Contrasting Asymptomatic and Drug Resistance Gene Prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum in Ghana: Implications on Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention.
ABSTRACT: Malaria is a significant public health problem in Ghana. Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) using a combination of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine and amodiaquine has been implemented since 2015 in northern Ghana where malaria transmission is intense and seasonal. In this study, we estimated the prevalence of asymptomatic P. falciparum carriers in three ecological zones of Ghana, and compared the sensitivity and specificity of different molecular methods in identifying asymptomatic infections. Moreover, we examined the frequency of mutations in pfcrt, pfmdr1, pfdhfr, and pfdhps that relate to the ongoing SMC. A total of 535 asymptomatic schoolchildren were screened by microscopy and PCR (18s rRNA and TARE-2) methods. Among all samples, 28.6% were detected as positive by 18S nested PCR, whereas 19.6% were detected by microscopy. A high PCR-based asymptomatic prevalence was observed in the north (51%) compared to in the central (27.8%) and south (16.9%). The prevalence of pfdhfr-N51I/C59R/S108N/pfdhps-A437G quadruple mutant associated with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine resistance was significantly higher in the north where SMC was implemented. Compared to 18S rRNA, TARE-2 serves as a more sensitive molecular marker for detecting submicroscopic asymptomatic infections in high and low transmission settings. These findings establish a baseline for monitoring P. falciparum prevalence and resistance in response to SMC over time.
Project description:Antimalarial drug resistance is one of the major challenges in global efforts of malaria control and elimination. In 1998, chloroquine was abandoned and replaced with sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine, which in turn was replaced with artemether/lumefantrine for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in 2004. Sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine resistance is associated with mutations in dihydrofolate reductase (Pfdhfr) and dihydropteroate synthase (Pfdhps) genes. The prevalence of mutation in Pfdhfr and Pfdhps genes were evaluated and compared for a total of 159 isolates collected in two different time points, 2005 and 2007/08, from Pawe hospital, in North Western Ethiopia. The frequency of triple Pfdhfr mutation decreased significantly from 50.8% (32/63) to 15.9% (10/63) (P<0.001), while Pfdhps double mutation remained high and changed only marginally from 69.2% (45/65) to 55.4% (40/65) (P = 0.08). The combined Pfdhfr/Pfdhps quintuple mutation, which is strongly associated with sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine resistance, was significantly decreased from 40.7% (24/59) to 13.6% (8/59) (P<0.0001). On the whole, significant decline in mutant alleles and re-emergence of wild type alleles were observed. The change in the frequency is explained by the reduction of residual drug-resistant parasites caused by the strong drug pressure imposed when sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine was the first-line drug, followed by lower fitness of these resistant parasites in the absence of drug pressure. Despite the decrease in the frequency of mutant alleles, higher percentages of mutation remain prevalent in the study area in 2007/08 in both Pfdhfr and Pfdhps genes. Therefore, further multi-centered studies in different parts of the country will be required to assess the re-emergence of sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine sensitive parasites and to monitor and prevent the establishment of multi drug resistant parasites in this region.
Project description:A key drawback to monitoring the emergence and spread of antimalarial drug resistance in sub-Saharan Africa is early detection and containment. Next-generation sequencing methods offer the resolution, sensitivity, and scale required to fill this gap by surveilling for molecular markers of drug resistance. We performed targeted sequencing using molecular inversion probes to interrogate five Plasmodium falciparum genes (pfcrt, pfmdr1, pfdhps, pfdhfr, and pfk13) implicated in chloroquine, sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP), and artemisinin resistance in two sites in Ghana. A total of 803 dried blood spots from children aged between 6?months and 14?years presenting with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria at the Begoro District Hospital in Begoro and the Ewim Polyclinic in Cape Coast, Ghana, from 2014 to 2017 were prepared on filter paper. Thirteen years after the removal of drug pressure, chloroquine-sensitive parasite strains with pfcrt K76 have increased nearly to fixation in Begoro, in the forest area (prevalence?=?95%), but at a lower rate in Cape Coast, in the coastal region (prevalence?=?71%, Z = -3.5, P?<?0.001). In addition, pfmdr1 184F-bearing parasites are under strong selection. The pfdhfr/pfdhps quadruple genotype ( IRNG K), associated with SP resistance, is near saturation. Our study identified at a 2 to 10% prevalence pfdhps 581G, which is a sulfadoxine resistance marker that correlates with the failure of SP prophylaxis in pregnancy and which has not been observed in Ghana. The differences in the reexpansion of chloroquine-sensitive strains observed at the two study sites, the stronger SP resistance, and the high prevalence of pfmdr1 184F should be further monitored to inform malaria control strategies in Ghana.
