Dominic Kwiatkowski's research while affiliated with Wellcome Sanger Institute and other places

Publications (699)

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Resistance to insecticides in Anopheles mosquitoes threatens the effectiveness of the most widespread tools currently used to control malaria. The genetic underpinnings of resistance are still only partially understood, with much of the variance in resistance phenotype left unexplained. We performed a multi-country large scale genome-wide associati...
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Traditionally, patient travel history has been used to distinguish imported from autochthonous malaria cases, but the dormant liver stages of Plasmodium vivax confound this approach. Molecular tools offer an alternative method to identify, and map imported cases. Using machine learning approaches incorporating hierarchical fixation index and decisi...
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Malaria is a global public health priority causing over 600,000 deaths annually, mostly young children living in Sub-Saharan Africa. Molecular surveillance can provide key information for malaria control, such as the prevalence and distribution of antimalarial drug resistance. However, genome sequencing capacity in endemic countries can be limited....
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Anopheles minimus is an important malaria vector throughout its wide geographic range across Southeast Asia. Genome sequencing could provide important insights into the unique malaria transmission dynamics in this region, where many vector species feed and rest outdoors. We describe results from a study using Illumina deep whole-genome sequencing o...
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Background Malaria outbreaks are important public health concerns that can cause resurgence in endemic regions approaching elimination. We investigated a Plasmodium falciparum outbreak in Attapeu Province, Laos, during the 2020–21 malaria season, using genomic epidemiology methods to elucidate parasite population dynamics and identify its causes....
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Experimental studies on the biology of malaria parasites have been mostly based on laboratory-adapted lines, but there is limited understanding of how these may differ from parasites in natural infections. Loss-of-function mutants have previously been shown to emerge during culture of some Plasmodium falciparum clinical isolates, in analyses that f...
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Malaria outbreaks are an important public health concern in endemic regions approaching elimination. Genetic surveillance of malaria parasites can elucidate the population dynamics of an outbreak, and help identify its causes. We investigated the epidemiology of a Plasmodium falciparum outbreak in Attapeu Province, Laos, during the 2020-2021 season...
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Blood group O is associated with protection against severe malaria and reduced size and stability of P. falciparum-host red blood cell (RBC) rosettes compared to non-O blood groups. Whether the non-O blood groups encoded by the specific ABO genotypes AO, BO, AA, BB and AB differ in their associations with severe malaria and rosetting is unknown. Th...
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Invasive bacterial disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in African children. Despite being caused by diverse pathogens, children with sepsis are clinically indistinguishable from one another. In spite of this, most genetic susceptibility loci for invasive infection that have been discovered to date are pathogen specific and are not t...
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Vaccines based on the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 are a cornerstone of the public health response to COVID-19. The emergence of hypermutated, increasingly transmissible variants of concern (VOCs) threaten this strategy. Omicron (B.1.1.529), the fifth VOC to be described, harbours multiple amino acid mutations in spike, half of which lie within the...
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Background: Since the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, evolutionary pressure has driven large increases in the transmissibility of the virus. However, with increasing levels of immunity through vaccination and natural infection the evolutionary pressure will switch towards immune escape. Genomic surveillance in regions of high immunity is crucial in detec...
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Whole genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 has occurred at an unprecedented scale, and can be exploited for characterising outbreak risks at the fine-scale needed to inform control strategies. One setting at continued risk of COVID-19 outbreaks are higher education institutions, associated with student movements at the start of term, close living condit...
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The Delta (B.1.617.2) variant was the predominant UK circulating SARS-CoV-2 strain between May and December 2021. How Delta infection compares with previous variants is unknown. This prospective observational cohort study assessed symptomatic adults participating in the app-based COVID Symptom Study who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 from May 26 to...
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The amino acid transporter pfaat1 modulates chloroquine resistance and fitness in malaria parasites
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This report describes the MalariaGEN Pv4 dataset, a new release of curated genome variation data on 1,895 samples of Plasmodium vivax collected at 88 worldwide locations between 2001 and 2017. It includes 1,370 new samples contributed by MalariaGEN and VivaxGEN partner studies in addition to previously published samples from these and other sources...
