Plasmodium vivax Database

Project Information

Plasmodium vivax accounts for the majority of malaria outside Africa with approximately 80-100 million cases annually, and more people are at risk from infection with P. vivax than with P. falciparum. A disease of poor people living on the margins of developing economies, vivax malaria traps many societies in a relentless cycle of poverty. Protective immunity against P. vivax is infrequent due to intermittent transmission, and the disease occurs at all ages, though especially in young adult men. Morbidity results from repeated acute febrile episodes of a debilitating intensity that can persist for months. Drug resistance in P. vivax is becoming more widespread, hindering management of clinical cases. Since P. vivax kills much less frequently and is not amenable as yet to continuous in vitro culture, the species remains comparatively neglected in the shadow of P. falciparum. Thus, while the genomes of ~15 primarily in vitro cultured strains of P. falciparum have been wholly or partially completed, data exist for only one P. vivax genome (monkey-adapted laboratory strain Salvador I).

P. vivax and related monkey malaria species exhibit tremendous phenotypic and genotypic diversity within a monophyletic taxonomic group of relatively recent origin. Issues of spreading drug resistance and zoonotic infections are cause for concern, in addition to the current incidence and prevalence of malaria cases caused by the parasite. Refractoriness of P. vivax to standard laboratory manipulation makes genome sequencing a particularly compelling method for investigating its biology and diversity. Comparative genomics will provide invaluable information on, for example, the rate and mode of evolution of proteins involved in biological diversity, with the ultimate goal of generating better methods of disease surveillance and control.

We have now completed sequencing on the first four strains we have received, and their assemblies and annotations are available.

About P. vivax

Due to the biomedical importance of the human malaria parasite P. vivax, and the tremendous benefits that will accrue to the malaria research community through access to additional sequence data, the first tier contains isolates of P. vivax that differ in several important phenotypes. Generating sequence data from these isolates will have a significant impact on at least three key research areas of P. vivax biology: drug resistance, the phenomenon of relapse, and genetic diversity.

P. vivax White Paper

You may find it under NHGRI/NIAID Approved Sequencing Projects.