Identification of Plasmodium falciparum isolates lacking histidine-rich protein 2 and 3 in Eritrea

Michela Menegon, Mariangela L'Episcopia, Abduselam M. Nurahmed, Albadawi A. Talha, Bakri Y.M. Nour, Carlo Severini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The histidine-rich protein 2 of Plasmodium falciparum is the most common malaria antigen targeted by rapid diagnostic tests for the specific diagnosis of P. falciparum. Recently, pfhrp2 gene deletions have been documented in P. falciparum isolates from South America and some multiple endemic countries in Africa and Asia. Parasites with such gene deletions can produce false negative diagnostic results using HRP2-based rapid diagnostic kits. In the present work, the prevalence of P. falciparum parasites lacking pfhrp2, pfhrp3, which produces a second P. falciparum antigen that is recognized by PfHRP2 -based rapid diagnostic tests, and their flanking genes was evaluated in 135 P. falciparum isolates from Gash Barka region and in 9 isolates from Debub region, in Eritrea. In the analyzed samples, 56% (81/144) of isolates were pfhrp2/pfhrp3 positive, while 9.7% (14/144) showed deletion of exon 2 of pfhrp2 gene and 43% (62/144) of isolates lacked the pfhrp3 gene. These results suggest that the pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 deletion phenomenon is present in a considerable proportion in the study areas, thus making the HRP2/3 based rapid diagnostic tests not completely reliable for malaria diagnosis in Eritrea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-134
Number of pages4
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2017


  • Antigens
  • Eritrea
  • Histidine-rich protein 2
  • Histidine-rich protein 3
  • Malaria
  • Plasmodium falciparum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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