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Nationwide genetic surveillance of Plasmodium vivax in Papua New Guinea reveals heterogeneous transmission dynamics and routes of migration amongst subdivided populations.

Fola AA, Nate E, Abby Harrison GL, Barnadas C, Hetzel MW, Iga J, Siba P, Mueller I, Barry AE

  • Journal Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases

  • Published 05 Dec 2017

  • Volume 58

  • Pagination 83-95

  • DOI 10.1016/j.meegid.2017.11.028


=0.08-0.15 p-value<0.05) reflecting a spectrum of transmission intensities across the country. Genetic differentiation between regions was evident (Jost's D=0.07-0.72), with increasing divergence of populations with geographic distance. Overall, P. vivax isolates clustered into three major genetic populations subdividing the Mainland lowland and coastal regions, the Islands and the Highlands. P. vivax gene flow follows major human migration routes, and there was higher gene flow amongst Mainland parasite populations than among Island populations. The Central Province (samples collected in villages close to the capital city, Port Moresby), acts as a sink for imported infections from the three major endemic areas. These insights into P. vivax transmission dynamics and population networks will inform targeted strategies to contain malaria infections and to prevent the spread of drug resistance in PNG.