Project description:Sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) combination drug is currently being used in India for the treatment of Plasmodium falciparum as partner drug in artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). Resistance to sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine in P. falciparum is linked with mutations in dihydropteroate synthase (pfdhps) and dihydrofolate reductase (pfdhfr) genes respectively. This study was undertaken to estimate the prevalence of such mutations in pfdhfr and pfdhps genes in four states of India.Plasmodium falciparum isolates were collected from two states of India with high malaria incidence i.e., Jharkhand and Odisha and two states with low malaria incidence i.e., Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh between years 2006 to 2012. Part of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) drug resistance genes, pfdhfr and pfdhps were PCR-amplified, sequenced and analyzed.A total of 217 confirmed P. falciparum isolates were sequenced for both Pfdhfr and pfdhps gene. Two pfdhfr mutations 59R and 108N were most common mutations prevalent in all localities in 77 % of isolates. Additionally, I164L was found in Odisha and Jharkhand only (4/70 and 8/84, respectively). Another mutation 51I was found in Odisha only (3/70). The pfdhps mutations 436A, 437G, 540E and 581G were found in Jharkhand and Odisha only in 13, 26, 14 and 13 % isolates respectively, and was absent in Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. Combined together for pfdhps and pfdhfr locus, triple, quadruple, quintuple and sextuple mutations were present in Jharkhand and Odisha while absent in Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.While only double mutants of pfdhfr was present in low transmission area (Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh) with total absence of pfdhps mutants, up to sextuple mutations were present in high transmission areas (Odisha and Jharkhand) for both the genes combined. Presence of multiple mutations in pfdhfr and pfdhps genes linked to SP resistance in high transmission area may lead to fixation of multiple mutations in presence of high drug pressure and high recombination rate.
Project description:Seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC), with regular use of amodiaquine plus sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (AQ/SP) during the transmission season, is now a standard malaria control measure in the Sahel subregion of Africa. Another strategy under study is SMC with dihydroartemisinin plus piperaquine (DP). Plasmodium falciparum single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in P. falciparum crt (pfcrt), pfmdr1, pfdhfr, and pfdhps are associated with decreased response to aminoquinoline and antifolate antimalarials and are selected by use of these drugs. To characterize selection by SMC of key polymorphisms, we assessed 13 SNPs in P. falciparum isolated from children aged 3 to 59 months living in southwestern Burkina Faso and randomized to receive monthly DP or AQ/SP for 3 months in 2009. We compared SNP prevalence before the onset of SMC and 1 month after the third treatment in P. falciparum PCR-positive samples from 120 randomly selected children from each treatment arm and an additional 120 randomly selected children from a control group that did not receive SMC. The prevalence of relevant mutations was increased after SMC with AQ/SP. Significant selection was seen for pfcrt 76T (68.5% to 83.0%, P = 0.04), pfdhfr 59R (54.8% to 83.3%, P = 0.0002), and pfdhfr 108N (55.0% to 87.2%, P = 0.0001), with trends toward selection of pfmdr1 86Y, pfdhfr 51I, and pfdhps 437G. After SMC with DP, only borderline selection of wild-type pfmdr1 D1246 (mutant; 7.7% to 0%, P = 0.05) was seen. In contrast to AQ/SP, SMC with DP did not clearly select for known resistance-mediating polymorphisms. SMC with AQ/SP, but not DP, may hasten the development of resistance to components of this regimen. (This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under registration no. NCT00941785.).
