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The prevalence of submicroscopic Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte carriage and multiplicity of infection in children, pregnant women and adults in a low malaria transmission area in Southern Ghana

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  1. Direct whole-genome sequencing of Plasmodium falciparum specimens from dried erythrocyte spots

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  2. Statistical prediction of immunity to placental malaria based on multi-assay antibody data for malarial antigens

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  3. Binding of Plasmodium falciparum to CD36 can be shielded by the glycocalyx

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  1. Molecular Markers of Plasmodium falciparum Drug Resistance in Parasitemic Pregnant Women in the Middle Forest Belt of Ghana

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  2. Direct whole-genome sequencing of Plasmodium falciparum specimens from dried erythrocyte spots

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Helena Lamptey
  • Michael Fokuo Ofori
  • Kwadwo Asamoah Kusi
  • Bright Adu
  • Eunice Owusu-Yeboa
  • Eric Kyei-Baafour
  • Andrea Twumwaa Arku
  • Samuel Bosomprah
  • Michael Alifrangis
  • Isabella A Quakyi
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BACKGROUND: The gametocyte stage of Plasmodium falciparum is considered an important target for disrupting malaria transmission. Indications are that various demographic groups, such as children and pregnant women may differ in risk of harbouring gametocytes, which may be crucial for targeted control. In this study, the relationship between the prevalence and multiplicity of P. falciparum, asexual parasite infections and gametocytaemia was assessed in three different demographic groups in an area of southern Ghana with low malaria endemicity. Levels of antibody responses to Pfs230 were also assessed as a proxy for the presence of gametocytes.

METHODS: The study involved multiple cross-sectional sampling of children (N = 184, aged 2-15 years), male and non-pregnant female adults (N = 154, aged 16-65 years) and pregnant women (N = 125, aged 18-45 years) from Asutsuare in the Shai Osudoku District of Greater Accra Region in Ghana. Asexual parasitaemia was detected by microscopy and PCR, and gametocytaemia was assessed by Pfs25-real time PCR. Multiclonal P. falciparum infections were estimated by msp2 genotyping and an indirect ELISA was used to measure plasma IgG antibodies to Pfs230 antigen.

RESULTS: Overall, children and pregnant women had higher prevalence of submicroscopic gametocytes (39.5% and 29.7%, respectively) compared to adults (17.4%). Multiplicity of infection observed amongst children (3.1) and pregnant women (3.9) were found to be significantly higher (P = 0.006) compared with adults (2.7). Risk of gametocyte carriage was higher in individuals infected with P. falciparum having both Pfmsp2 3D7 and FC27 parasite types (OR = 5.92, 95% CI 1.56-22.54, P = 0.009) compared with those infected with only 3D7 or FC27 parasite types. In agreement with the parasite prevalence data, anti-Pfs230 antibody levels were lower in gametocyte positive adults (β = - 0.57, 95% CI - 0.81, - 0.34, P < 0.001) compared to children.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that children and pregnant women are particularly important as P. falciparum submicroscopic gametocyte reservoirs and represent important focus groups for control interventions. The number of clones increased in individuals carrying gametocytes compared to those who did not carry gametocytes. The higher anti-gametocyte antibody levels in children suggests recent exposure and may be a marker of gametocyte carriage.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMalaria Journal
Volume17
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)331
ISSN1475-2875
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 2018

    Research areas

  • Adolescent, Adult, Antibodies, Protozoan/blood, Antigens, Protozoan/genetics, Carrier State/epidemiology, Child, Child, Preschool, Cross-Sectional Studies, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Female, Genotype, Ghana/epidemiology, Humans, Immunoglobulin G/blood, Malaria, Falciparum/epidemiology, Male, Microscopy, Middle Aged, Parasitemia/epidemiology, Plasmodium falciparum/isolation & purification, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology, Prevalence, Protozoan Proteins/genetics, Young Adult

ID: 56450945