In this post-hoc analysis, we determined the influence of single nucleotide polymorphisms in host candidate immune genes on the outcome of drug resistant malaria in Cameroon.
Human DNA from 760 patients from a previous clinical trial was subjected to mass spectrometry-based single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping. Allele frequencies of candidate immune genes were calculated for 62 SNPs on 17 human chromosomes for their possible involvement in clearance of drug-resistant parasites with the triple mutations of pfcrt76T, pfmdr86Y, and pfmdr1246Y (TY) and pfdhfr51I, pfdhfr59R, pfdhfr108N, and pfdhps437G (IRNG) which were determined by dotblot or PCR-restriction analysis. Differences in SNP frequencies and association analysis were carried out by comparing Chi-square odds ratios (ORs) and stratified by Mantel-Haenzel statistics. An adjusted P value (OR) <0·0008 was considered significant.
Post-treatment drug failure rates were amodiaquine (36·4%); sulpadoxine/pyrimethamine-amodiaquine combination (15·4%); and sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine (18·1%). SNPs in IL22, IL-4R1, and CD36 appeared to have been associated with clearance of resistant parasites [p = 0·017, OR (C allele):1·44, 95% CI (OR): 1·06-1·95]; [P = 0·014, OR = 1·31, 95% CI (OR): 1·07-1·83]; [P = 5·78×10(-5), OR = 0·27, 95%CI (OR): 0·13-0·54], respectively, with high fever (>39°C for 48 hours) [IL-22, P = 0·01, OR = 1·5, 95% CI (OR): 1·8-2·1] and also in high frequency among the Fulani participants [P = 0·006, OR = 1·83, 95% CI (OR): 1·11-3·08)]. The CD36-1264 null allele was completely absent in the northern population.
Independent association of SNPs in IL22 and IL-4 with clearance of amodiaquine- and sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine-resistant parasites did not reach statistical significance, but may suggest that not all drug-resistant mutants are adversely affected by the same immune-mediated mechanisms of clearance.