Project description:Sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) is used as malaria chemoprophylaxis for pregnant women and children in Ghana. Plasmodium falciparum resistance to SP is linked to mutations in the dihydropteroate synthase gene (pfdhps), dihydrofolate reductase gene (pfdhfr) and amplification of GTP cyclohydrolase 1 (pfgch1) gene. The pfgch1 duplication is associated with pfdhfr L164, a crucial mutant for high level pyrimethamine resistance which is rare in Ghana. The presence of amplified pfgch1 in Ghanaian isolates could be an indicator of the evolution of the L164 mutant. This study therefore determined the pfgch1 copy number variations and SP resistance mutations in clinical isolates from Ghana. One hundred and ninety-two (192) blood samples collected from children aged ?14 years with uncomplicated malaria in 2013-14 and 2015-16 were used. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was used to detect the pfgch1 copy number and nested PCR-Sanger sequencing used to detect mutations in pfdhps and pfdhfr genes. Twelve parasites (6.3%) harbored double copies of the pfgch1 gene out of the 192 samples. Of the 12, 75% had the pfdhfr I51-R59-N108, 92% had the pfdhps G437 mutant, 8% had the pfdhps E540 and 67% had the SP resistance haplotype IRNG. No L164 was detected in samples with amplified pfgch1. The rare T108 mutant associated with cycloguanil resistance showed predominance (60%) over N108 in the 2015-16 isolates. The observation of parasites with increased copy number of pfgch1 gene is indicative of the future evolution of the rare quadruple pfdhfr mutant, I51-R59-N108-L164, in Ghanaian parasites. Mutant pfdhps isolates also had increased gch1 copy number suggestive that it may also facilitate sulphadoxine resistance. The selection of parasites with pfgch1 gene amplification will enhance the sustenance and persistence of parasites with SP resistance in the country. Policy makers need to begin the search for a replacement chemoprophylaxis drug for malaria vulnerable groups in Ghana.
Project description:Haiti is striving for zero local malaria transmission by the year 2025. Chloroquine remains the first-line treatment, and sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (SP) has been used for mass drug-administration pilot programs. In March 2016, nationwide molecular surveillance was initiated to assess molecular resistance signatures for chloroquine and SP. For 778 samples collected through December 2017, we used Sanger sequencing to investigate putative resistance markers to chloroquine (Pfcrt codons 72, 74, 75, and 76), sulfadoxine (Pfdhps codons 436, 437, 540, 581, 613), and pyrimethamine (Pfdhfr codons 50, 51, 59, 108, 164). No parasites harbored Pfcrt point mutations. Prevalence of the Pfdhfr S108N single mutation was 47%, and we found the triple mutant Pfdhfr haplotype (108N, 51I, and 59R) in a single isolate. We observed no Pfdhps variants except in 1 isolate (A437G mutation). These data confirm the lack of highly resistant chloroquine and SP alleles in Haiti and support the continued use of chloroquine and SP.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) is the only anti-malarial drug formulation approved for intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp). However, mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum dhfr (Pfdhfr) and dhps (Pfdhps) genes confer resistance to pyrimethamine and sulfadoxine, respectively. Here, the frequencies of SP resistance-associated mutations from 2005 to 2018 were compared in samples from Kenyan children with malaria residing in a holoendemic transmission region. METHODS:Partial sequences of the Pfdhfr and Pfdhps genes were amplified and sequenced from samples collected in 2005 (n?=?81), 2010 (n?=?95), 2017 (n?=?43), and 2018 (n?=?55). The frequency of known mutations conferring resistance to pyrimethamine and sulfadoxine were estimated and compared. Since artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) is the current first-line treatment for malaria, the presence of mutations in the propeller domain of P. falciparum kelch13 gene (Pfk13) linked to ACT-delayed parasite clearance was studied in the 2017/18 samples. RESULTS:Among other changes, the point mutation of Pfdhps S436H increased in frequency from undetectable in 2005 to 28% in 2017/18. Triple Pfdhfr mutant allele (CIRNI) increased in frequency from 84% in 2005 to 95% in 2017/18, while the frequency of Pfdhfr double mutant alleles declined (allele CICNI from 29% in 2005 to 6% in 2017/18, and CNRNI from 9% in 2005 to undetectable in 2010 and 2017/18). Thus, a multilocus Pfdhfr/Pfdhps genotype with six mutations (HGEAA/CIRNI), including Pfdhps S436H, increased in frequency from 2010 to 2017/18. Although none of the mutations associated with ACT-delayed parasite clearance was observed, the Pfk13 mutation A578S, the most widespread Pfk13 SNP found in Africa, was detected in low frequency (2.04%). CONCLUSIONS:There were changes in SP resistance mutant allele frequencies, including an increase in the Pfdhps S436H. Although these patterns seem consistent with directional selection due to drug pressure, there is a lack of information to determine the actual cause of such changes. These results suggest incorporating molecular surveillance of Pfdhfr/Pfdhps mutations in the context of SP efficacy studies for intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp).
