Plasmodium falciparum: Polymorphism in the MSP-1 gene in Indian isolates and predominance of certain alleles in cerebral
Polymorphism in the block-2 region of merozoite surface protein-1 gene in 69 North Indian Plasmodium falciparum isolates was studied by PCR and RFLP using Dra-1 endonuclease. On the basis of molecular weight of the PCR products, considerable size polymorphism in target gene was seen and 69 isolates were classified into five allelic types. On RFLP, the isolates in three allelic types were further divided into two sub-allelic types each and thus eight genetic types could be identified. Interestingly, all five allelic types were identified in 47 isolates from uncomplicated (non-cerebral) malaria patients while only two allelic types (Type 2 and 3) were seen amongst 22 isolates from cerebral malaria patients. Furthermore, on RFLP, one subtype (2A) was predominantly seen in cerebral malaria patients and one subtype (3A) was exclusively found in cerebral malaria patients. These observations suggest that a few, comparatively more virulent isolates prevalent in an area may cause severe disease (cerebral malaria) which can be identified by molecular techniques like PCR-RFLP.
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