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The chemo therapy of rodent malaria part 30 the enigmas of the ns lines of plasmodium berghei



The chemo therapy of rodent malaria part 30 the enigmas of the ns lines of plasmodium berghei



Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology 72(1): 23-36



Under chloroquine selection pressure a number of chloroquine-resistant lines of rodent malaria have been selected from 'strains' of Plasmodium berghei originating in the Katanga highlands. They are called the 'NS lines'. No resistant parasite was obtained from a clone under drug pressure, nor from 2 other highland P. berghei and a strain of P. vinckei vinckei. The isoenzyme typing of these parasites indicates that the drug-resistant NS parasites are allied to P. yoelii rather than P. berghei, but that they can be distinguished from all but the subspecies P. yoelii nigeriensis, sharing with this glucose phosphate isomerase 2, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, lactate dehydrogenase 1, and glutamate dehydrogenase 2. The resistant organism is therefore labeled P. yoelii ssp. Cross-immunity experiments indicate that P. yoelii ssp. differs not only from P. berghei, but also from P. y. nigeriensis in the absence of reciprocal cross-protection, although P. berghei itself (as well as the mixtures containing P. yoelii ssp.) provides a broad and relatively non-specific protection against the other parasites. The supporting evidence (based on DNA base sequence homologies) for differences between this P. yoelii ssp. and P. y. nigeriensis is discussed. Evidence is presented to refute the suggestion that the 'NS lines' have become accidentally mixed with P. berghei in the laboratory. On the contrary, the evidence indicates that the NS lines are not P. y. nigeriensis but a new subspecies in the P. yoelii complex. How such mixtures of P. berghei and P. yoelii ssp. have survived through many years and countless syringe passages in the laboratory is unknown, but this is not an isolated instance in the history of the rodent malarias. The existence of P. yoelii ssp. may account for a number of previously unaccountable observations in the laboratory such as some of the apparent 'variability' of P. berghei 'strains' under a variety of experimental conditions. The importance of these findings is discussed in relation to the zoogeography of the rodent malarias.

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