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Mitigation of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from international travel is a priority. We evaluated the effectiveness of travellers being required to quarantine for 14-days on return to England in Summer 2020. We identified 4,207 travel-related SARS-CoV-2 cases and their contacts, and identified 827 associated SARS-CoV-2 genomes. Overall, quarantine was as...
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Full-text available
Mitigation of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from international travel is a priority. We evaluated the effectiveness of travellers being required to quarantine for 14-days on return to England in Summer 2020. We identified 4,207 travel-related SARS-CoV-2 cases and their contacts, and identified 827 associated SARS-CoV-2 genomes. Overall, quarantine was as...
Preprint
Full-text available
Invasive bacterial disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in African children. Despite being caused by diverse pathogens, children with sepsis are clinically indistinguishable from one another. In spite of this, most genetic susceptibility loci for invasive infection that have been discovered to date are pathogen specific and are not t...
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Full-text available
Background: Antimalarial drug resistance is a major obstacle to sustainable malaria control. Here we use amplicon sequencing to describe molecular markers of drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum parasites from Kilifi county in the coastal region of Kenya over a 25-year period. Methods: We performed P. falciparum amplicon sequencing on 1162 mala...
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Understanding SARS-CoV-2 transmission in higher education settings is important to limit spread between students, and into at-risk populations. In this study, we sequenced 482 SARS-CoV-2 isolates from the University of Cambridge from 5 October to 6 December 2020. We perform a detailed phylogenetic comparison with 972 isolates from the surrounding c...
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Understanding SARS-CoV-2 transmission in higher education settings is important to limit spread between students, and into at-risk populations. In this study, we sequenced 482 SARS-CoV-2 isolates from the University of Cambridge from 5 October to 6 December 2020. We perform a detailed phylogenetic comparison with 972 isolates from the surrounding c...
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Host genetic factors can confer resistance against malaria1, raising the question of whether this has led to evolutionary adaptation of parasite populations. In this study we searched for association between candidate host and parasite genetic variants in 3,346 Gambian and Kenyan children ascertained with severe malaria due to Plasmodium falciparum...
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Investigation of the diversity of malaria parasite antigens can help prioritize and validate them as vaccine candidates and identify the most common variants for inclusion in vaccine formulations. Studies of vaccine candidates of the most virulent human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, have focused on a handful of well-known antigens, while...
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The evolution of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus leads to new variants that warrant timely epidemiological characterization. Here we use the dense genomic surveillance data generated by the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium to reconstruct the dynamics of 71 different lineages in each of 315 English local authori...
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The evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continuously produces new variants, which warrant timely epidemiological characterisation. Here we use the dense genomic surveillance generated by the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium to reconstruct the dynamics of 71 different lineages in each of 315 English local authorities between September 2020 and June...
Preprint
Full-text available
Anopheles minimus is an important malaria vector throughout its wide geographic range across Southeast Asia. Genome sequencing could provide important insights into the unique malaria transmission dynamics in this region, where many vector species feed and rest outdoors. We describe results from a study using Illumina deep whole-genome sequencing o...
Article
Vaccination and disease The United Kingdom has high rates of vaccination for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), exceeding 80% of adults. As immunity wanes and social distancing is relaxed, how are rates of illness and severe disease affected by more infectious variants? Elliott et al . used reverse transcription PCR data...
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Background: National Malaria Control Programmes (NMCPs) currently make limited use of parasite genetic data. We have developed GenRe-Mekong, a platform for genetic surveillance of malaria in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) that enables NMCPs to implement large-scale surveillance projects by integrating simple sample collection procedures in rout...
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Full-text available
There is an abundance of malaria genetic data being collected from the field, yet using these data to understand the drivers of regional epidemiology remains a challenge. A key issue is the lack of models that relate parasite genetic diversity to epidemiological parameters. Classical models in population genetics characterize changes in genetic div...
Article
Full-text available
Background: National Malaria Control Programmes (NMCPs) currently make limited use of parasite genetic data. We have developed GenRe-Mekong, a platform for genetic surveillance of malaria in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) that enables NMCPs to implement large-scale surveillance projects by integrating simple sample collection procedures in rou...
