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The most lethal malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, rapidly adapts to acquire drug resistance. For the first time, we report that highly resistant Plasmodium parasites carry additional copies of resistance-conferring genes separate from the genome, which are known as extra-chromosomal DNA (ecDNA). This finding provides a new model to study a fundamental mechanism of adaptation that is relevant in many microbes and may lead to a new way to target malaria.

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This page is a summary of: Extrachromosomal DNA amplicons in antimalarial‐resistant Plasmodium falciparum, Molecular Microbiology, November 2020, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/mmi.14624.
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