Whole genome sequencing of chimpanzee parasite reveals clues about human malaria

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Understanding the origins of emerging diseases - as well as more established disease agents -- is critical to gauge future human infection risks and find new treatment and prevention approaches. This holds true for malaria, which kills more than 500,000 people a year.
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A team of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) used Illumina's MiSeq platform to sequence the genomes of two malaria parasite species from miniscule volumes of chimpanzee blood to study the evolution and pathogenicity of Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest malaria parasite that affects people. The work hopes to lead to better understanding of the evolution of human malaria virulence, and eventually provide potential new targets for drugs and vaccines to treat the infection.

Related: Fluorescence microscopy aids in nanotechnology approach against malaria

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