Posts Tagged “Plasmodium falciparum”

It’s hard for me, as a patriot, to read an article in EID about Plasmodium falciparum in ancient Egypt & shut up. The first emergence of Malaria in literature was when Hippocrates described the typical undulated fever which is highly characteristic for Malaria infection. Scientists made studies to identify P. falciparum‘s DNA in remains of a Roman infant (5th century) and another study on remains from 100-400 years ago.

They made their studies on 4000 years old mummies from Abydos, the Middle Kingdom tomb in Thebes West. Also samples from two different tombs from the New Kingdom until the Late Kingdom were taken. How did they know that those mummies had malarial infection? They simply searched for mummies had osteopathic evidence for chronic anemia. They ran PCR, a special technique called heminested PCR, using 18S rDNA primers. 2 of the 91 tested samples had chloroquine-resistance transporter (pfcrt) gene. I don’t know how, there wasn’t even chloroquine back there. They also ran immunological test which came positive for the P. falciparum histidine-rich protein-2 antigen.

Another thing came to my mind about Malaria. We must celebrate the launch of MalHaploFreq, the computer program which is designed for estimation of malaria haplotype frequencies in blood samples. Two awful facts about Malaria: There’s always drug resistance & multiple infections (the person can be infected by more than one type each one is resistant to an anti-malarial agent). All I know that they used Algorithm; this is really bad because I can’t stand math, and molecular markers to trace the spread of the drug-resistance & to predict the frequency of mutations.

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