Background: Malaria transmission-blocking anti-malarial drugs, such as primaquine, offers an effective strategy for reducing the incidence of falciparum malaria. However, this drug induces haemolytic anaemia among glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficient individuals. The distribution of G6PD deficiency in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo and the association of G6PD deficiency with haemoglobin levels and blood cell counts were investigated.
Methods: A total of 212 febrile children were recruited for this study. Plasmodium falciparum diagnosis was conducted by microscopy and nested PCR. Sanger sequencing was used to assess G6PD deficiency by detecting 202G>A (rs1050828) and 376A>G (rs1050829) single nucleotide polymorphisms.
Results: Two hundred and twelve children were successfully genotyped for G6PD variants. Overall, 13% (27/212) of the children were G6PD deficient and 25% (25/100) females were heterozygous (11 BA- and 14 A+A-). The remaining 160 children had a normal G6PD genotype. The mean red blood and mean platelet counts were significantly lower in hemizygous male (G6PD A-) participants than in normal male (G6PD A+ or B) participants (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: This study gives an update on G6PD deficiency among Congolese children. Understanding the distribution of G6PD deficiency in other geographical regions is recommended before primaquine is adopted in the malaria control programme.
Keywords: Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency; Republic of Congo; Uncomplicated malaria.