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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2019 Oct 22;63(11). pii: e00802-19. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00802-19. Print 2019 Nov.

Plasmodium falciparum Kelch Propeller Polymorphisms in Clinical Isolates from Ghana from 2007 to 2016.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana.
2
Centre for Tropical Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, School of Medicine and Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana.
3
United States Naval Medical Research Unit 3, Ghana Laboratory, Accra, Ghana.
4
Department of Epidemiology, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana nduah@noguchi.ug.edu.gh.

Abstract

The continuous surveillance of polymorphisms in the kelch propeller domain of Plasmodium falciparum from Africa is important for the discovery of the actual markers of artemisinin resistance in the region. The information on the markers is crucial for control strategies involving chemotherapy and chemoprophylaxis for residents and nonimmune travelers to the country. Polymorphisms in the kelch propeller domain of Ghanaian malaria parasites from three different ecological zones at several time periods were assessed. A total of 854 archived samples (2007 to 2016) collected from uncomplicated malaria patients aged ≤9 years old from 10 sentinel sites were used. Eighty-four percent had wild-type sequences (PF3D7_1343700), while many of the mutants had mostly nonsynonymous mutations clustered around codons 404 to 650. Variants with different amino acid changes of the codons associated with artemisinin (ART) resistance validated markers were observed in Ghanaian isolates: frequencies for I543I, I543S, I543V, R561P, R561R, and C580V were 0.12% each and 0.6% for R539I. Mutations reported from African parasites, A578S (0.23%) and Q613L (0.23%), were also observed. Three persisting nonsynonymous (NS) mutations, N599Y (0.005%), K607E (0.004%), and V637G (0.004%), were observed in 3 of the 5 time periods nationally. The presence of variants of the validated markers of artemisinin resistance as well as persisting polymorphisms after 14 years of artemisinin-based combination therapy use argues for continuous surveillance of the markers. The molecular markers of artemisinin resistance and the observed variants will be monitored subsequently as part of ongoing surveillance of antimalarial drug efficacy/resistance studies in the country.

KEYWORDS:

Ghana; Plasmodium falciparum kelch propeller domain gene (pfk13); antimalarial drug resistance; artemisinin (ART); artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT); malaria; single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)

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