Deletion of the pfhrp2 gene in Plasmodium falciparum can lead to false negative RDT results, constituting a major challenge for evidence-based malaria treatment. Here we analyzed the whole genome sequences of 138 P. falciparum clinical samples collected from the China-Myanmar boarder for pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 gene deletions. We found pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 deletions in 9.4% and 3.6% samples, respectively, with no samples harboring deletions of both genes.
Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) detecting the histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2) have a central position for the management of Plasmodium falciparum infections. Yet, variable detection of certain targeted motifs, low parasitaemia, but also deletion of pfhrp2 gene or its homologue pfhrp3, may result in false-negative RDT leading to misdiagnosis and delayed treatment. This study aimed at investigating the prevalence, and understanding the possible causes, of P. falciparum RDT-negative infections at Montpellier Academic Hospital, France.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) as a good alternative malaria-diagnosis method in remote parts of sub-Saharan Africa. The majority of commercial RDTs currently available detect the Plasmodium falciparum protein histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2). There have also been recent reports of pfhrp2 gene deletions being found in parasites collected from several African countries. The WHO has concluded that lacking the pfhrp2 gene must be monitored in Africa. The purpose of the study was to analyse why the samples that were positive by PCR were negative by RDTs and, therefore, to determine whether there have been deletions in the pfhrp2 and/or pfhrp3 genes.
Malaria diagnostics by rapid diagnostic test (RDT) relies primarily on the qualitative detection of Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2) and Plasmodium spp lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH). As novel RDTs with increased sensitivity are being developed and implemented as point of care diagnostics, highly sensitive laboratory-based assays are needed for evaluating RDT performance. Here, a quantitative suspension array technology (qSAT) was developed, validated and applied for the simultaneous detection of PfHRP2 and pLDH in a variety of biological samples (whole blood, plasma and dried blood spots) from individuals living in different endemic countries.
The Plasmodium falciparum parasite is the only human malaria that produces the histidine-rich protein 2 and 3 (HRP2/3) antigens. Currently, HRP2/3 are widely used in malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), but several global reports have recently emerged showing genetic deletion of one or both of these antigens in parasites. Deletion of these antigens could pose a major concern for P. falciparum diagnosis in Haiti which currently uses RDTs based solely on the detection of the HRP2/3 antigens.
Malaria rapid diagnostic tests based on histidine-rich protein-2 have played a vital role in improving malaria case management and surveillance particularly in Africa, where Plasmodium falciparum is predominant. However, their usefulness has been threatened by the emergence of gene deletion on P. falciparum histidine rich protein 2 (pfhrp2) and P. falciparum histidine rich protein 3 (pfhrp3).