Frequent expansion of Plasmodium vivax Duffy Binding Protein in Ethiopia and its epidemiological significance
Lo E., Hostetler JB., Yewhalaw D., Pearson RD., Hamid MMA., Gunalan K., Kepple D., Ford A., Janies DA., Rayner JC., Miller LH., Yan G.
<jats:p>Plasmodium vivax invasion of human erythrocytes depends on the Duffy Binding Protein (PvDBP) which interacts with the Duffy antigen. PvDBP copy number varies between P. vivax isolates, but the prevalence of PvDBP multiplications in Sub-Saharan Africa and its impact are unknown. We determined the prevalence and type of PvDBP duplications, as well as PvDBP copy number variation among 178 Ethiopian P. vivax isolates using a PCR-based diagnostic method, a novel quantitative real-time PCR assay and whole genome sequencing. For the 145 symptomatic samples, PvDBP duplications were detected in 95 isolates, of which 81 had the Cambodian and 14 Malagasy-type PvDBP duplications. PvDBP varied from 1 to >4 copies. Isolates with multiple PvDBP copies were found to be higher in symptomatic than asymptomatic infections. For the 33 asymptomatic samples, PvDBP was detected with two copies in two of the isolates, and both were the Cambodian-type PvDBP duplication. PvDBP copy number in Duffy-negative heterozygotes was not significantly different from that in Duffy-positives, providing no support for the hypothesis that increased copy number is a specific association with Duffy-negativity, although the number of Duffy-negatives was small and further sampling is required to test this association thoroughly.</jats:p>