Korean J Parasitol.  2017 Oct;55(5):473-480. 10.3347/kjp.2017.55.5.473.

Genetic Diversity and Natural Selection in 42 kDa Region of Plasmodium vivax Merozoite Surface Protein-1 from China-Myanmar Endemic Border

  • 1Medical College of Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, P. R. China.
  • 2National Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, WHO Collaborating Centre for Tropical Diseases, National Center for International Research on Tropical Diseases, Key Laboratory of Parasite and Vector Biology, Ministry of Health, Shanghai 200025, P. R. China. junhuchen@hotmail.com, ipdzhouxn@sh163.net
  • 3Department of Biochemistry, Higher Institute of Health Sciences, Université des Montagnes, Bangangté BP208, Cameroon.
  • 4School of Life Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200438, P. R. China. yinm@fudan.edu.cn
  • 5Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Bengbu Medical College, Bengbu 233030, P. R. China.
  • 6Department of Parasitic Disease Control and Prevention, Zhejiang Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Hangzhou 310051, P. R. China.


Plasmodium vivax merozoite surface protein-1 (PvMSP1) gene codes for a major malaria vaccine candidate antigen. However, its polymorphic nature represents an obstacle to the design of a protective vaccine. In this study, we analyzed the genetic polymorphism and natural selection of the C-terminal 42 kDa fragment within PvMSP1 gene (Pv MSP142) from 77 P. vivax isolates, collected from imported cases of China-Myanmar border (CMB) areas in Yunnan province and the inland cases from Anhui, Yunnan, and Zhejiang province in China during 2009–2012. Totally, 41 haplotypes were identified and 30 of them were new haplotypes. The differences between the rates of non-synonymous and synonymous mutations suggest that PvMSP142 has evolved under natural selection, and a high selective pressure preferentially acted on regions identified of PvMSP133. Our results also demonstrated that PvMSP142 of P. vivax isolates collected on China-Myanmar border areas display higher genetic polymorphisms than those collected from inland of China. Such results have significant implications for understanding the dynamic of the P. vivax population and may be useful information towards China malaria elimination campaign strategies.


Plasmodium vivax; merozoite surface protein-1; genetic polymorphism; natural selection; Myanmar; China
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