Investigating selected host and parasite factors potentially impacting upon seasonal malaria chemoprevention in Bama, Burkina Faso

Fabrice A Somé, Thomas Bazié, Hanna Y Ehrlich, Justin Goodwin, Aine Lehane, Catherine Neya, Kabré Zachari, Martina Wade, Jean-Marie Ouattara, Brian D Foy, Roch K Dabiré, Sunil Parikh, Jean-Bosco Ouédraogo
Malaria Journal 2020 July 6, 19 (1): 238

BACKGROUND: Since 2014, seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) with amodiaquine-sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (AQ-SP) has been implemented on a large scale during the high malaria transmission season in Burkina Faso. This paper reports the prevalence of microscopic and submicroscopic malaria infection at the outset and after the first round of SMC in children under 5 years old in Bama, Burkina Faso, as well as host and parasite factors involved in mediating the efficacy and tolerability of SMC.

METHODS: Two sequential cross-sectional surveys were conducted in late July and August 2017 during the first month of SMC in a rural area in southwest Burkina Faso. Blood smears and dried blood spots were collected from 106 to 93 children under five, respectively, at the start of SMC and again 3 weeks later. Malaria infection was detected by microscopy and by PCR from dried blood spots. For all children, day 7 plasma concentrations of desethylamodiaquine (DEAQ) were measured and CYP2C8 genetic variants influencing AQ metabolism were genotyped. Samples were additionally genotyped for pfcrt K76T and pfmdr1 N86Y, molecular markers associated with reduced amodiaquine susceptibility.

RESULTS: 2.8% (3/106) of children were positive for Plasmodium falciparum infection by microscopy and 13.2% (14/106) by nested PCR within 2 days of SMC administration. Three weeks after SMC administration, in the same households, 4.3% (4/93) of samples were positive by microscopy and 14.0% (13/93) by PCR (p = 0.0007). CYP2C8*2, associated with impaired amodiaquine metabolism, was common with an allelic frequency of 17.1% (95% CI  10.0-24.2). Day 7 concentration of DEAQ ranged from 0.48 to 362.80 ng/mL with a median concentration of 56.34 ng/mL. Pfmdr1 N86 predominated at both time points, whilst a non-significant trend towards a higher prevalence of pfcrt 76T was seen at week 3.

CONCLUSION: This study showed a moderate prevalence of low-level malaria parasitaemia in children 3 weeks following SMC during the first month of administration. Day 7 concentrations of the active DEAQ metabolite varied widely, likely reflecting variability in adherence and possibly metabolism. These findings highlight factors that may contribute to the effectiveness of SMC in children in a high transmission setting.

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