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Malaria genome sequencing brings hope

| | August 15, 2012

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The search for a vaccine against malaria remains high on the global research agenda for many years. The parasites being tricky customers, there is not much of a success. But genetic variability revealed in malaria genomes newly sequenced by two multi-national research teams including a group from India offers a clearer and more detailed picture of its genetic composition, providing an initial roadmap in the development of pharmaceuticals and vaccines to combat malaria. Needless to say the studies also point out the challenges in efforts to eradicate the parasite.

The genetic analysis focuses on two lesser studied types of parasites – plasmodium vivax that afflicts humans and the most prevalent human malaria parasite outside Africa, and plasmodium cynomolgi, a close relative that infects Asian old world monkeys.

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