BACKGROUND: The study aimed to gain first data on the prevalence of G6PD enzyme deficiency measured by spectrophotometry and associated genetic variants in Jimma and surroundings, Ethiopia. The area is a Plasmodium vivax endemic region, but 8-aminoquinolines such as primaquine are not recommended as G6PD testing is not available.
METHODS: Healthy volunteers were recruited at Jimma University, Ethiopia. Enzyme activity was tested by spectrophotometry at the University of Ulm, Germany. A G6PD RDT (Binax NOW® G6PD, Alere, USA) was additionally performed. The G6PD gene was analysed for polymorphisms in a sub-population. Tests for haemoglobinopathies and the presence of malaria parasites were conducted.
RESULTS: No severe or moderate (cut-off 60%) G6PD deficiency was found in 206 volunteers. Median male activity was 6.1 U/g Hb. Eleven participants (5.4%) showed activities between 70 and 80%. No haemoglobinopathy was detected. None of the subjects showed asymptomatic parasitaemia. One G6PD-A+ variant (A376G) and one new non-synonymous mutation (G445A) were found.
CONCLUSIONS: As the prevalence of G6PD deficiency seems low in this area, the use of 8-aminoquinolines should be encouraged. However, reliable G6PD testing methods have to be implemented and safe cut-off levels need to be defined.
- Antimalarials/therapeutic use
- Genetic Variation
- Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase/genetics
- Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency/epidemiology
- Primaquine/therapeutic use
- Young Adult