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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 136  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 292-295

Genetic polymorphism in Plasmodium falciparum: Differentiation of parasite isolates of high & low virulence by RAPD

1 Department of Microbiology, Shoolini University, Solan, India
2 Department of Parasitology,Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, India
3 Department of Microbiology, Shoolini University, Solan; Department of Parasitology,Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
R C Mahajan
Emeritus Professor, Department of Parasitology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 22960898

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Background & objectives: The increase in Plasmodium falciparum infections which are associated with severe and complicated malaria and drug resistance has made control of malaria a difficult task. Extensive genetic polymorphism in P. falciparum has been reported from several parts of the world which affects the efficacy of sub-unit vaccines. The knowledge of genotypes of the parasite in a geographical region is therefore, important for effective management and control. The aim of the present study was to investigate the usefulness of random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)-PCR technique for differentiation of P. falciparum isolates from patients presenting with severe (cerebral malaria) and mild malaria. Methods: Genetic polymorphism in 21 P. falciparum isolates obtained from patients found positive for P. falciparum by light microscopy was studied by RAPD-PCR analysis. Eleven RAPD primers were used for analysis of 21 P. falciparum isolates obtained from cerebral and non-cerebral malaria patients. Results: Of the 11 primers, only three (E-4, E-8, and R-8) produced useful polymorphic patterns. The cluster analysis based on UPGMA demonstrated that isolates causing cerebral malaria cluster separately from those causing uncomplicated malaria. However, the analysis of phylogenic tree showed that P. falciparum isolates causing non-cerebral and cerebral malaria clustered separately but showed relatedness. Interpretation & conclusions: The results of the present study showed that the RAPD-PCR was able to differentiate the isolates causing severe and mild malaria. The cluster analysis of the phylogenic tree suggested that the virulent strains evolved from less virulent strains as it clustered separately. RAPD technique may be useful in discriminating between the different isolates of the same species resulting in different clinical profiles.

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