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Keywords:

  • genetic diversity;
  • malaria;
  • microsatellites;
  • Plasmodium vivax ;
  • polymorphism;
  • Sri Lanka

Abstract

We have optimized a set of 14 polymorphic microsatellite markers for the human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax, all of them consisting of either tri- or tetranucleotide repeats. These markers, whose polymerase chain reaction amplification conditions are identical, were used to screen 25 parasite isolates from malaria-endemic areas in Sri Lanka. The total number of alleles per locus ranged between 6 and 13 (average, 7.8), and expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.627 to 0.913 (average, 0.790). These markers are now being used to characterize the population structure of P. vivax in other endemic areas.