Journal article

Networks of genetic similarity reveal non-neutral processes shape strain structure inPlasmodium falciparum

Qixin He, Shai Pilosof, Kathryn Tiedje, Shazia Ruybal-Pesántez, Yael Artzy-Randrup, Edward Baskerville, Karen Day, Mercedes Pascual

Published : 2017


Pathogens compete for hosts through patterns of cross-protection conferred by immune responses to antigens. In Plasmodium falciparum malaria, the var multigene family encoding for the major blood-stage antigen Pf EMP1 has evolved enormous genetic diversity through ectopic recombination and mutation. With 50-60 var genes per genome, it is unclear whether immune selection can act as a dominant force in structuring var repertoires of local populations. The combinatorial complexity of the var system remains beyond the reach of existing strain theory, and previous evidence for non-random structure cannot demonstrate immune selection without comparison to neutral models. We develop two neutral mod..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


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