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MalariaGEN is a data-sharing network that enables groups around the world to work together on the genomic epidemiology of malaria. Here we describe a new release of curated genome variation data on 7,000 Plasmodium falciparum samples from MalariaGEN partner studies in 28 malaria-endemic countries. High-quality genotype calls on 3 million single nuc...
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Full-text available
Investigation of the diversity of malaria parasite antigens can help prioritize and validate them as vaccine candidates and identify the most common variants for inclusion in vaccine formulations. Studies on Plasmodium falciparum antigen diversity have focused on well-known vaccine candidates while the diversity of several others has never been stu...
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Full-text available
Anopheles is a diverse genus of mosquitoes comprising over 500 described species, including all known human malaria vectors. While a limited number of key vector species have been studied in detail, the goal of malaria elimination calls for surveillance of all potential vector species. Here, we develop a multilocus amplicon sequencing approach that...
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Despite regional successes in controlling the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, global cases have reached an all time high in April 2021 in part due to the evolution of more transmissible variants. Here we use the dense genomic surveillance generated by the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium to reconstruct the dynamics of 62 different lineages in each of 315 Engli...
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The SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7, designated a Variant of Concern 202012/01 (VOC) by Public Health England1, originated in the UK in late Summer to early Autumn 20202. Whole genome SARS-CoV-2 sequence data collected from community-based diagnostic testing shows an unprecedentedly rapid expansion of the B.1.1.7 lineage during Autumn 2020, suggesting a...
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Background The SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 was first identified in December, 2020, in England. We aimed to investigate whether increases in the proportion of infections with this variant are associated with differences in symptoms or disease course, reinfection rates, or transmissibility. Methods We did an ecological study to examine the associatio...
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Malaria and iron deficiency (ID) are common and interrelated public health problems in African children. Observational data suggest that interrupting malaria transmission reduces the prevalence of ID¹. To test the hypothesis that malaria might cause ID, we used sickle cell trait (HbAS, rs334), a genetic variant that confers specific protection agai...
Preprint
Full-text available
Host genetic factors can confer resistance against malaria, raising the question of whether this has led to evolutionary adaptation of parasite populations. In this study we investigated the correlation between host and parasite genetic variation in 4,171 Gambian and Kenya children ascertained with severe malaria due to Plasmodium falciparum. We id...
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Background Anti-malarial drug resistance remains a key concern for the global fight against malaria. In Ghana sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) is used for intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy and combined with amodiaquine for Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) during the high malaria season. Thus, surveillance of molecular ma...
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Identification of partial sweeps, which include both hard and soft sweeps that have not currently reached fixation, provides crucial information about ongoing evolutionary responses. To this end, we introduce partialS/HIC, a deep learning method to discover selective sweeps from population genomic data. partialS/HIC uses a convolutional neural netw...
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Full-text available
MalariaGEN is a data-sharing network that enables groups around the world to work together on the genomic epidemiology of malaria. Here we describe a new release of curated genome variation data on 7,000 Plasmodium falciparum samples from MalariaGEN partner studies in 28 malaria-endemic countries. High-quality genotype calls on 3 million single nuc...
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Resistance to pyrethroid insecticides is a major concern for malaria vector control. Pyrethroids target the voltage‐gated sodium channel (VGSC), an essential compo nent of the mosquito nervous system. Substitutions in the amino acid sequence can inducing a resistance phenotype. We use whole‐genome sequence data from phase 2 of the Anopheles gambiae...
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Vector population control using insecticides is a key element of current strategies to prevent malaria transmission in Africa. The introduction of effective insecticides, such as the organophosphate pirimiphos-methyl, is essential to overcome the recurrent emergence of resistance driven by the highly diverse Anopheles genomes. Here, we use a popula...
Preprint
Full-text available
The SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7, now designated Variant of Concern 202012/01 (VOC) by Public Health England, originated in the UK in late Summer to early Autumn 2020. We examine epidemiological evidence for this VOC having a transmission advantage from several perspectives. First, whole genome sequence data collected from community-based diagnostic...
