Polymorphisms of Plasmodium falciparum k13-propeller gene among migrant workers returning to Henan Province, China from Africa.
ABSTRACT: Henan Province has been in the malaria elimination stage, with all reports of the disease being imported since 2012 and over 90% coming from Africa. Surveillance and population studies are essential for the early detection and subsequent prevention of the spread of drug resistance. The K13-propeller gene was recently identified as a proposed molecular marker of artemisinin (ART) resistance. In this study, we detected mutations of the K13-propeller gene in samples taken from imported malaria cases in Henan Province from 2012 to 2015.There were 483 samples that were obtained from Plasmodium falciparum-infected malaria migrant workers who returned to Henan Province from Africa between 2012 and 2015. The single nucleotide polymorphisms in the K13-propeller gene were assessed by nested PCR with DNA sequencing. Frequency and geographic difference of K13-propeller gene mutant types were analyzed.Of 483 patients, 476 were cured and 7 died. There were no K13-propeller mutations in the blood samples from the 7 patients who died, but there were 23 different genotypes of the K13-propeller that were observed in 24 (4.97%) of the samples. C580Y, which was the predominant one in the resistance of ART, was not detected in the samples, but R539T and P574L which have also been associated with ART resistance, were observed in two samples from Angola and Equatorial Guinea. No mutations were detected in 11 samples from North Africa. The frequency of the K13-propeller was 6.50% (8/123) in Central Africa, followed by East Africa (1/19, 5.26%), West Africa (9/198, 4.55%) and South Africa (6/132, 4.55%). There was no significant difference among these four areas (P = 0.795).R539T and P574L were found in migrant workers who traveled from Africa to Henan Province, although the frequency of the K13-propeller mutants was low. These data may enrich the molecular surveillance of antimalarial resistance and will be helpful for developing and updating the antimalarial policy in Henan Province.
Project description:The recent emergence of artemisinin resistance in the Greater Mekong Subregion poses a major threat to the global effort to control malaria. Tracking the spread and evolution of artemisinin-resistant parasites is critical in aiding efforts to contain the spread of resistance. A total of 417 patient samples from the year 2007, collected during malaria surveillance studies across ten provinces in Thailand, were genotyped for the candidate Plasmodium falciparum molecular marker of artemisinin resistance K13. Parasite genotypes were examined for K13 propeller mutations associated with artemisinin resistance, signatures of positive selection, and for evidence of whether artemisinin-resistant alleles arose independently across Thailand. A total of seven K13 mutant alleles were found (N458Y, R539T, E556D, P574L, R575K, C580Y, S621F). Notably, the R575K and S621F mutations have previously not been reported in Thailand. The most prevalent artemisinin resistance-associated K13 mutation, C580Y, carried two distinct haplotype profiles that were separated based on geography, along the Thai-Cambodia and Thai-Myanmar borders. It appears these two haplotypes may have independent evolutionary origins. In summary, parasites with K13 propeller mutations associated with artemisinin resistance were widely present along the Thai-Cambodia and Thai-Myanmar borders prior to the implementation of the artemisinin resistance containment project in the region.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The emergence and transnational spread of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) is a serious threat to malaria elimination in the region and could present a threat to malaria control in Africa. Recently, the Lao Government adopted the goal of malaria elimination by 2030, for which monitoring of artemisinin-resistant malaria within the country is indispensable. This study's objectives were to assess the distribution of k13 mutations in Laos. METHODS:Plasmodium falciparum isolates (n = 1151) were collected from five southern provinces in Laos between 2015 and 2016, and three isolates from the northernmost province bordering China in 2017. Polymorphisms of the k13 gene and two flanking regions were analysed to estimate relationship among the isolates. RESULTS:In the five southern provinces, overall 55.5% of the isolates possessed artemisinin-resistant mutations of the k13 gene (C580Y, P574L, R539T, Y493H). The C580Y was the predominant mutation (87.2%). The frequencies of the k13 mutations were heterogeneous in the five southern provinces, but with a clear tendency showing the highest frequency in the south (72.5%) and to a lower degree when moving northward (28.0%). The three isolates from the Lao-Chinese border also possessed the C580Y mutation. Analysis of the flanking loci demonstrated that these three isolates were genetically very close to resistant strains originating from western Cambodia. CONCLUSIONS:Artemisinin resistance was observed to be rapidly increasing and spreading northwards through Laos and has now reached the Chinese border. The Lao and Chinese governments, as well as the international community, should make dedicated efforts to contain the spread of k13 mutations within Laos and in the GMS.