Last Updated

03 Jan 2019

ASTMH 2017, Ian Cheeseman: “Single Cell Genomics of Malaria Infections”

In collaboration with ASTMH, Image Audiovisuals, and session presenters, MESA brings you this webcast from the 66th ASTMH annual meeting in Baltimore, November 2017

Title: "Single Cell Genomics of Malaria Infections"

Speaker: Ian Cheeseman, Texas Biomedical Research Institute, United States

Session information: 

Symposium 0119: "Malaria: Advances in Modeling and Technology for Malaria"

Wednesday, 8 November, 8:00 - 9:45 AM, Convention Center - Ballroom I (Level 400)


Single-cell genomics can provide a means to determine the genetic structure of complex communities of unicellular organisms. Genetic analysis of infections with malaria parasites are complicated by multiple parasite lineages. These cannot be unambiguously determined from bulk resequencing efforts, severely restricting the effectiveness of association studies, and of our understanding of gene flow through parasite populations. To better understand parasite ecology at the level of individual cells, we have developed a method to capture single-cell haplotypes. Our optimized approach uses fluorescence assisted flow cytometry to capture singly-infected red blood cells, followed by whole genome amplification and next generation sequencing. By focusing our single cell method on replicating parasites we improve the overall success rate of amplification reactions (from 65% to 95%) and routinely generate near complete capture of the 23Mb parasite genome (mean genome coverage 90%). We use this approach to sequence hundreds of single genomes from an area of intense malaria transmission in Chikhwawa, Malawi. This data allows us to build a fine scale picture of the population structure of malaria parasites, both within and between infections.


Project Site


Texas Biomedical Research Institute (TBRI), US

Date Published