Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) play a key role in malaria case management. The most widely used RDT identifies Plasmodium falciparum based on immunochromatographic recognition of P. falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2). Deletion of the paralogous pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 genes leads to false-negative PfHRP2-based RDTs, and has been reported in P. falciparum infections from South America and Africa. However, identification of pfhrp2/pfhrp3 deletions has usually been based only on failure to amplify these genes using PCR, without confirmation based on PfHRP2 protein expression, and understanding of the true prevalence of deletions is incomplete.
Histidine-rich proteins 2 and 3 gene (pfhrp2 and pfhrp3) deletions affect the efficacy of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) based on the histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2), compromising the correct identification of the Plasmodium falciparum species. Therefore, molecular surveillance is necessary for the investigation of the actual prevalence of this phenomenon and the extent of the disappearance of these genes in these areas and other South American countries, thus guiding national malaria control programs on the appropriate use of RDTs. This study aimed to evaluate the pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 gene deletion in P. falciparum in endemic areas of the Brazilian Amazon.
Histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2)-based malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are effective and widely used for the detection of wild-type Plasmodium falciparum infections. Although recent studies have reported false negative HRP2 RDT results due to pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 gene deletions in different countries, there is a paucity of data on the deletions of these genes in Tanzania.
A case of imported falciparum malaria acquired in Djibouti was diagnosed in 2019 in the Toulouse University Hospital (France) by microscopy and a positive P. falciparum specific real-time PCR (qPCR).
Histidine-rich protein-2 (HRP2)-based rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are the only RDTs recommended for malaria diagnosis in Uganda. However, the emergence of Plasmodium falciparum histidine rich protein 2 and 3 (pfhrp2 and pfhrp3) gene deletions threatens their usefulness as malaria diagnostic and surveillance tools. The pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 gene deletions surveillance was conducted in P. falciparum parasite populations in Uganda.
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).