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Plasmodium falciparum Histidine-Rich Protein 2 Gene Variation in a Malaria-Endemic Area of Papua New Guinea



Plasmodium falciparum Histidine-Rich Protein 2 Gene Variation in a Malaria-Endemic Area of Papua New Guinea



American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 99(3): 697-703



Histidine-rich protein 2 of Plasmodium falciparum (PfHRP2) forms the basis of many current malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs). It is concerning that there are parasites that lack part or all of the pfhrp2 gene, and thus do not express the PfHRP2 protein; such parasites are not identifiable by PfHRP2-detecting RDTs. Very limited information is available regarding pfhrp2 genetic variation in Papua New Guinea (PNG). In the present study, this gene variation was evaluated using 169 samples previously collected from the Wosera area in East Sepik Province of PNG. Molecular diagnosis of these samples showed that 81% were infected, and P. falciparum was present in 91% of those infected samples. One hundred and twenty samples were amplified for pfhrp2 exon-2, from which 12 randomly selected amplicons were sequenced, yielding 18 sequences, all of which were unique. Baker repeat type 2 × type 7 numbers ranged from 0 to 108. Epitope mapping analysis revealed that three major epitopes, DAHHAHHA, AHHAADAHHA, and AHHAADAHH, were present in high prevalence and frequencies. These major epitopes have been shown to be recognized by the monoclonal antibodies 3A4 and PTL-3 (DAHHAHHA), C1-13 (AHHAADAHHA), and S2-5 and C2-3 (AHHAADAHH). This study provides further information on the high genetic variation of pfhrp2 and its unclear relationship with prediction of RDT detection sensitivity, and identifies major epitopes in this gene from PNG. These results could be relevant and useful to understand the genetic diversity of this gene and the performance of current and future RDTs in this malarious region of the world.

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Accession: 065260226

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PMID: 29968556


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