gms | German Medical Science

11th Malaria Meeting

Malaria Group / Section Antiparasitic Chemotherapy of the Paul-Ehrlich-Society (PEG e. V.) in cooperation with the German Society for Tropical Medicine and International Health (DTG e. V.) and the German Society for Parasitology (DGP e. V.)

08.11. - 09.11.2013, Aachen

The genetic diversity of Plasmodium vivax from Papua New Guinea inferred with mitochondrial genomes

Meeting Abstract

  • Priscila Thihara Rodrigues - Department of Parasitology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Scholarship from CNPq – Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico
  • Marcelo Urbano Ferriera - Department of Parasitology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Leonie Raijmakers - Infection & Immunity Division, Walter & Eliza Hall Institute, Parkville, Australia
  • Ivo Mueller - Infection & Immunity Division, Walter & Eliza Hall Institute, Parkville, Australia
  • Ingrid Felger - Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland

11th Malaria Meeting. Aachen, 08.-09.11.2013. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2014. Doc13mal19

doi: 10.3205/13mal19, urn:nbn:de:0183-13mal194

Published: January 29, 2014

© 2014 Rodrigues et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



The Plasmodium vivax affects populations of Central America, South America, Middle East, South, Southeast and Central Asia, Oceania and East Africa, where 3.3 billion people are currently at risk of infection and 70–80 million clinical cases are reported each year. Previous studies have contrasted the genetic diversity of parasite populations in the Americas with those in Asia and Oceania, concluding that New World populations exhibit low genetic diversity consistent with a recent introduction. In this study we sequenced the complete mitochondrial genome of 52 isolates of P. vivax from Papua New Guinea to investigate the genetic diversity present in this region. The network of mtDNA haplotypes was constructed using the program Network, combining 721 genome sequences available in the GenBank database with 52 sequences from Papua New Guinea. We identified 360 distinct haplotypes, including 3 haplotypes not found in earlier surveys of global mitochondrial diversity in P. vivax. Our Network analysis suggests that isolates from Papua New Guinea are divided in sub-populations. The first PNG sub-population is closely related to isolates from South America, predominantly those from Venezuela, Peru, Colombia and Brazil, and also related to African isolates in particular from Madagascar. Another sub-population from PNG is dispersed in the network, related mitochondrial DNAs are of diverse origin, for example, from Central America, South America (Brazil predominately), Southeast Asia, South Asia, China and Korean. Up the present, there is no definitive conclusion about the arrival of P. vivax in Oceania, but genetic data suggest that this continent was probably colonized by P. vivax at multiple time points. This could explain the finding of two groups of haplotypes in PNG, each of these with distinct relationships within the haplotype network.