Genetic diversity of the malaria vaccine candidate plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein-3 in a hypoendemic transmission environment

Academic Article


  • The N-terminal domain of Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein-3 (PfMSP3) has been excluded from malaria vaccine development largely because of genetic diversity concerns. However, no study to date has followed N-terminal diversity over time. This study describes P1MSP3 variation in a hypoendemic longitudinal cohort in the Peruvian Amazon over the 2003-2006 transmission seasons. Polymerase chain reaction was used to amplify the N-terminal domain in 630 distinct P. falciparum infections, which were allele-typed by size and also screened for sequence variation using a new high-throughput technique, denaturing high performance liquid chromatography. PfMSP3 allele frequencies fluctuated significantly over the 4-year period, but sequence variation was very limited, with only 10 mutations being identified of 630 infections screened. The sequence of the P1MSP3 N-terminal domain is relatively stable over time in this setting, and further studies of its status as a vaccine candidate are therefore warranted. Copyright © 2009 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Jordan SJ; Branch OH; Castro JC; Oster RA; Rayner JC
  • Start Page

  • 479
  • End Page

  • 486
  • Volume

  • 80
  • Issue

  • 3