Publications & Reports

Uncovering the transmission dynamics of Plasmodium vivax using population genetics.

Alyssa E Barry, Andreea Waltmann, Cristian Koepfli, Celine Barnadas, Ivo Mueller


Population genetic analysis of malaria parasites has the power to reveal key insights into malaria epidemiology and transmission dynamics with the potential to deliver tools to support control and elimination efforts. Analyses of parasite genetic diversity have suggested that Plasmodium vivax populations are more genetically diverse and less structured than those of Plasmodium falciparum indicating that P. vivax may be a more ancient parasite of humans and/or less susceptible to population bottlenecks, as well as more efficient at disseminating its genes. These population genetic insights into P. vivax transmission dynamics provide an explanation for its relative resilience to control efforts. Here, we describe current knowledge on P. vivax population genetic structure, its relevance to understanding transmission patterns and relapse and how this information can inform malaria control and elimination programmes.


  • Journal: Pathogens and Global Health
  • Published: 01/05/2015
  • Volume: 109
  • Issue: 3
  • Pagination: 142-152