Deletion of the Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (pfhrp2) gene may affect the performance of PfHRP2-based rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs). Here we investigated the genetic diversity of the pfhrp2 gene in clinical parasite isolates collected in recent years from the China-Myanmar border area. Deletion of pfhrp2 has been identified in 4 out of 97 parasite isolates. Sequencing of the pfhrp2 exon2 from 67 isolates revealed a high level of genetic diversity in pfhrp2, which is reflected in the presence of many repeat types and their variants, as well as variable copy numbers and different arrangements of these repeats in parasite isolates. In addition, we observed pfhrp3 deletion in three of the four parasites harboring pfhrp2 deletion, suggesting of double deletions of both genes in these three isolates. Analysis of two cases, which were P. falciparum-positive by microscopy and PCR but failed by two PfHRP2-based RDTs, did not find pfhrp2 deletion. Further correlational studies of pfhrp2 polymorphisms with detection sensitivity are needed to identify factors influencing the performance of RDTs in malaria-endemic areas.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- veterinary (miscalleneous)
- Insect Science
- Infectious Diseases