Gold mining areas in Suriname: reservoirs of malaria resistance?
Malti R Adhin,1 Mergiory Labadie-Bracho,2 Stephen Vreden3
1Faculty of Medical Sciences, Department of Biochemistry, Anton de Kom Universiteit van Suriname, 2Prof Dr Paul C Flu Institute for Biomedical Sciences, 3Academic Hospital Paramaribo, Paramaribo, Suriname
Background: At present, malaria cases in Suriname occur predominantly in migrants and people living and/or working in areas with gold mining operations. A molecular survey was performed in Plasmodium falciparum isolates originating from persons from gold mining areas to assess the extent and role of mining areas as reservoirs of malaria resistance in Suriname.
Methods: The status of 14 putative resistance-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms in the pfdhfr, pfcrt, pfmdr1, and pfATP6 genes was assessed for 28 samples from gold miners diagnosed with P. falciparum malaria using polymerase chain reaction amplification and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, and the results were compared with earlier data from nonmining villagers.
Results: Isolates from miners showed a high degree of homogeneity, with a fixed pfdhfr Ile51/Asn108, pfmdr1 Phe184/Asp1042/Tyr1246, and pfcrt Thr76 mutant genotype, while an exclusively wild-type genotype was observed for pfmdr1 Asn86 and pfdhfr Ala16, Cys59, and Ile164, and for the pfATP6 positions Leu263/Ala623/Ser769. Small variations were observed for pfmdr1 S1034C. No statistically significant difference could be detected in allele frequencies between mining and nonmining villagers.
Conclusion: Despite the increased risk of malaria infection in individuals working/living in gold mining areas, we did not detect an increase in mutation frequency at the 14 analyzed single nucleotide polymorphisms. Therefore, mining areas in Suriname cannot yet be considered as reservoirs for malaria resistance.
Keywords: Plasmodium falciparum, gold mining, mutation frequency, Suriname
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