Understanding the relatedness of individuals within or between populations is a common goal in biology. Increasingly, relatedness features in genetic epidemiology studies of pathogens. These studies are relatively new compared to those in humans and other organisms, but are important for designing interventions and understanding pathogen transmission. Only recently have researchers begun to routinely apply relatedness to apicomplexan eukaryotic malaria parasites, and to date have used a range of different approaches on an ad hoc basis. Therefore, it remains unclear how to compare different studies and which measures to use. Here, we systematically compare measures based on identity-by-state (IBS) and identity-by-descent (IBD) using a globally diverse data set of malaria parasites, Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax, and provide marker requirements for estimates based on IBD. We formally show that the informativeness of polyallelic markers for relatedness inference is maximized when alleles are equifrequent. Link to the article
TAYLOR, A.R., JACOB, P., NEAFSEY, D.E. and BUCKEE, C.O. (2019). Estimating Relatedness Between Malaria Parasites. Genetics, 212(4), pp. 1337-1351.