The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection inducing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is still an ongoing challenge. To date, more than 95.4 million have been infected and more than two million deaths have been officially reported by the WHO. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) plays a key role in the disease pathogenesis.
Malaria has been one of the strongest selective pressures on our species. Many of the best-characterized cases of adaptive evolution in humans are in genes tied to malaria resistance. However, the complex evolutionary patterns at these genes are poorly captured by standard scans for non-neutral evolution. Here we present three new statistical tests for selection based on population genetic patterns that are observed more than once among key malaria resistance loci.
The Plasmodium vivax variant proteins encoded by vir genes are highly polymorphic antigens and are considered as one of key proteins of P. vivax for host immune evasion via antigenic variations. Because genetic diversity of these antigens is a critical hurdle in the development of an effective vaccine, understanding the genetic nature of the vir genes in natural population is important.
Reticulocyte binding protein-like homologs (RHs) are currently being evaluated as anti-erythrocytic stage vaccine targets against Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Present study explores the possible evolutionary drivers shaping the genetic organization of Pfrhs in Indian parasite population. It simultaneously evaluates a putative gain-of-function variant of PfRH5, a keystone member of PfRH family.
Plasmodium falciparum relies on gametocytogenesis to transmit from humans to mosquitoes. Gametocyte development 1 (Pfgdv1) is an upstream activator and epigenetic controller of gametocytogenesis. The emergence of drug resistance is a major public health concern and this requires the development of new strategies that target the transmission of malaria. As a putative drug target, Pfgdv1 has not been characterized to identify its polymorphisms and alleles under selection and how such polymorphisms influence protein structure.
Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) play a crucial role in immune regulation, and a common miRNA-146a polymorphism (rs2910164) increased the odds of falciparum malaria in pregnant African women. Here, we examined whether this association holds true in a different population, that is, 449 mainly male and adult malaria patients and 666 community controls in southwestern India. Plasmodium vivax malaria (67%) predominated over falciparum malaria (11%) and mixed species infections (22%).
Despite significant progress in controlling malaria, the disease remains a global health burden. The intricate interactions the parasite Plasmodium falciparum has with its host allows it to grow and multiply in human erythrocytes. The mechanism by which P. falciparum merozoites invade human erythrocytes is complex, involving merozoite proteins as well as erythrocyte surface proteins. Members of the P. falciparum reticulocyte binding-like protein homolog (PfRh) family of proteins play a pivotal role in merozoite invasion and hence are important targets of immune responses.
MHC class II (MHCII) molecules are cell surface glycoproteins that play an important role to develop adaptive immune responses. MHCII-disease association is not restricted to structural variation alone but also may extend to genetic variations, which may modulate gene expression. The observed variations in class II gene expression make it possible that the association of MHCII polymorphism with diseases may relate to the level of gene expression in addition to the restriction of response to Ag.
Plasmodium vivax, the chronic relapsing human malaria parasite with the most widespread distribution, possesses proteins associated with the merozoite surface that could be targets for host immune responses and potential vaccine candidates. Of these, the merozoite surface protein 3 of P. vivax (PvMSP3) is an attractive vaccine target as well as a genetic marker for epidemiological surveillance.