Comparative evolutionary genomics of human malaria parasites
The parasites Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax are responsible for the majority of human malaria cases worldwide. Despite many similarities in their biology, they frequently are studied in isolation. With the completion of the P. vivax genome and the generation of an initial P. falciparum genetic diversity map, attempts are being made to infer inter- and intra-species genome evolution. Here, we briefly review our current knowledge of comparative evolutionary genomics of the two species in the light of several presentations at the Molecular Approaches to Malaria 2008 meeting in Lorne, Australia and ask the question: can evolutionary genomics of one species inform the other?