Prevalence of Glucose–6–Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency and Distribution of its Genetic Variants Among Malaria Suspected Patients in Metehara Health Center, Eastern Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Introduction: Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase is a cytosolic enzyme that has a vital role in the functioning and integrity of red blood cells. Lower activity of this enzyme leads to the occurrence of acute hemolytic anemia after exposure to oxidative stressors like primaquine. Although primaquine is important for the radical cure of Plasmodium vivax and blocking the transmission of Plasmodium falciparum, thereby enhancing malaria elimination, there is a need to distinguish glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficient individuals and/or administer the drug with special care due to its hemolytic side effects. Objective: To determine the prevalence of Glucose-6-Phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency among individuals suspected of malaria during their outpatient visit to Metehara Health Center, Eastern Ethiopia. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from 01 September 2020 to 30 September 2021. A structured questionnaire was used to collect the socio-demographic and clinical information of the study participants. Capillary and venous blood samples were collected based on standard procedures for onsite screening tests, DBS preparation, and malaria microscopy. Data was recorded and analyzed by using SPSS version 23 software. Result: A total of 498 patients participated in the study; 62% (309) of them were males. According to the results of the biosensor screening test, the overall prevalence of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency was 3.6% (18/498). There was a significant association between sex and history of previous malaria infection with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, P-value 0.032 and 0.02 respectively. Eleven out of the 17 (64.7%) Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficient samples by bio-sensor screening test had confirmed mutations using sequencing. The G267+119C/T, A376T, and ChrX: 154535443 mutation types were detected. Conclusion and Recommendation: Phenotypically, the prevalence of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency was low. G267+119C/T is the predominant glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase variant. In Metehara, Malaria patient management using the drug primaquine under close follow up for developments of any adverse effects is recommended.



Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium falciparum, Primaquine, Metehara, Ethiopia.