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Last Posted: Apr 10, 2024
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Genomics reveals heterogeneous Plasmodium falciparum transmission and selection signals in Zambia.
Abebe A Fola et al. Commun Med (Lond) 2024 4 (1) 67

From the abstract: "We conducted genomic surveillance of Plasmodium falciparum parasites from the 2018 Malaria Indicator Survey in Zambia, a nationally representative household survey of children under five years of age. We whole-genome sequenced and analyzed 241?P. falciparum genomes from regions with varying levels of malaria transmission across Zambia and estimated genetic metrics that are informative about transmission intensity, genetic relatedness between parasites, and selection. We provide genomic evidence of widespread within-host polygenomic infections, regardless of epidemiological characteristics, underscoring the extensive and ongoing endemic malaria transmission in Zambia. Our analysis reveals country-level clustering of parasites from Zambia and neighboring regions, with distinct separation in West Africa. "

Using genomics to track malaria in the US
T Locke, MedicalXpress, December 20, 2023

From the website: "Both the parasite genome and the mosquito genome are very important because each of those represents a unique fingerprint. You can characterize the disease that's caused by that particular parasite and also track the parasites and the mosquitoes. Malaria parasites, for example, in parts of Ethiopia or India are different from each other, but those malaria parasites in India are similar to each other. If you don't know the origin of a malaria parasite, you can track it back to where it might have come from by comparing it with lots of different genomes of malaria parasites throughout the endemic world. "

Rapid profiling of Plasmodium parasites from genome sequences to assist malaria control.
Jody E Phelan et al. Genome Med 2023 11 (1) 96

From the abstract: "Malaria continues to be a major threat to global public health. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) of the underlying Plasmodium parasites has provided insights into the genomic epidemiology of malaria. Genome sequencing is rapidly gaining traction as a diagnostic and surveillance tool for clinical settings, where the profiling of co-infections, identification of imported malaria parasites, and detection of drug resistance are crucial for infection control and disease elimination. To support this informatically, we have developed the Malaria-Profiler tool, which rapidly (within minutes) predicts Plasmodium species, geographical source, and resistance to antimalarial drugs directly from WGS data. "

Spreading awareness of sickle cell trait and its possible complications A better understanding of the trait is crucial for both patients and providers
M Shaniqua, Sickle Cell New, August 2023

Scientists have found that sickle cell trait originated as an evolutionary response to malaria, one of the deadliest illnesses in tropical regions. The trait offers natural protection against the infectious disease. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Sickle cell trait is not a disease, but having it means that a person has inherited the sickle cell gene from one of his or her parents.” If a child inherits two sickle cell genes, one from each parent, then they will have sickle cell disease.

Disclaimer: Articles listed in the Public Health Genomics and Precision Health Knowledge Base are selected by the CDC Office of Public Health Genomics to provide current awareness of the literature and news. Inclusion in the update does not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nor does it imply endorsement of the article's methods or findings. CDC and DHHS assume no responsibility for the factual accuracy of the items presented. The selection, omission, or content of items does not imply any endorsement or other position taken by CDC or DHHS. Opinion, findings and conclusions expressed by the original authors of items included in the update, or persons quoted therein, are strictly their own and are in no way meant to represent the opinion or views of CDC or DHHS. References to publications, news sources, and non-CDC Websites are provided solely for informational purposes and do not imply endorsement by CDC or DHHS.