Gene flow and cross-mating in Plasmodium falciparum in households in a Tanzanian village

H. A. Babiker, D. Walliker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


The diversity of the genes encoding 2 merozoite surface proteins (MSP-1 and IV1SP-2) of Plasmodium falciparum has been examined in parasites infecting members of 4 households in a village in Tanzania. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to characterize allelic variants of these genes by the sizes and sequences of regions of tandemly repeated bases in each gene. In each household extensive polymorphism was detected among parasites in the inhabitants and in infected mosquitoes caught in their houses. Similar frequencies of the alleles of these genes were observed in all households. Capture-recapture data indicated that both Anopheles gambiae and A. funestus freely dispersed among households in the hamlet. The results confirm that cross-mating and gene flow occur extensively among the parasites, and are discussed within the context of spatial clustering of natural populations of P. falciparum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-442
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • genetic polymorphisms
  • merozoite surface proteins
  • spatial clustering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Infectious Diseases


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