Project description:BACKGROUND:Resistance to anti-malarials is a major threat to the control and elimination of malaria. Sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) anti-malarial treatment was used as a national policy for treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Thailand from 1973 to 1990. In order to determine whether withdrawal of this antifolate drug has led to restoration of SP sensitivity, the prevalence of genetic markers of SP resistance was assessed in historical Thai samples. METHODS:Plasmodium falciparum DNA was collected from the Thailand-Myanmar, Thailand-Malaysia and Thailand-Cambodia borders during 2008-2016 (N?=?233). Semi-nested PCR and nucleotide sequencing were used to assess mutations in Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (pfdhfr), P. falciparum dihydropteroate synthase (pfdhps). Gene amplification of Plasmodium falcipaurm GTP cyclohydrolase-1 (pfgch1) was assessed by quantitative real-time PCR. The association between pfdhfr/pfdhps mutations and pfgch1 copy numbers were evaluated. RESULTS:Mutations in pfdhfr/pfdhsp and pfgch1 copy number fluctuated overtime through the study period. Altogether, 14 unique pfdhfr-pdfhps haplotypes collectively containing quadruple to octuple mutations were identified. High variation in pfdhfr-pfdhps haplotypes and a high proportion of pfgch1 multiple copy number (51% (73/146)) were observed on the Thailand-Myanmar border compared to other parts of Thailand. Overall, the prevalence of septuple mutations was observed for pfdhfr-pfdhps haplotypes. In particular, the prevalence of pfdhfr-pfdhps, septuple mutation was observed in the Thailand-Myanmar (50%, 73/146) and Thailand-Cambodia (65%, 26/40) border. In Thailand-Malaysia border, majority of the pfdhfr-pfdhps haplotypes transaction from quadruple (90%, 9/10) to quintuple (65%, 24/37) during 2008-2016. Within the pfdhfr-pfdhps haplotypes, during 2008-2013 the pfdhps A/S436F mutation was observed only in Thailand-Myanmar border (9%, 10/107), while it was not identified later. In general, significant correlation was observed between the prevalence of pfdhfr I164L (??= 0.213, p-value?=?0.001) or pfdhps K540E/N (? = 0.399, p-value???0.001) mutations and pfgch1 gene amplification. CONCLUSIONS:Despite withdrawal of SP as anti-malarial treatment for 17 years, the border regions of Thailand continue to display high prevalence of antifolate and anti-sulfonamide resistance markers in falciparum malaria. Significant association between pfgch1 amplification and pfdhfr (I164L) or pfdhps (K540E) resistance markers were observed, suggesting a compensatory mutation.
Project description:In most of India, sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) plus artesunate serves as first-line treatment for uncomplicated falciparum malaria. In 112 clinical Plasmodium falciparum isolates from Mangaluru, southwestern India, we sequenced molecular markers associated with resistance to SP, lumefantrine, and artemisinin (pfdhfr, pfdhps, pfmdr1, and K13). The pfdhfr double mutation 59R-108N combined with the dhps 437G mutation occurred in 39.3% and the pfdhfr double mutation plus the pfdhps double mutation 437G-540E in additional 24.1%. As for pfmdr1, the allele combination N86-184F-D1246 dominated (98.2%). K13 variants were absent. No evidence for artemisinin resistance was seen. However, the antifolate resistance alleles compromise the current first-line antimalarial sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine plus artesunate, which may facilitate the emergence of artemisinin resistance. Artemether-lumefantrine, introduced in northeastern parts of the country, in the study area faces the predominant pfmdr1 NFD genotype, known to impair lumefantrine efficacy. Further monitoring of resistance alleles and treatment trials on alternative artemisinin-based combination therapies are required.
Project description:Southeast Asia (the Thailand-Cambodia border) has been considered the primal epicenter for most antimalarial drug resistance; however, numerous molecular epidemiological studies have successively reported multiple independent origins of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) resistance-associated Plasmodium falciparum dhfr (pfdhfr) and pfdhps alleles in other areas. To better understand the origin and evolutionary pathway of the SP resistance in Southeast Asia, a total of 374 P. falciparum field isolates from the Yunnan-Burma border and Hainan Island in southern China have been collected for comprehensive investigations on the mutation patterns of the pfdhfr/pfdhps genes as well as their microsatellite haplotypes. By comparative analysis of single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping and flanking microsatellite haplotypes, we reveal a unique origin of pyrimethamine-resistant mutations in Pfdhfr gene in Hainan Island and an oriented spread route of the pyrimethamine resistance from the Thailand-Cambodia border into the Hainan area, which reflects the geographical traits and SP administration histories in the two geographically independent areas. Moreover, genetic linkages between the high-level SP resistance-conferring pfdhfr/pfdhps alleles have been established in the isolates from the Yunnan-Burma border, raising the concern of a genetic basis in adopting combination chemotherapies against falciparum malaria.