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Volume 41, Number 5, October 2008

High prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum Pfmdr1 86Y mutant gene in sickle cell disease in Nigeria

Denis Edo Agbonlahor, Tatfeng Youtchou Mirabeau, Oviasogie Faith, Omolu Patricia Inoigbe, Tchouga Kemajou Samuel, Yah Suh Clarence
Biotechnology Unit, Lahor Research Laboratories, Benin City/College of Health Sciences, Igbinedion University, Okada; Department of Microbiology, University of Benin, Benin City; and Department of Microbiology, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria

Received: May 16, 2007    Revised: June 18, 2007    Accepted: October 1, 2007   


Corresponding author:

Tatfeng Youtchou Mirabeau, Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State, Nigeria. E-mail: Tatfeng Youtchou Mirabeau This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it



Background and purpose: 

In areas where malaria is endemic, drug prophylaxis is required for people with sickle cell disease. Chloroquine resistance has been associated with the Plasmodium falciparum multidrug resistance 1 (Pfmdr1) mutant gene. This study tested for the Pfmdr1 86Y mutation in P. falciparum isolates from individuals with sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait, who also underwent hemoglobin genotyping.




Blood samples were collected from patients presenting with symptoms of malaria in an endemic region. The subjects were screened for hemoglobin genotype using hemoglobin electrophoresis and P. falciparum Pfmdr1 genotyping was carried out using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism.




229 subjects, comprising 144 with hemoglobin AA genotype, 57 with hemoglobin AS genotype and 28 with hemoglobin SS genotype, were enrolled in this study. There was no significant difference in the infective rate of malaria in the 3 groups (p>0.05). However, the prevalence of Pfmdr1 86Y was higher in those with hemoglobin SS genotype than in hemoglobin AA and AS subjects (p<0.05).



Uncontrolled use of chloroquine is a major cause of chloroquine resistance in Nigeria. Chloroquine prophylaxis may be the underlying cause of the high prevalence of Pfmdr1 86Y mutant gene in individuals with hemoglobin SS genotype.



Key words:

Anemia, sickle cell; Chloroquine; Mutation; Nigeria; Plasmodium falciparum; Sickle cell trait



J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2008;41:393-396.