Malarial Resistance and Susceptibility, Genetics of

Abstract

Resistance to malaria in humans, as well as drug and insecticide resistance by the malarial parasite and the mosquito that acts as its vector, respectively, is the result of adaptation by all three organisms. Characterization of the function and evolution of the genes underlying this resistance and susceptibility is paramount to our understanding of malarial treatment and eradication.

Keywords: malaria; plasmodium; anopheles; anemia; parasite

Figure 1.

Global percentages of children with malarial infections. Although several geographic areas of South America, India, Southeast Asia and Australasia have frequencies of malaria that range from 10% to 50%, sub‐Saharan Africa is most afflicted with frequencies >50% in many regions.

Figure 2.

Dateline for malarial drugs and subsequent Plasmodium resistance. Variation in parasite resistance (R) ranges from an almost immediate response, as in pyrimethamine (Pyr)–sulfadoxine (SDX), to decades later, with different geographic regions often taking longer than others as in chloroquine (CQ). Other drugs are proguanil (PG), artemisinin (Art), mefloquine (Mef), halofantrine (Hal), atovaquone (Ato), chlorproguanil and dapsone (LD) (Hyde, ).

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Cogswell F (1992) The hypnozoite and relapse in primate malaria. Clinical Microbiology Reviews 5: 26–35.

Ekland EH and Fidock DA (2007) Advances in understanding the genetic basis of antimalarial drug resistance. Current Opinion in Microbiology 10: 363–370.

Kwiatkowski DP (2005) How malaria has affected the human genome and what human genetics can teach us about malaria. American Journal of Human Genetics 77: 171–192.

Williams TN (2006) Human red blood cell polymorphisms and malaria. Current Opinion in Microbiology 9: 388–394.

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Verrelli, Brian C(Jul 2008) Malarial Resistance and Susceptibility, Genetics of. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020766]