Mitochondrial DNA from the eradicated European Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparumfrom 70-year-old slides from the Ebro Delta in Spain

Gelabert Pere, Sandoval-Velasco Marcela, Olalde Iñigo, Fregel Rosa, Rieux Adrien, Escosa Raül, Aranda Carles, Paaijmans Krijn, Mueller Ivo, Gilbert M. Thomas P., Lalueza-Fox Carles. 2016. Mitochondrial DNA from the eradicated European Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparumfrom 70-year-old slides from the Ebro Delta in Spain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113 (41) : pp. 11495-11500.

Journal article ; Article de recherche ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact
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Thème(s) HCERES des revues (en SHS) : Economie-gestion; Psychologie-éthologie-ergonomie

Abstract : Phylogenetic analysis of Plasmodium parasites has indicated that their modern-day distribution is a result of a series of human-mediated dispersals involving transport between Africa, Europe, America, and Asia. A major outstanding question is the phylogenetic affinity of the malaria causing parasites Plasmodium vivax and falciparum in historic southern Europe—where it was endemic until the mid-20th century, after which it was eradicated across the region. Resolving the identity of these parasites will be critical for answering several hypotheses on the malaria dispersal. Recently, a set of slides with blood stains of malaria-affected people from the Ebro Delta (Spain), dated between 1942 and 1944, have been found in a local medical collection. We extracted DNA from three slides, two of them stained with Giemsa (on which Plasmodium parasites could still be seen under the microscope) and another one consisting of dried blood spots. We generated the data using Illumina sequencing after using several strategies aimed at increasing the Plasmodium DNA yield: depletion of the human genomic (g)DNA content through hybridization with human gDNA baits, and capture-enrichment using gDNA derived from P. falciparum. Plasmodium mitochondrial genome sequences were subsequently reconstructed from the resulting data. Phylogenetic analysis of the eradicated European P. vivax mtDNA genome indicates that the European isolate is closely related to the most common present-day American haplotype and likely entered the American continent post-Columbian contact. Furthermore, the European P. falciparum mtDNA indicates a link with current Indian strains that is in agreement with historical accounts. (Résumé d'auteur)

Classification Agris : L72 - Pests of animals
L73 - Animal diseases
000 - Other themes

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 4 (2014-2018) - Santé des animaux et des plantes

Agence(s) de financement européenne(s) : European Regional Development Fund

Projet(s) de financement européen(s) : UNSPECIFIED

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Gelabert Pere, Institute of Evolutionary Biology (ESP)
  • Sandoval-Velasco Marcela, Natural History Museum (DNK)
  • Olalde Iñigo, Institute of Evolutionary Biology (ESP)
  • Fregel Rosa, Stanford University (USA)
  • Rieux Adrien, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR PVBMT (REU)
  • Escosa Raül, Consorci de Polítiques Ambientals de les Terres de l'Ebre (ESP)
  • Aranda Carles, Servei de Control de Mosquits (ESP)
  • Paaijmans Krijn, Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ESP)
  • Mueller Ivo, Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ESP)
  • Gilbert M. Thomas P., Technical University of Denmark (DNK)
  • Lalueza-Fox Carles, Institute of Evolutionary Biology (ESP)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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