents clonal multiplicity.

Key People

Colin Sutherland
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK