Background: The prevalence and variants of G6PD deficiency in the Plasmodium vivax-endemic zones of Madagascar remain unknown. The admixed African-Austronesian origins of the Malagasy population make it probable that a heterogeneous mix of genetic variants with a spectrum of clinical severity will be circulating. This would have implications for the widespread use of P. vivax radical cure therapy. Two study populations in the P. vivax-endemic western foothills region of Madagascar were selected for G6PD screening. Both the qualitative fluorescent spot test and G6PD genotyping were used to screen all participants.
Results: A total of 365 unrelated male volunteers from the Tsiroanomandidy, Mandoto, and Miandrivazo districts of Madagascar were screened and 12.9% were found to be phenotypically G6PD deficient. Full gene sequencing of 95 samples identified 16 single nucleotide polymorphisms, which were integrated into a genotyping assay. Genotyping (n = 291) found one individual diagnosed with the severe G6PD Mediterranean C563T mutation, while the remaining G6PD deficient samples had mutations of African origin, G6PD A- and G6PD A.
Conclusions: Deployment of P. vivax radical cure in Madagascar must be considerate of the risks presented by the observed prevalence of G6PDd prevalence. The potential morbidity associated with cumulative episodes of P. vivax clinical relapses requires a strategy for increasing access to safe radical cure. The observed dominance of African G6PDd haplotypes is surprising given the known mixed African-Austronesian origins of the Malagasy population; more widespread surveying of G6PDd epidemiology across the island would be required to characterize the distribution of G6PD haplotypes across Madagascar.
Keywords: G6PDd genotypes; Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency; Madagascar; Plasmodium vivax; Primaquine.