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Malaria reduction and future elimination in China is made more difficult by the importation of cases from neighboring endemic countries, particularly Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam, and increased travel to Africa by Chinese nationals. The increasing prevalence of artemisinin resistant parasites across Southeast Asia highlights the importance of monitoring the parasite importation into China. Artemisinin resistance in the Mekong region is associated with variants of genes encoding the K13 kelch domain protein (pf13k), found in specific genetic backgrounds, including certain alleles of genes encoding the chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt) and multidrug resistance transporter PgH1 (pfmdr1). METHODS:In this study we investigated the prevalence of drug resistance markers in 72 P. falciparum samples from uncomplicated malaria infections in Tengchong and Yingjiang, counties on the Yunnan-Myanmar border. Variants of pf13k, pfcrt and pfmdr1 are described. RESULTS:Almost all parasites harboured chloroquine-resistant alleles of pfcrt, whereas pfmdr1 was more diverse. Major mutations in the K13 propeller domain associated with artemisinin resistance in the Mekong region (C580Y, R539T and Y493H) were absent, but F446I and two previously undescribed mutations (V603E and V454I) were identified. Protein structural modelling was carried out in silico on each of these K13 variants, based on recently published crystal structures for the K13 propeller domain. Whereas F446I was predicted to elicit a moderate destabilisation of the propeller structure, the V603E substitution is likely to lead to relatively high protein instability. We plotted these stability estimates, and those for all previously described variants, against published values for in vivo parasitaemia half-life, and found that quadratic regression generates a useful predictive algorithm. CONCLUSION:This study provides a baseline of P. falciparum resistance-associated mutations prevalent at the China-Myanmar border. We also show that protein modelling can be used to generate testable predictions as to the impact of pfk13 mutations on in vivo (and potentially in vitro) artemisinin susceptibility.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Imported falciparum malaria from Africa has become a key public health challenge in Guizhou Province since 2012. Understanding the polymorphisms of molecular markers of drug resistance can guide selection of antimalarial drugs for the treatment of malaria. This study was aimed to analyze the polymorphisms of pfcrt, pfmdr1, and K13-propeller among imported falciparum malaria cases in Guizhou Province, China. METHOD:Fifty-five imported falciparum malaria cases in Guizhou Province during 2012-2016 were included in this study. Their demographic information and filter paper blood samples were collected. Genomic DNA of Plasmodium falciparum was extracted from the blood samples, and polymorphisms of pfcrt, pfmdr1, and K13-propeller were analyzed with nested PCR amplification followed by sequencing. Data were analyzed with the SPSS17.0 software. RESULTS:The prevalence of pfcrt K76T, pfmdr1 N86Y, and pfmdr1 Y184F mutation was 56.6, 22.2, and 72.2%, respectively, in imported falciparum malaria cases in Guizhou Province. We detected two mutant haplotypes of pfcrt, IET and MNT, with IET being more commonly found (54.7%), and five mutant haplotypes of pfmdr1, of which NFD was the most frequent (53.7%). There were totally 10 combined haplotypes of pfcrt and pfmdr1, of which the haplotype IETNFD possessed a predominance of 28.8%. In addition, three nonsynonymous mutations (S459T, C469F, and V692L) and two synonymous mutations (R471R and V589V) were detected in K13-propeller, all having prevalence less than 6.0%. In particular, a candidate K13 resistance mutation, C469F, was identified for the first time from Democratic Republic of the Congo with the prevalence of 2.0%. CONCLUSIONS:The high prevalence of IET haplotype of pfcrt and NFD haplotype of pfmdr1 suggests the presence of chloroquine, artemether/lumefantrine, and dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine resistance in these cases. Therefore cautions should be made to artemisinin therapy for P. falciparum in Africa. Continuous monitoring of anti-malarial drug efficacy in imported malaria cases is helpful for optimizing antimalarial drug therapy in Guizhou Province, China.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Resistance to anti-malarial drugs hinders malaria elimination. Monitoring the molecular markers of drug resistance helps improve malaria treatment policies. This study aimed to assess the distribution of molecular markers of imported Plasmodium falciparum infections. METHODS:In total, 485 P. falciparum cases imported from Africa, Southeast Asia, and Oceania into Zhejiang province, China, from 2016 to 2018 were investigated. Most were imported from Africa, and only a few cases originated in Asia and Oceania. Blood samples were collected from each patient. Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (Pfcrt) at residues 72-76 and Kelch13-propeller (k13) were determined by nested PCR and DNA sequence. RESULTS:Wild-type Pfcrt at residues 72-76 was predominant (72.61%), but mutant and mixed alleles were also detected, of which CVIET (22.72%) was the most common. Mutant Pfcrt haplotypes were more frequent in patients from West Africa (26.92%), North Africa (25%), and Central Africa (21.93%). The number of cases of P. falciparum infections was small in Southeast Asia and Oceania, and these cases involved Pfcrt mutant type. For the k13 propeller gene, 26 samples presented 19 different point mutations, including eight nonsynonymous mutations (P441S, D464E, K503E, R561H, A578S, R622I, V650F, N694K). In addition, R561H, one of the validated SNPs in k13, was detected in one patient from Myanmar and one patient from Rwanda. A578S, although common in Africa, was found in only one patient from Cameroon. R622I was detected in one sample from Mozambique and one sample from Somalia. The genetic diversity of k13 was low in most regions of Africa and purifying selection was suggested by Tajima's D test. CONCLUSIONS:The frequency and spatial distributions of Pfcrt and k13 mutations associated with drug resistance were determined. Wild-type Pfcrt was dominant in Africa. Among k13 mutations correlated with delayed parasite clearance, only the R561H mutation was found in one case from Rwanda in Africa. Both Pfcrt and k13 mutations were detected in patients from Southeast Asia and Oceania. These findings provide insights into the molecular epidemiological profile of drug resistance markers in the study region.
Project description:Mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum K13-propeller domain have recently been shown to be important determinants of artemisinin resistance in Southeast Asia. This study investigated the prevalence of K13-propeller polymorphisms across sub-Saharan Africa. A total of 1212 P. falciparum samples collected from 12 countries were sequenced. None of the K13-propeller mutations previously reported in Southeast Asia were found, but 22 unique mutations were detected, of which 7 were nonsynonymous. Allele frequencies ranged between 1% and 3%. Three mutations were observed in >1 country, and the A578S was present in parasites from 5 countries. This study provides the baseline prevalence of K13-propeller mutations in sub-Saharan Africa.
Project description:Artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria has been documented in southeast Asia and may already be spreading in that region. Molecular markers are important tools for monitoring the spread of antimalarial drug resistance. Recently, single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the PF3D7_1343700 kelch propeller (K13-propeller) domain were shown to be associated with artemisinin resistance in vivo and in vitro. The prevalence and role of K13-propeller mutations are poorly known in sub-Saharan Africa. K13-propeller mutations were genotyped by direct sequencing of nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplicons from dried blood spots of pre-treatment falciparum malaria infections collected before and after the use of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) as first-line therapy in Mali. Although K13-propeller mutations previously associated with delayed parasite clearance in Cambodia were not identified, 26 K13-propeller mutations were identified in both recent samples and pre-ACT infections. Parasite clearance time was comparable between infections with non-synonymous K13-propeller mutations and infections with the reference allele. These findings suggest that K13-propeller mutations are present in artemisinin-sensitive parasites and that they preceded the wide use of ACTs in Mali.
Project description:Given the risk of artemisinin resistance spreading from the Greater Mekong sub-region, prospective monitoring in sub-Saharan Africa should be expedited. Molecular biology techniques used for monitoring rely on the detection of k13 validated mutants by using PCR and Sanger sequencing approach, usually not available in malaria endemic areas.A semi-automated workflow based on the easyMAG® platform and the Argene Solution® (bioMérieux, Marcy l'Etoile, France) as a field-based surveillance tool operable at national level was developed in four steps. Clinical and analytical performances of this tool detecting five of the most frequent and validated k13 mutants (Y493H, I543T, R539T, F446I and C580Y) from dried blood spots (DBS) were compared to the gold standard approach (PCR and Sanger sequencing).By using the ARMS (amplification-refractory mutation system) strategy, the best multiplexing options were found in 3 separate real-time PCR duplexes (IC as internal control/I543T, C580Y/Y493H and F446I/R539T) with limits of detection ranging from 50 (C580Y) to 6.25 parasites/µL (Y493H). In field conditions, using 642 clinical DBS (from symptomatic patients and asymptomatic individuals) collected from Cambodia, Myanmar and Africa (Chad), the overall sensitivity and specificity of the K13 bMx prototype assay developed by bioMérieux were???90%. Areas under the ROC curves were estimated to be?>?0.90 for all k13 mutants in samples from symptomatic patients.The K13 ready-to-use bMx prototype assay, considered by the end-users as a user-friendly assay to perform (in shorter time than the K13 reference assay) and easy to interpret, was found to require less budget planning and had fewer logistical constraints. Its excellent performance qualifies the prototype as a reliable screening tool usable in malaria endemic countries recognized to be at risk of emergence or spread of validated k13 mutants. Additional multi-site studies are needed to evaluate the performances of the K13 bMx prototype assay in different epidemiological contexts such as Africa, India, or South America.
