Plasmodium falciparum Histidine-Rich Protein 2 and 3 Gene Deletions in Strains from Nigeria, Sudan, and South Sudan.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Emerging infectious diseases, 2021, 27, (2), pp. 471-479
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Deletion of histidine-rich protein genes pfhrp2/3 in Plasmodium falciparum causes infections to go undetected by HRP2-based malaria rapid diagnostic tests. We analyzed P. falciparum malaria cases imported to Australia (n = 210, collected 2010-2018) for their pfhrp2/3 status. We detected gene deletions in patients from 12 of 25 countries. We found >10% pfhrp2-deletion levels in those from Nigeria (13.3%, n = 30), Sudan (11.2%, n = 39), and South Sudan (17.7%, n = 17) and low levels of pfhrp3 deletion from Sudan (3.6%) and South Sudan (5.9%). No parasites with pfhrp2/3 double deletions were detected. Microsatellite typing of parasites from Nigeria, Sudan, and South Sudan revealed low relatedness among gene-deleted parasites, indicating independent emergences. The gene deletion proportions signify a risk of false-negative HRP2-RDT results. This study's findings warrant surveillance to determine whether the prevalence of gene-deleted parasites justifies switching malaria rapid diagnostic tests in Nigeria, Sudan, and South Sudan.
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