PAN AFRICAN JOURNAL OF LIFE SCIENCES
Volume 1, No. 1, 2018
Low levels of Plasmodium falciparum genetic diversity in two Nigerian communities bordering the Niger River
Joshua Idakwo, Emmanuel T. Idowu*, Kolapo M. Oyebola, Olubunmi A. Otubanjo
Parasitology and Bioinformatics, Department of Zoology, University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria.
Introduction: Extensive genetic diversity of malaria parasites is a major draw back to ongoing control
efforts. Population-specific investigation of genetic structure of the parasite is important for effective malaria intervention in endemic populations such as Nigeria where about one-third of the global burden of the disease is borne. This study describes the genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum isolates in the Niger River basins, North-Central Nigeria.
Methodology: Parasite DNA w as extracted fr om finger -prick blood samples collected from eighty P. falciparum positive individuals. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) genotyping was carried out to target K1, MAD20 and R033 allelic families of Merozoite Surface Protein (MSP) -1 gene and FC27 and 3D7 allelic families of MSP-2 gene.
Results: Proportion of isolates with K1 family w as 28(70%) with two alleles in Idah and 16(40%) with two alleles in Ibaji. Proportion of isolates with MAD20 family was 8 (20%) and a total of two alleles were observed in Idah and 4(10%) with two alleles in Ibaji. RO33 proportion was 16 (40%) in Idah one allele and 8(20%) in Ibaji where the allelic family was also observed to be monomorphic. K1 was the most predominant MSP1 allele in the two parasite populations and the frequency of FC27 genotype was higher than 3D7 in both populations. Multiplicity of infection (Mol) with MSP-1 loci was higher in Ibaji (1.30) than Idah (1.05) while MoI with MSP-2 loci was lower in Ibaji (2.00) than Idah (2.13). However, there is no significant difference in the mean Mol between Idah and Ibaji (P > 0.05). The expected heterozygosity (HE) value was 0.56 for MSP-1 and 0.84 for MSP-2.
Conclusion: Our findings revealed high levels of monoclonal infections with P. falciparum, suggesting low parasite diversity. This may be a pointer to a reduction in malaria transmission in the river basins.
Keywords: Genetic diversity, Plasmodium falciparum, Merozoite surface protein, Niger River