P. vivax Genome Variation
The P. vivax Genome Variation project aims to understand genome diversity of this parasite that, because it can remain dormant in the liver for years, is particularly hard to eliminate using conventional malaria control measures.
Objectives & Coordination
Plasmodium vivax is a major cause of illness in many tropical regions, particularly South America and much of Asia. The biology of P. vivax parasites complicates efforts to study its genome: the parasites don’t grow well in culture, hampering in vitro studies, and infections are characterised by a lower density of parasites in the blood, making it difficult to isolate sufficient parasite DNA for sequencing.
The P. vivax Genome Variation project is coordinated by the MalariaGEN Resource Centre and connects multiple research groups which are primarily concerned with understanding the population genetics and identifying the genetic causes of antimalarial drug resistance in P. vivax — a major public health concern.
Our work is focused on three related objectives:
Building a catalogue of P. vivax genome variation
We aim to create a genome-wide catalogue of P. vivax polymorphisms generated by sequencing clinical samples from endemic countries, which we will then use to construct a high-resolution map of genome variation and population genetics. This resource will provide a foundation for genomic surveillance of P. vivax to guide malaria elimination.
Providing researchers with standardised genotype data on their samples
Our sequence data analysis pipeline provides researchers with high-quality genotype calls on their samples in a standardised format which enables reliable comparisons to be made with data from other studies and geographical locations.
Publishing global analyses of genome variation, population genetics and evolutionary selection
The data resources generated through this project will be valuable in addressing a range of scientific questions in addition to drug resistance. Although P. vivax causes much less mortality than P. falciparum, there is growing recognition that it can sometimes cause severe complications, raising the question of whether there are parasite genetic factors that cause some strains of P. vivax to be more virulent than others. There is also much interest in whether there are genetic types of parasite that can overcome the resistance to P. vivax infection possessed by African populations due to the Duffy negative blood group.
We work with investigators who are pursuing independent partner studies in a number of malaria-endemic countries. Click a link below to learn more about their work.
The following data have been released by the P. vivax Genome Variation project: