High multiple mutations of Plasmodium falciparum-resistant genotypes to sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine in Lagos, Nigeria.

11 Jul 2020
Quan H, Igbasi U, Oyibo W, Omilabu S, Chen SB, Shen HM, Okolie C, Chen JH, Zhou XN


Plasmodium falciparum-resistance to sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) has been largely reported among pregnant women. However, the profile of resistance markers to SP dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) in the general population are varied and not frequently monitored. Currently, SP is used as partner drug for artemisinin combination therapy (SP-artesunate) in some sub-Saharan African countries or as a prophylactic drug in intermittent preventive treatment of malaria during pregnancy and infants and in seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC). Profiling of P. falciparum-resistant genotypes to SP is dynamic and critical in providing data that would be useful for malaria control programmes. This study assessed the profile of dhfr and dhps genes genotypes among individuals with malaria in Lagos, Nigeria.


Molecular markers of SP resistance were identified by nested PCR and sequenced among malaria positive dried blood spots (DBS) that were collected from individuals attending health facilities from January 2013 to February 2014 and during community surveys from October 2010 to September 2011 across different Local Government Areas of Lagos State, Nigeria.


A total of 242 and 167 samples were sequenced for dhfr and dhps, respectively. Sequence analysis of dhfr showed that 95.5% (231/242), 96.3% (233/242) and 96.7% (234/242) of the samples had N51I, C59R and S108N mutant alleles, respectively. The prevalence of dhps mutation at codons A437G, A613S, S436A, A581G, I431V and K540E were 95.8% (160/167), 41.9% (70/167), 41.3% (69/167), 31.1% (52/167), 25.1% (42/167), and 1.2% (2/167) respectively. The prevalence of triple mutations (CIRNI) in dhfr was 93.8% and 44.3% for the single dhps haplotype mutation (SGKAA). Partial SP-resistance due to quadruple dhfr-dhps haplotype mutations (CIRNI-SGKAA) and octuple haplotype mutations (CIRNI-VAGKGS) with rate of 42.6% and 22.0%, respectively has been reported.


There was increased prevalence in dhfr triple haplotype mutations when compared with previous reports in the same environment but aligned with high prevalence in other locations in Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Also, high prevalence of dhfr and dhps mutant alleles occurred in the study areas in Lagos, Nigeria five to eight years after the introduction of artemisinin combination therapy underscores the need for continuous monitoring.