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Monitoring the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and reconstructing transmission chains has become a major public health focus for many governments around the world. The modest mutation rate and rapid transmission of SARS-CoV-2 prevents the reconstruction of transmission chains from consensus genome sequences, but within-host genetic diversity could theoretical...
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Glycophorins are the most abundant sialoglycoproteins on the surface of human erythrocyte membranes. Genetic variation in glycophorin region of human chromosome 4 (containing GYPA, GYPB, and GYPE genes) is of interest because the gene products serve as receptors for pathogens of major public health interest, including Plasmodium sp., Babesia sp., I...
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The rapid and aggressive spread of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum carrying the C580Y mutation in the kelch13 gene is a growing threat to malaria elimination in Southeast Asia, but there is no evidence of their spread to other regions. We conducted cross-sectional surveys in 2016 and 2017 at two clinics in Wewak, Papua New Guinea (PNG)...
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Global dispersal and increasing frequency of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein variant D614G are suggestive of a selective advantage but may also be due to a random founder effect. We investigate the hypothesis for positive selection of spike D614G in the United Kingdom using more than 25,000 whole genome SARS-CoV-2 sequences. Despite the availability o...
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Pathogen multiplication rate is theoretically an important determinant of virulence, although often poorly understood and difficult to measure accurately. We show intrinsic asexual blood stage multiplication rate variation of the major human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum to be associated with blood-stage infection intensity in patients. A...
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Malaria has had a major effect on the human genome, with many protective polymorphisms—such as the sickle-cell trait—having been selected to high frequencies in malaria-endemic regions1,2. The blood group variant Dantu provides 74% protection against all forms of severe malaria in homozygous individuals3–5, a similar degree of protection to that af...
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Background Plasmodium vivax has been recently discovered as a significant cause of malaria in Mauritania, although very rare elsewhere in West Africa. It has not been known if this is a recently introduced or locally remnant parasite population, nor whether the genetic structure reflects epidemic or endemic transmission. Methodology / Principal Fi...
Preprint
Full-text available
There is an abundance of malaria genetic data being collected from the field, yet using this data to understand features of regional epidemiology remains a challenge. A key issue is the lack of models that relate parasite genetic diversity to epidemiological parameters. Classical models in population genetics characterize changes in genetic diversi...
Article
Full-text available
The characterization of de novo mutations in regions of high sequence and structural diversity from whole-genome sequencing data remains highly challenging. Complex structural variants tend to arise in regions of high repetitiveness and low complexity, challenging both de novo assembly, in which short reads do not capture the long-range context req...
Preprint
Full-text available
National Malaria Control Programmes (NMCPs) currently make limited use of parasite genetic data. We have developed GenRe-Mekong, a platform for genetic surveillance of malaria in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) that enables NMCPs to implement large-scale surveillance projects by integrating simple sample collection procedures in routine public h...
Preprint
Full-text available
Pathogen multiplication rate is theoretically an important determinant of virulence, although often poorly understood. We show intrinsic multiplication rate variation of the major human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum to be associated with blood-stage infection intensity. A panel of clinical isolates from a highly endemic West African popula...
Article
Full-text available
Background The Greater Mekong subregion is a recurrent source of antimalarial drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum malaria. This study aimed to characterise the extent and spread of resistance across this entire region between 2007 and 2018. Methods P falciparum isolates from Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia were obtained from clinical tr...
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Background : Anaemia is a major public health concern especially in African children living in malaria-endemic regions. Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) is elevated during malaria infection and is thought to influence erythropoiesis and iron status. Genetic variants in the IFN-γ gene (IFNG ) are associated with increased IFN-γ production. We investigated p...
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The evolution of insecticide resistance mechanisms in natural populations of Anopheles malaria vectors is a major public health concern across Africa. Using genome sequence data, we study the evolution of resistance mutations in the resistance to dieldrin locus (Rdl), a GABA receptor targeted by several insecticides, but most notably by the long-di...
Preprint
Full-text available
Vector population control using insecticides is a key element of current strategies to prevent malaria transmission in Africa. The introduction of effective insecticides, such as the organophosphate pirimiphos-methyl, is essential to overcome the recurrent emergence of resistance driven by the highly diverse Anopheles genomes. Here, we use a popula...