Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Rodent malaria parasites suffer from the presence of conspecific clones in three-clone Plasmodium chabaudi infections

  • J. C. DE ROODE (a1), A. F. READ (a1), B. H. K. CHAN (a1) and M. J. MACKINNON (a1)

We studied infection dynamics of Plasmodium chabaudi in mice infected with 3 genetically distinct clones – 1 less virulent than the other 2 – either on their own or in mixtures. During the acute phase of infection, total numbers of asexual parasites in mixed-clone infections were equal to those produced by the 3 clones alone, suggesting strong in-host competition among clones. During the chronic phase of the infection, mixed-clone infections produced more asexual parasites than single-clone infections, suggesting lower levels of competition than during the acute phase, and indicating that a genetically diverse infection is harder to control by the host immune system. Transmission potential over the whole course of infection was lower from mixed-clone infections than from the average of the 3 single-clone infections. These results suggest that in-host competition reduces both growth rate and probability of transmission for individual parasite clones.

Corresponding author
Tel: +44 (0) 131 650 6468. Fax: +44 (0) 131 650 6564. E-mail:
Hide All
ARNOT, D. ( 1998). Clone multiplicity of Plasmodium falciparum infections in individuals exposed to variable levels of disease transmission. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene92, 580585.

BABIKER, H. A., CREASEY, A. M., FENTON, B., BAYOUMI, R. A. L., ARNOT, D. E. & WALLIKER, D. ( 1991). Genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum in a village in eastern Sudan. 1. Diversity of enzymes, 2d-PAGE proteins and antigens. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene85, 572577.

BABIKER, H. A., RANFORD-CARTWRIGHT, L. C. & WALLIKER, D. ( 1999). Genetic structure and dynamics of Plasmodium falciparum infections in the Kilombero region of Tanzania. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene93, S11S14.

BEALE, G. H., CARTER, R. & WALLIKER, D. ( 1978). Genetics. In Rodent Malaria (ed. Killick Kendrick, R. & Peters, W.), pp. 213246. Academic Press, London.

BIGGS, B.-A., GOOZÉ, L., WYCHERLEY, K., WOLLISH, W., SOUTHWELL, B., LEECH, J. H. & BROWN, G. V. ( 1991). Antigenic variation in Plasmodium falciparum. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA88, 91719174.

BROWN, K. N. & BROWN, I. N. ( 1965). Immunity to malaria: antigenic variation in chronic infections of Plasmodium knowlesi. Nature, London208, 12861288.

BRUCE, M. C., DONNELLY, C. A., ALPERS, M. P., GALINSKI, M. R., BARNWELL, J. W., WALLIKER, D. & DAY, K. P. ( 2000). Cross-species interactions between malaria parasites in humans. Science287, 845848.

CONWAY, D. J., GREENWOOD, B. M. & McBRIDE, J. S. (1991). The epidemiology of multiple-clone Plasmodium falciparum infections in Gambian patients. Parasitology103, 16.

FELGER, I., SMITH, T., EDOH, D., KITUA, A., ALONSO, P., TANNER, M. & BECK, H. P. ( 1999). Multiple Plasmodium falciparum infections in Tanzanian infants. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene93, S29S34.

FERGUSON, H. M. & READ, A. F. ( 2002). Genetic and environmental determinants of malaria parasite virulence in mosquitoes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B269, 12171224.

JACOBS, R. L. ( 1964). Role of p-aminobenzoic acid in Plasmodium berghei infection in the mouse. Experimental Parasitology15, 213225.

JAKEMAN, G. N., SAUL, A., HOGARTH, W. L. & COLLINS, W. E. ( 1999). Anaemia of acute malaria infections in non-immune patients primarily results from destruction of uninfected erythrocytes. Parasitology119, 127133.

JARRA, W. & BROWN, K. N. ( 1989). Protective immunity to malaria: studies with cloned lines of rodent malaria in CBA/Ca mice. IV. The specificity of mechanisms resulting in crisis and resolution of the primary acute phase parasitaemia of Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi and P. yoelii yoelii. Parasite Immunology11, 113.

LI, C., SEIXAS, E. & LANGHORNE, J. ( 2001). Rodent malarias: the mouse as a model for understanding immune responses and pathology induced by the erythrocytic stages of the parasite. Medical Microbiology and Immunology189, 115126.

MACKINNON, M. J., GAFFNEY, D. J. & READ, A. F. ( 2002). Virulence of malaria parasites: host genotype by parasite genotype interactions. Infection, Genetics and Evolution1, 287296.

MACKINNON, M. J. & READ, A. F. ( 1999). Genetic relationships between parasite virulence and transmission in the rodent malaria Plasmodium chabaudi. Evolution53, 689703.

McLEAN, S. A., MACDOUGALL, L. M. & PHILLIPS, R. S. ( 1990). Early appearance of variant parasites in Plasmodium chabaudi infections. Parasite Immunology12, 97103.

McLEAN, S. A., PEARSON, C. D. & PHILLIPS, R. S. ( 1982). Plasmodium chabaudi: evidence of antigenic variation during recrudescent parasitaemias in mice. Experimental Parasitology54, 296300.

MENENDEZ, C., FLEMING, A. F. & ALONSO, P. L. ( 2000). Malaria-related anaemia. Parasitology Today16, 469476.

PHILLIPS, R. S., BRANNAN, L. R., BALMER, P. & NEUVILLE, P. ( 1997). Antigenic variation during malaria infection – the contribution from the murine parasite Plasmodium chabaudi. Parasite Immunology19, 427434.

READ, A. F. & TAYLOR, L. H. ( 2001). The ecology of genetically diverse infections. Science292, 10991102.

ROBERTS, D. J., CRAIG, A. G., BERENDT, A. R., PINCHES, R., NASH, G., MARSH, K. & NEWBOLD, C. I. ( 1992). Rapid switching to multiple antigenic and adhesive phenotypes in malaria. Nature, London357, 689692.

SMITH, T., BECK, H. P., KITUA, A., MWANKUSYE, S., FELGER, I., FRASER-HURT, N., IRION, A., ALONSO, P., TEUSCHER, T. & TANNER, M. ( 1999). Age dependence of the multiplicity of Plasmodium falciparum infections and of other malariological indices in an area of high endemicity. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene93, S15S20.

SNOUNOU, G., JARRA, W., VIRIYAKOSOL, S., WOOD, J. C. & BROWN, K. N. ( 1989). Use of a DNA probe to analyse the dynamics of infection with rodent malaria parasites confirms that parasite clearance during crisis is predominantly strain- and species-specific. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology37, 3746.

TAYLOR, L. H., MACKINNON, M. J. & READ, A. F. ( 1998). Virulence of mixed-clone and single-clone infections of the rodent malaria Plasmodium chabaudi. Evolution52, 583591.

TAYLOR, L. H., WALLIKER, D. & READ, A. F. ( 1997). Mixed-genotype infections of malaria parasites: within-host dynamics and transmission success of competing clones. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B264, 927935.

TAYLOR, L. H., WALLIKER, D. & READ, A. F. ( 1997). Mixed-genotype infections of the rodent malaria Plasmodium chabaudi are more infectious to mosquitoes than single-genotype infections. Parasitology115, 121132.

TAYLOR-ROBINSON, A. W. ( 1995). Regulation of immunity to malaria: valuable lessons learned from murine models. Parasitology Today11, 334342.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

  • ISSN: 0031-1820
  • EISSN: 1469-8161
  • URL: /core/journals/parasitology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 6 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 104 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 17th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.