The origin of antigenic diversity in Plasmodium falciparum

Parasitol Today. 2000 Sep;16(9):390-6. doi: 10.1016/s0169-4758(00)01741-5.


Most studies of genetic variability of Plasmodium falciparum have focused on protein antigens and the genes that encode them. The consensus is that populations exhibit high levels of genetic polymorphism, most notably the genes encoding surface proteins of the merozoite (Msp1, Msp2) and the sporozoite (Csp). The age and derivation of this variation is a subject that warrants further careful consideration, as discussed here by Stephen Rich, Marcelo Ferreira and Francisco Ayala.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Protozoan / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Genes, Protozoan
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Merozoite Surface Protein 1 / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plasmodium falciparum / genetics
  • Plasmodium falciparum / immunology*
  • Protozoan Proteins / genetics
  • Sequence Homology


  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • Merozoite Surface Protein 1
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • circumsporozoite protein, Protozoan