Project description:Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinin derivatives in southeast Asia threatens malaria control and elimination activities worldwide. To monitor the spread of artemisinin resistance, a molecular marker is urgently needed. Here, using whole-genome sequencing of an artemisinin-resistant parasite line from Africa and clinical parasite isolates from Cambodia, we associate mutations in the PF3D7_1343700 kelch propeller domain ('K13-propeller') with artemisinin resistance in vitro and in vivo. Mutant K13-propeller alleles cluster in Cambodian provinces where resistance is prevalent, and the increasing frequency of a dominant mutant K13-propeller allele correlates with the recent spread of resistance in western Cambodia. Strong correlations between the presence of a mutant allele, in vitro parasite survival rates and in vivo parasite clearance rates indicate that K13-propeller mutations are important determinants of artemisinin resistance. K13-propeller polymorphism constitutes a useful molecular marker for large-scale surveillance efforts to contain artemisinin resistance in the Greater Mekong Subregion and prevent its global spread.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The problem of anti-malarial drug resistance is a long-term challenge faced by malaria control in Yunnan Province. Recently, the detection rates of chloroquine-resistant molecular markers (Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistant transporter, Pfcrt) and artemisinin-resistant molecular markers (P. falciparum kelch13 gene, ork13) were 85% and 35%, respectively. To understand the association of k13 gene mutation with artemisinin resistance in falciparum malaria cases, the difference in k13 gene differentiation between two populations and artemisinin resistance phenotype on falciparum malaria cases in Myanmar were analysed in this study. METHODS:This research involved all of falciparum malaria cases diagnosed continuously in Yunnan Province from 2013 to 2015 and some of falciparum malaria cases found in Lazar, Myanmar. Blood samples were taken from the former group for molecular epidemiological analysis of k13 gene mutations, and artemisinin resistance phenotypes of P. falciparum were observed in the latter group using the in vivo testing method recommended by the World Health Organization. Nested PCR was used to amplify the propeller domain of the k13 gene in P. falciparum, followed by sequencing. RESULTS:A total of 202 blood samples were collected from Yunnan Province and 382 blood samples were collected from falciparum malaria cases in Myanmar. 49 of 382 Myanmar cases were in vivo tested for artesunate resistance phenotype through full treatment course observation. At the same time, all the blood samples were screened for k13 gene mutation of P. falciparum. The genetic diversity of k13 was higher in the Plasmodium isolates from Yunnan Province than those from Myanmar cases. The genetic differentiation index of the two populations was 0.0410, where the intra- and inter-group variations were 95.9% and 4.1%, respectively. The odds ratio of artemisinin resistance phenotype and mutation at the locus 446 in k13 gene in Myanmar cases was 1.640, while the value was 1.840 based on the estimations of the mutations in the 12 loci. CONCLUSION:Although the Plasmodium isolates from Yunnan Province and those from Myanmar were collected from different sites, they still belong to the same geographical population. It is, therefore, reasonable to contrast the artemisinin resistance status of the Plasmodium population from Myanmar with the Plasmodium population from Yunnan Province. As a result, based on the molecular epidemiological investigation on k13 mutations of Plasmodium isolates in Yunnan Province and the determination of the artemisinin resistance on falciparum malaria cases in Myanmar, the positively genetic correlated was found between the k13 locus mutations with artemisinin resistance phenotype. This provides a basis for further monitoring the artemisinin resistance by detection some molecular markers in k13 gene of Plasmodium in Yunnan Province.