Shazia Ruybal-Pesántez

Shazia Ruybal-Pesántez
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research · Population Health and Immunity

PhD

About

24
Publications
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98
Citations

Publications

Publications (24)
Article
Full-text available
Malaria control in West Africa is impeded by the large reservoir of chronic asymptomatic Plasmodium falciparum infections in the human population. This study aimed to assess the extent of diversity in the P. falciparum reservoir in Bongo District (BD), Ghana, at the end of the dry season, the lowest point in malaria transmission over the course of...
Article
Full-text available
Plasmodium falciparum causes a spectrum of malarial disease from asymptomatic to uncomplicated through to severe. Investigations of parasite virulence have associated the expression of distinct variants of the major surface antigen of the blood stages known as Pf EMP1 encoded by up to 60 var genes per genome. Looking at the population genomics of v...
Article
Full-text available
The concept of niche partitioning has received considerable theoretical attention at the interface of ecology and evolution of infectious diseases. Strain theory postulates that pathogen populations can be structured into distinct nonoverlapping strains by frequency-dependent selection in response to intraspecific competition for host immune space....
Article
Full-text available
High-malaria burden countries in sub-Saharan Africa are shifting from malaria control towards elimination. Hence, there is need to gain a contemporary understanding of how indoor residual spraying (IRS) with non-pyrethroid insecticides when combined with long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) impregnated with pyrethroid insecticides, contribute to...
Article
Full-text available
The CYP2D6 enzyme is estimated to metabolize 25% of commonly used pharmaceuticals and is of intense pharmacogenetic interest due to the polymorphic nature of the CYP2D6 gene. Accurate allele typing of CYP2D6 has proved challenging due to frequent copy number variants (CNVs) and paralogous pseudogenes. SNP-arrays, qPCR and short-read sequencing have...
Article
Immunity to Plasmodium falciparum is non-sterilizing, thus individuals residing in malaria-endemic areas are at risk of infection throughout their lifetime. Here we seek to find a genomic epidemiological explanation for why residents of all ages harbor blood stage infections despite lifelong exposure to P. falciparum in areas of high transmission....
Article
Motivation Recombination is a fundamental process in molecular evolution, and the identification of recombinant sequences is thus of major interest. However, current methods for detecting recombinants are primarily designed for aligned sequences. Thus they struggle with analyses of highly diverse genes, such as the var genes of the malaria parasite...
Article
Full-text available
Here we report the first population genetic study to examine the impact of indoor residual spraying (IRS) on Plasmodium falciparum in humans. This study was conducted in an area of high seasonal malaria transmission in Bongo District, Ghana. IRS was implemented during the dry season (November – May) in three consecutive years between 2013 and 2015...
Preprint
Full-text available
To better understand the factors underlying the continued incidence of clinical episodes of falciparum malaria in E-2020 countries targeting elimination, we have characterised Plasmodium falciparum disease transmission dynamics after a clonal outbreak on the northwest coast of Ecuador over a period of two years. We apply a novel, high-resolution ge...
Article
Full-text available
Malaria remains a major public health problem in many countries. Unlike influenza and HIV, where diversity in immunodominant surface antigens is understood geographically to inform disease surveillance, relatively little is known about the global population structure of PfEMP1, the major variant surface antigen of the malaria parasite Plasmodium fa...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recombination is a fundamental process in molecular evolution, and the identification of recombinant sequences is of major interest for biologists. However, current methods for detecting recombinants only work for aligned sequences, often require a reference panel, and do not scale well to large datasets. Thus they are not suitable for the analyses...
Article
Background: The majority of Plasmodium falciparum infections, constituting the reservoir in all ages, are asymptomatic in high transmission settings in Africa. The role of this reservoir in the evolution and spread of drug resistance was explored. Methods: Population genetic analyses of the key drug resistance-mediating polymorphisms were analys...
Article
Full-text available
In their competition for hosts, parasites with antigens that are novel to the host immune system will be at a competitive advantage. The resulting frequency-dependent selection can structure parasite populations into strains of limited genetic overlap. For the causative agent of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, the high recombination rates and assoc...
Preprint
Full-text available
In their competition for hosts, parasites with antigens that are novel to host immunity will be at a competitive advantage. The resulting frequency-dependent selection can structure parasite populations into strains of limited genetic overlap. For Plasmodium falciparum –the causative agent of malaria–in endemic regions, the high recombination rates...
Article
Full-text available
Pathogens compete for hosts through patterns of cross-protection conferred by immune responses to antigens. In Plasmodium falciparum malaria, the var multigene family encoding for the major blood-stage antigen PfEMP1 has evolved enormous genetic diversity through ectopic recombination and mutation. With 50–60 var genes per genome, it is unclear whe...
Preprint
Full-text available
Pathogens compete for hosts through patterns of cross-protection conferred by immune responses to antigens. In Plasmodium falciparum malaria, the var multigene family encoding for the major blood-stage antigen Pf EMP1 has evolved enormous genetic diversity through ectopic recombination and mutation. With 50-60 var genes per genome, it is unclear wh...
Article
Full-text available
Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) is a parasite protein encoded by a multigene family known as var. Expressed on the surface of infected red blood cells, PfEMP1 plays a central role in parasite virulence. The DBLα domain of PfEMP1 contains short sequence motifs termed homology blocks. Variation within homology blocks, at...

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