Background: The erythrocyte binding antigen-175 (EBA-175) on Plasmodium falciparum merozoites mediates sialic acid dependent binding to glycophorin A on host erythrocytes and, therefore, plays a crucial role in cell invasion. Dimorphic allele segments have been found in its encoding gene with a 342 bp segment present in FCR-3 strains (F segment) and a 423 bp segment in CAMP strains (C-segment). Possible associations of the dimorphism with severe malaria have been analysed in a case-control study in northern Ghana Methods: Blood samples of 289 children with severe malaria and 289 matched parasitaemic but asymptomatic controls were screened for eba-175 F- and C-segments by nested polymerase chain reaction. Results: In children with severe malaria, prevalences of F-, C- and mixed F-/C-segments were 70%, 19%, and 11%, respectively. The C-segment was found more frequently in severe malaria cases whereas mixed infections were more common in controls. Infection with strains harbouring the C-segment significantly increased the risk of fatal outcome. Conclusion: The results show that the C-segment is associated with fatal outcome in children with severe malaria in northern Ghana, suggesting that it may contribute to the virulence of the parasite.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases