Transmission vs. Diversity
[section title=”_Transmission vs._ Diversity”]
The genetic diversity of the malaria parasite population strongly correlates with transmission intensity. In high transmission settings where there are lots of mosquitoes that bite multiple humans, there is a high level of diversity as the parasites recombine in the mosquito (colored banding). This in turn means that individuals bitten by a mosquito are likely to have many different circulating strains of the parasite. In contrast, in low transmission settings, individuals are bitten much less frequently. This means that it is increasingly likely that an infected individual will only have a single parasite population, and therefore mosquitoes that bite such an individual will also contract a single parasite population.