Article

A general SNP-based molecular barcode for Plasmodium falciparum identification and tracking

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
Malaria Journal (Impact Factor: 3.49). 10/2008; 7:223. DOI: 10.1186/1475-2875-7-223
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping provides the means to develop a practical, rapid, inexpensive assay that will uniquely identify any Plasmodium falciparum parasite using a small amount of DNA. Such an assay could be used to distinguish recrudescence from re-infection in drug trials, to monitor the frequency and distribution of specific parasites in a patient population undergoing drug treatment or vaccine challenge, or for tracking samples and determining purity of isolates in the laboratory during culture adaptation and sub-cloning, as well as routine passage.
A panel of twenty-four SNP markers has been identified that exhibit a high minor allele frequency (average MAF > 35%), for which robust TaqMan genotyping assays were constructed. All SNPs were identified through whole genome sequencing and MAF was estimated through Affymetrix array-based genotyping of a worldwide collection of parasites. These assays create a "molecular barcode" to uniquely identify a parasite genome.
Using 24 such markers no two parasites known to be of independent origin have yet been found to have the same allele signature. The TaqMan genotyping assays can be performed on a variety of samples including cultured parasites, frozen whole blood, or whole blood spotted onto filter paper with a success rate > 99%. Less than 5 ng of parasite DNA is needed to complete a panel of 24 markers. The ability of this SNP panel to detect and identify parasites was compared to the standard molecular methods, MSP-1 and MSP-2 typing.
This work provides a facile field-deployable genotyping tool that can be used without special skills with standard lab equipment, and at reasonable cost that will unambiguously identify and track P. falciparum parasites both from patient samples and in the laboratory.

0 Followers
 · 
150 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Plasmodium falciparum is unique among human malarias in its ability to sequester in post-capillary venules of host organs. The main variant antigens implicated are the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), which can be divided into three major groups (A-C). Our study was a unique examination of sequestered populations of parasites for genetic background and expression of PfEMP1 groups. We collected post-mortem tissue from twenty paediatric hosts with pathologically different forms of cerebral malaria (CM1 and CM2) and parasitaemic controls (PC) to directly examine sequestered populations of parasites in the brain, heart and gut. Use of two different techniques to investigate this question produced divergent results. By quantitative PCR, group A var genes were upregulated in all three organs of CM2 and PC cases. In contrast, in CM1 infections displaying high levels of sequestration but negligible vascular pathology, there was high expression of group B var. Cloning and sequencing of var transcript tags from the same samples indicated a uniformly low expression of group A-like var. Generally, within an organ sample, 1-2 sequences were expressed at dominant levels. 23% of var tags were detected in multiple patients despite the P. falciparum infections being genetically distinct, and two tags were observed in up to seven hosts each with high expression in the brains of 3-4 patients. This study is a novel examination of the sequestered parasites responsible for fatal cerebral malaria and describes expression patterns of the major cytoadherence ligand in three organ-derived populations and three pathological states.
    PLoS Pathogens 12/2014; 10(12):e1004537. DOI:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004537 · 8.14 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Complex malaria infections are defined as those containing more than one genetically distinct lineage of Plasmodium parasite. Complexity of infection (COI) is a useful parameter to estimate from patient blood samples because it is associated with clinical outcome, epidemiology and disease transmission rate. This manuscript describes a method for estimating COI using likelihood, called COIL, from a panel of bi-allelic genotyping assays. COIL assumes that distinct parasite lineages in complex infections are unrelated and that genotyped loci do not exhibit significant linkage disequilibrium. Using the population minor allele frequency (MAF) of the genotyped loci, COIL uses the binomial distribution to estimate the likelihood of a COI level given the prevalence of observed monomorphic or polymorphic genotypes within each sample. COIL reliably estimates COI up to a level of three or five with at least 24 or 96 unlinked genotyped loci, respectively, as determined by in silico simulation and empirical validation. Evaluation of COI levels greater than five in patient samples may require a very large collection of genotype data, making sequencing a more cost-effective approach for evaluating COI under conditions when disease transmission is extremely high. Performance of the method is positively correlated with the MAF of the genotyped loci. COI estimates from existing SNP genotype datasets create a more detailed portrait of disease than analyses based simply on the number of polymorphic genotypes observed within samples. The capacity to reliably estimate COI from a genome-wide panel of SNP genotypes provides a potentially more accurate alternative to methods relying on PCR amplification of a small number of loci for estimating COI. This approach will also increase the number of applications of SNP genotype data, providing additional motivation to employ SNP barcodes for studies of disease epidemiology or control measure efficacy. The COIL program is available for download from GitHub, and users may also upload their SNP genotype data to a web interface for simple and efficient determination of sample COI.
    Malaria Journal 01/2015; 14(1):4. DOI:10.1186/1475-2875-14-4 · 3.49 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: With support from the Global Fund, the United States President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) and other cooperating partners, Malawi is implementing a comprehensive malaria control programme involving indoor residual spraying in targeted districts, universal coverage with insecticide-treated bed nets, use of rapid diagnostic tests to confirm the clinical diagnosis of malaria and use of the highly effective artemisinin-based combination therapy, artemether-lumefantrine (AL), as the first-line treatment for malaria. We genotyped 24 genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in Plasmodium falciparum infections (n = 316) sampled from a single location in Malawi before (2006 and 2007) and after enhanced intervention (2008 and 2012). The SNP data generated were used to examine temporal changes in the proportion of multiple-genotype infections (MIs), mean number of heterozygous SNPs within MIs, parasite genetic diversity (expected heterozygosity and genotypic richness), multilocus linkage disequilibrium and effective population size (Ne). While the proportion of MIs, expected heterozygosity, genotypic richness, multilocus linkage disequilibrium and Ne were unchanged over time, the mean number (±standard deviation) of heterozygous SNPs within MIs decreased significantly (p = 0.01) from 9(±1) in 2006 to 7(±1) in 2012. These findings indicate that the genetic diversity of P. falciparum malaria parasites in this area remains high, suggesting that only subtle gains, if any, have been made in reducing malaria transmission. Continued surveillance is required to evaluate the impact of malaria control interventions in this area and the rest of Malawi, and to better target control interventions.
    Acta Tropica 11/2014; 142. DOI:10.1016/j.actatropica.2014.11.008 · 2.52 Impact Factor

Full-text (4 Sources)

Download
40 Downloads
Available from
May 16, 2014