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Association of Microsatellite Variations of Plasmodium falciparum Na+/H+ Exchanger ( Pfnhe-1 ) Gene with Reduced In Vitro Susceptibility to Quinine: Lack of Confirmation in Clinical Isolates from Africa


Valérie Andriantsoanirina, Didier Ménard, Stéphane Rabearimanana, Véronique Hubert, Christiane Bouchier, Magali Tichit, Jacques Le Bras, and Rémy Durand

We sought to test the association of polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum nhe-1 ( Pfnhe-1 , gene PF13_0019) with in vitro susceptibility to quinine, which was previously reported in a limited number of reference strains or culture-adapted isolates. Determination of in vitro susceptibility to quinine, genotyping of Pfnhe-1 ms4760 microsatellite and polymorphism in codon 76 of Pfcrt were performed for 83 isolates obtained from symptomatic malaria-infected travelers returning from various African countries to France or from subjects living in Madagascar. Nineteen different ms4760 microsatellite profiles of Pfnhe-1 were found including 14 not previously described. Multivariate analysis showed no significant association between the in vitro susceptibility to quinine with particular ms4760 profiles. Contrary to previous reports, we only observed that the number of NHNDNHNNDDD repeats was positively associated with the increased IC50 of QN ( P = 0.01). We concluded that the studied polymorphisms in Pfnhe-1 did not appear as valid molecular markers of in vitro susceptibility to quinine in P. falciparum isolates from Africa. Because we did not include any isolate of Asian origin in our series, these results did not exclude the possibility of regional associations, for example in South-East Asia.