A Molecular Investigation of Malaria Infections From High-Transmission Areas of Southern Togo Reveals Different Species of Plasmodium Parasites

Kassegne, Kokouvi, Fei, Si-Wei, Ananou, Koffigan, Noussougnon, Kokou Sépénou, Komi Koukoura, Komi, Abe, Eniola Michael, Guo, Xiao-Kui, Chen, Jun-Hu and Zhou, Xiao-Nong (2021) A Molecular Investigation of Malaria Infections From High-Transmission Areas of Southern Togo Reveals Different Species of Plasmodium Parasites. Frontiers in Microbiology, 12. p. 732923. ISSN 1664-302X

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.732923


Malaria particularly burdens people in poor and neglected settings across the tropics of Africa. Meanwhile, a large proportion of the Togo population have poor understanding of malaria epidemiology and parasites. This study carried out a molecular survey of malaria cases in southern Togo during 2017–2019. We estimated Plasmodium species infection rates and microscopic examination compliance with nested PCR results. Sensitivity and specificity analyses were performed in conjunction with predictive values. Also, phylogenetic characterization of species of malaria parasites was assessed. Plasmodium genus-specific nested PCR identified 565 positive cases including 536/611 (87.8%) confirmed cases from the microscopy-positive group and 29/199 (14.6%) diagnosed malaria cases from the microscopy-negative group. Our findings revealed a disease prevalence (69.8%) higher than that reported (25.5–55.1%) for the country. The diagnostic test had 94.9% sensitivity and 69.4% specificity, i.e., it missed 120 of the people who had malaria and about one-third of the people tested positive for the disease, which they did not have, respectively. In conjunction, the test showed 87.7% positive predictive value and 85.4% negative predictive value, which, from a clinical perspective, indicates the chance that a person with a positive diagnostic test truly has the disease and the probability that a person with a negative test does not have the disease, respectively. Further species-specific nested PCR followed by analysis of gene sequences confirmed species of malaria parasites and indicated infection rates for Plasmodium falciparum (Pf), 95.5% (540/565); P. ovale (Po), 0.5% (3/565); and P. malariae (Pm), 0.4% (2/565). In addition, 20 cases were coinfection cases of Pf-Po (15/565) and Pf-Pm (5/565). This study publicly reports, for the first time, a molecular survey of malaria cases in Togo and reveals the presence of other malaria parasites (Po and Pm) other than Pf. These findings might provide answers to some basic questions on the malaria scenario and, knowledge gained could help with intervention deployment for effective malaria control in Togo.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This work was, in part, financially supported by the Young Faculty Start-up Project Fund of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Grant No. 21X010501074), the Intradisciplinary Platform Fund of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Grant No. 20200927), the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant Nos. 2018YFE0121600 and 2016YFC1202000), and the National Sharing Service Platform for Parasite Resources (Grant No. TDRC-2019 194-30). The sponsor played no roles in the study design or in the collection, analysis, or interpretation of the data, in writing the report, or in the decision to submit the article for publication.
Uncontrolled Keywords: malaria, molecular surveillance, Plasmodium species, phylogeny, Togo
Subjects: A300 Clinical Medicine
C700 Molecular Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2021 12:10
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2021 12:15
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/48018

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