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A Major Genome Region Underlying Artemisinin Resistance in Malaria

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Science  06 Apr 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6077, pp. 79-82
DOI: 10.1126/science.1215966

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Narrowing Down Artemisinin Resistance

Knowing that antimalarial drug resistance is characterized by selective sweeps and reduced diversity around resistance mutations, Cheeseman et al. (p. 79) looked for signatures of selection in a modified genome-wide association study in parasite populations from Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand. Thirty-three regions showed evidence of selection and enrichment of known antimalarial resistance genes. Fine-mapping of parasite samples taken during the past decade narrowed the association down to a 35-kb region of seven genes on chromosome 13 that seemed to explain at least 35% of the observed reduction in parasite clearance rate. However, the absence of strong candidate mutations suggests the involvement of noncoding regulatory mutations.

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