Volume 99, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Although has been assumed to be absent from sub-Saharan Africa because of the protective mutation conferring the Duffy-negative phenotype, recent evidence has suggested that cases are prevalent in these regions. We selected 292 dried blood spots from children who participated in the 2013–2014 Demographic and Health Survey of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), to assess for infection. Four infections were identified by polymerase chain reaction, each in a geographically different survey cluster. Using these as index cases, we tested the remaining 73 samples from the four clusters. With this approach, 10 confirmed cases, three probable cases, and one possible case of were identified. Among the 14 cases, nine were coinfected with . All 14 individuals were confirmed to be Duffy-negative by sequencing for the single point mutation in the GATA motif that represses the expression of the Duffy antigen. This finding is consistent with a growing body of literature that suggests that can infect Duffy-negative individuals in Africa. Future molecular and sequencing work is needed to understand the relationship of these isolates with other samples from Asia and South America and discover variants linked to virulence and erythrocyte invasion.


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Supplemental tables and figure

  • Received : 01 Apr 2018
  • Accepted : 20 Jul 2018
  • Published online : 10 Sep 2018

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