A fluorometric assay to determine the protective effect of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) against a Plasmodium spp. infection in females heterozygous for the G6PD gene: Proof of concept in Plasmodium falciparum

Angela Rumaseb, Jutta Marfurt, Steven Kho, Maria Kahn, Ric N. Price, Benedikt Ley

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency offers some protection against malaria; however, the degree of protection is poorly described and likely to vary with G6PD genotype and Plasmodium species. We present a novel approach to quantify the differential invasion rates of P. falciparum between G6PD deficient and normal red blood cells (RBCs) in an ex vivo model. A flow-cytometry based assay was developed to distinguish G6PD deficient and normal, parasitized and non-parasitized RBCs within the same sample. Venous blood collected from a G6PD heterozygous female was infected and cultured ex vivo with a laboratory strain of P. falciparum (FC27). 

RESULTS: Aliquots of infected blood were assayed at schizont and subsequent synchronized ring stages. At schizont stage, 84.9% of RBCs were G6PD deficient of which 0.4% were parasitized compared to 2.0% of normal RBCs. In the subsequent ring stage, 90.4% of RBCs were deficient and 0.2% of deficient and 0.9% of normal cells respectively were parasitized. The pooled Odds Ratio for a deficient RBC to be parasitized was 0.2 (95% confidence interval: 0.18-0.22, p < 0.001) compared to a normal cell. Further studies are warranted to explore preferential parasitization with different G6PD variants and Plasmodium species.

Original languageEnglish
Article number76
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalBMC Research Notes
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2022

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