In PLOS One, a Chinese team takes a look at the genetics of warfarin response in individuals from the Chinese population. Focusing on five variants that have been implicated in warfarin response in the past, the researchers genotyped 220 patients who received warfarin as part of their cardiac valve replacement procedure. Based on the individuals' plasma warfarin concentrations, maintenance dose data, and so on, for instance, they found that two variants in the VKORC1 and CYP2C9 genes accounted for nearly one third of the observed differences in warfarin maintenance dose differences. Meanwhile, another variant in VKORC1 seemed to explain more than a quarter of the variability in warfarin plasma concentrations in the Chinese populations.
A group from Australia characterized three viruses from the so-called Mapputta serogroup — which turns up in Australia and Papua New Guinea and can cause a condition that resembles acute epidemic polyarthritis — for another PLOS One study. The researchers sequenced and compared the genomes of the Mapputta virus, the Maprik virus, and the Buffalo Creek virus. Their phylogenetic analysis of the strains suggests that the newly sequenced viruses are genetically similar to one another and related to a bunyavirus group recently found in mosquitoes.
Researchers from the US and Kenya have developed a real-time PCR assay for detecting two sub-species of the malaria parasite Plasmodium ovale — work they describe in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. The assay, which focused on a conserved region of the P. ovale genome, is designed to detect both P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri sub-species, the study's authors say. The method proved useful for detecting malaria in samples from nearly two dozen asymptomatic individuals from Western Kenya, they report, while multilocus genotyping made it possible to discern between the sub-species.