Journal of
Public Health and Epidemiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Health Epidemiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2316
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPHE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 584

Full Length Research Paper

Molecular characterization of sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine resistant malaria parasites among pregnant women in Anambra State, Nigeria

Isaac Okezie Godwin
  • Isaac Okezie Godwin
  • Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Health Sciences and Technology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi Campus, Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria.
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Ifeoma Mercy Ekejindu
  • Ifeoma Mercy Ekejindu
  • Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Health Sciences and Technology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi Campus, Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria.
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George Uchenna Eleje
  • George Uchenna Eleje
  • Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria.
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Christian Chibuzo Ibeh
  • Christian Chibuzo Ibeh
  • Department of Community Medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.
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Dorothy Amauche Ezeagwuna
  • Dorothy Amauche Ezeagwuna
  • Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi Campus, Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria.
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Chigozie Geoffrey Okafor
  • Chigozie Geoffrey Okafor
  • Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria.
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Ahaneku Iherue Osuji
  • Ahaneku Iherue Osuji
  • Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja, Nigeria.
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  •  Received: 24 August 2021
  •  Accepted: 27 September 2021
  •  Published: 31 October 2021

Abstract

The study determined the prevalence of malaria parasitemia among pregnant women using Sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) for intermittent preventive treatment (IPT) and assessed Plasmodium falciparum dihydropteroate reductase (Pfdhfr) and dihydropteroate synthetase (Pfdhps) resistance genes among the subjects. Three hundred and ninety consenting pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria were recruited. Of this, 336 of the women were using SP for IPT, while fifty-four of the women were non-users of SP. Polymerase Chain Reaction was used in the characterization of Plasmodium species while the Sanger sequencing method was used in sequencing assay. Of the 336 pregnant women SP users, 73 (21.7%) and, 41 (12.2%) of the neonates had malaria parasitemia while 29 (53.7%) of the 54 non-users of SP and 14 (25.4%) of the babies had malaria parasitemia (p=0.022).  Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax parasitemia among subjects on IPTp-SP was 38 (11.3%) and 30 (8.9%) respectively. The prevalence of Pfdhfr and Pfdhps resistance genes in pregnant women was 11 (3.3%) and 10 (2.9%) respectively. Malaria parasitemia was significantly higher among non-users of SP. The presence of P. falciparum resistance genes among IPTp-SP users could lead to treatment failures. Therefore, novel drugs should be sought to replace SP.

Key words: Plasmodium, Sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine, pregnancy, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Resistant gene, Nigeria.