Evidence for intragenic recombination in Plasmodium falciparum: Identification of a novel allele family in block 2 of merozoite surface protein-1: Asembo Bay Area Cohort Project XIV

Shannon Takala, Ora Lee Branch, Ananias A. Escalante, Simon Kariuki, John Wootton, Altaf A. Lal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


We have investigated intragenic recombination in Block 2 of the merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP-1), where three allele-specific families: K1, Mad20, and RO33 were previously known. Using parasites from western Kenya, we have found a fourth Block 2 allele type, which is a recombinant between Mad20 and RO33 alleles. These recombinant alleles, which we have termed MR, contain sequence from the 5′ region of Mad20 and the 3′ region of RO33. The results of this study provide new data on the complexity of the MSP-1 antigen gene, which is a candidate vaccine antigen, and further support the importance of intragenic recombination in generating genetic variability in Plasmodium falciparum parasites in nature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-171
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002



  • Allele family
  • Genetic diversity
  • Merozoite protein
  • Plasmodium
  • Recombination
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Molecular Biology

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