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Aim: To explore the molecular characteristics of glutamine rich protein (GLURP) gene in Plasmodium berghei NK65 and compare its genetic relatedness with those of Plasmodium falciparum. The GLURP is a key surface antigen and its gene a genetic marker for genotyping in malaria epidemiology.
Study Design: The design chose for this study was an experimental research.
Place and Duration: The study was undertaken in the Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Jos between October 2018 and June 2019.
Methods: Total Deoxyribonucleic acid was extracted from the whole blood of Plasmodium berghei NK65 infected mice using ZR Quick-gDNA™ Miniprep Kit (ZYMO RESEARCH). PCR was done using Gene Ampp9700. The amplicon was analyzed in 2% agarose gel, documented with ChemiGenuis® Gel Documentation System (Synegene) and sequenced at Inqaba Biotec Industries, South Africa. Finch TV® (GeoPiza) was used to access the GLURP nucleotide sequence and analysed using National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLASTn) and CLUSTAL O analyses tools.
Result: The polymerase chain reaction product, about 1kb, gave 863bp partial length GLURP gene of Plasmodium berghei NK65 strain. The bioinformatics analyses gave Blast Hits: Plasmodium falciparum GLURP gene (AF191065.1) with 98.23% identity; (AF247634.1) with 94.93% identity; and (XM_001347592.1) with 94.66% identity. This shows high similarity between Plasmodium berghei NK65 GLURP gene sequence and that of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.
Conclusion: The presence of GLURP gene was reported for the first time in Plasmodium berghei NK65 which is homologous to strains of the deadliest human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.
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