Ananías A. Escalante

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Mitochondrial (mt) genes and genomes are among the major sources of data for evolutionary studies in birds. This places mitogenomic studies in birds at the core of intense debates in avian evolutionary biology. Indeed, complete mt genomes are actively been used to unveil the phylogenetic relationships among major orders, whereas single genes (e.g.,(More)
The origin of Plasmodium falciparum, the etiological agent of the most dangerous forms of human malaria, remains controversial. Although investigations of homologous parasites in African Apes are crucial to resolve this issue, studies have been restricted to a chimpanzee parasite related to P. falciparum, P. reichenowi, for which a single isolate was(More)
Plasmodium falciparum is distributed throughout the tropics and is responsible for an estimated 230 million cases of malaria every year, with a further 1.4 billion people at risk of infection. Little is known about the genetic makeup of P. falciparum populations, despite variation in genetic diversity being a key factor in morbidity, mortality, and the(More)
BACKGROUND Timing the origin of human malarias has been a focus of great interest. Previous studies on the mitochondrial genome concluded that Plasmodium in primates, including those parasitic to humans, radiated relatively recently during a process where host switches were common. Those investigations, however, assumed constant rate of evolution and(More)
Plasmodium falciparum shares its most recent common ancestor with parasites found in African apes; these species constitute the so-called Laverania clade. In this investigation, the evolutionary history of Plasmodium lineages found in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) was explored. Here, the remainders of 74 blood samples collected as part of the chimpanzees’(More)
We sequenced and annotated the genomes of four P. vivax strains collected from disparate geographic locations, tripling the number of genome sequences available for this understudied parasite and providing the first genome-wide perspective of global variability in this species. We observe approximately twice as much SNP diversity among these isolates as we(More)
The Thailand-Cambodia border is the epicenter for drug-resistant falciparum malaria. Previous studies have shown that chloroquine (CQ) and pyrimethamine resistance originated in this region and eventually spread to other Asian countries and Africa. However, there is a dearth in understanding the origin and evolution of dhps alleles associated with(More)
P. cynomolgi, a malaria-causing parasite of Asian Old World monkeys, is the sister taxon of P. vivax, the most prevalent malaria-causing species in humans outside of Africa. Because P. cynomolgi shares many phenotypic, biological and genetic characteristics with P. vivax, we generated draft genome sequences for three P. cynomolgi strains and performed(More)
Wild primate populations, an unexplored source of information regarding emerging infectious disease, may hold valuable clues to the origins and evolution of some important pathogens. Primates can act as reservoirs for human pathogens. As members of biologically diverse habitats, they serve as sentinels for surveillance of emerging pathogens and provide(More)
Vaccines directed against the blood stages of Plasmodium falciparum malaria are intended to prevent the parasite from invading and replicating within host cells. No blood-stage malaria vaccine has shown clinical efficacy in humans. Most malaria vaccine antigens are parasite surface proteins that have evolved extensive genetic diversity, and this diversity(More)