Diversity of Plasmodium falciparum clones infecting children living in a holoendemic area in north-eastern Tanzania

S. M. Magesa*, K. Y. Mdira, H. A. Babiker, M. Alifrangis, A. Färnert, P. E. Simonsen, I. C. Bygbjerg, D. Walliker, P. H. Jakobsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


The diversity of Plasmodium falciparum clones and their role in progression from asymptomatic to symptomatic condition in children have been investigated. Attempts to identify whether particular parasite genotypes were associated with the development of clinical symptoms have been made. A cohort of 34 initially asymptomatic parasitaemic children aged 1-5 years were followed daily for 31 days. Clinical examinations were made each day for signs and symptoms of clinical malaria, followed by parasitological investigation. Nineteen children developed symptoms suggestive of clinical malaria during this period. Daily blood parasite samples from 13 children who developed clinical malaria symptoms and 7 who remained asymptomatic were genotyped by PCR-amplification of the polymorphic regions of the merozoite surface proteins 1 and 2 (MSP1 and MSP2) and the glutamate rich protein (GLURP) genes. Infections were found to be highly complex in both groups of children. Every isolate examined from both groups had a mixture of parasite clones. Daily changes were observed in both parasite density and genotypic pattern. The mean number of genotypes per individual was estimated at 4.9 and 2.7 for asymptomatic and symptomatic groups of children, respectively. Analysis of allele frequency distributions showed that these differed significantly for the MSP1 locus only.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-92
Number of pages10
JournalActa Tropica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • MSP1
  • MSP2
  • Multiplicity of infection
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Polymerase chain reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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