Apical membrane antigen-1 is a candidate for inclusion in a vaccine for the human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax. We collected 231 complete sequences of the gene encoding this antigen (pvama-1) from three regions of Thailand, the most extensive collection to date of sequences at this locus. The domain II loop (previously mentioned as a potential vaccine component) was almost completely conserved, with a single amino acid variant (I313R) observed in a single sequence. The 3′ portion of the gene (domain II through the stop codon) showed significantly lower nucleotide diversity than the 5′ portion (start codon through domain I); and a given domain I sequence might be found in a haplotype with more than one domain II sequence. These results imply a hotspot of recombination between domains I and II. We found significant geographic subdivision among the three regions of Thailand (NW, East, and South) in which collections were made in 2007. Numbers of P. vivax infections have experienced overall declines since 1990 in all three regions; but the decline has been most recent in the NW, and there has been a rebound in numbers of infections in the South since 2000. Consistent with population history, amino acid sequence diversity was greatest in the NW. The South, which had by far the lowest sequence diversity of the three regions, showed signs of a population that has expanded from a small number of founders after a bottleneck.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Molecular Biology
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases