False-negative malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDT) results amongst symptomatic malaria patients are detrimental as they could lead to ineffective malaria case management. This study determined the nationwide contribution of parasites with Pfhrp2 and Pfhrp 3 gene deletions to false negative malaria RDT results in Ghana.
Selection pressure from continued exposure to insecticides drives development of insecticide resistance and changes in resting behaviour of malaria vectors. There is need to understand how resistance drives changes in resting behaviour within vector species. The association between insecticide resistance and resting behaviour of Anopheles gambiae sensu lato (s.l.) in Northern Ghana was examined.
Malaria antigen-specific antibodies and polymorphisms in host receptors involved in antibody functionality have been associated with different outcomes of Plasmodium falciparum infections. Thus, to identify key prospective malaria antigens for vaccine development, there is the need to evaluate the associations between malaria antibodies and antibody dependent host factors with more rigorous statistical methods. In this study, different statistical models were used to evaluate the predictive performance of malaria-specific antibodies and host gene polymorphisms on P. falciparum infection in a longitudinal cohort study involving Ghanaian children.
Malaria in pregnancy remains a major public health problem in Africa and Ghana and has been associated with a variety of pregnancy-related adverse complications. The development of effective and timely health policies for the prevention and control of malaria and anemia in pregnancy; requires current and consistent data on the prevalence and risk factors. We report the prevalence and risk factors of malaria and anemia from three major hospitals across three regions in Ghana.
Naturally acquired immunity to Plasmodium falciparum malaria is thought to be non-sterile and sustained by persistence of low level parasitaemia. This study assessed the association between baseline microscopic and submicroscopic asymptomatic P. falciparum infections and anti-malarial antibody levels and whether these parasitaemia modify protective associations between antibody levels and malaria in Ghanaian children.
Plasmodium infection among children is a serious public health problem. Asymptomatic malaria infection among humans serves as a significant reservoir for transmitting Plasmodium to uninfected Anopheles mosquitoes, fueling malaria endemicity and asymptomatic malaria may progress to clinical malaria. Therefore, prompt and accurate diagnosis of malaria infection is crucial for the management and control of malaria, especially in endemic areas. This study assessed the point prevalence of asymptomatic malaria infection and evaluated the performance of malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT), light microscopy and nested PCR (nPCR) for the diagnosis of asymptomatic malaria infection in a paediatric population in the Atwima Nwabiagya North district, Ghana.
Plasmodium falciparum parasites, which could harbour anti-malaria drug resistance genes, are commonly detected in blood donors in malaria-endemic areas. Notwithstanding, anti-malaria drug resistant biomarkers have not been characterized in blood donors with asymptomatic P. falciparum infection.
In the absence of microscopy, Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich proteins 2 (PfHRP2)-based rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are recommended for the diagnosis of falciparum malaria, particularly in endemic regions. However, genetic variability of the pfhrp2 gene threatens the usefulness of the test due to its impact on RDT sensitivity. This study aimed to investigate the diversity of pfhrp2 in malaria cases among children in Ghana.
Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) partner drugs, currently used in Ghana are lumefantrine, amodiaquine and piperaquine. Plasmodium falciparum isolates with reduced susceptibility to these partner drugs may affect treatment outcome. Mutations in pfmdr1 gene is linked to reduced parasite susceptibility to amodiaquine and lumefantrine. In addition, the potency of the partner drugs in vivo depends on the metabolism by the cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme in the host. Mutations in the CYP2C8 and CYP3A4 genes are linked to reduced metabolism of amodiaquine and lumefantrine in vitro, respectively. This study investigated the host and parasite genetic factors affecting the susceptibility of the malaria parasite to ACT partner drugs.
Ghana has been implementing the indoor residual spraying (IRS) of insecticides since 2006, focusing operations in the north. Insecticide resistance concerns prompted a switch from pyrethroids to organophosphates, beginning gradually in 2011 and switching fully to the micro-encapsulated formulation of pirimiphosmethyl (PM CS), Actellic® 300CS, a third-generation indoor residual spraying (3GIRS) product, by 2014. Entomological surveillance studies have shown IRS to be a highly effective malaria control tool, but epidemiological evidence is needed as well. Countrywide prevalence surveys have shown that malaria parasite prevalence in children under 5 years of age in Northern, Upper East, and Upper West Regions had declined to less than 40% in each region by 2016. Similarly, malaria deaths in children under 5 years of age have also been declining nationally since 2009. Although IRS is suspected to have contributed to this decline, stronger evidence is needed to link the IRS interventions to the epidemiological impact.