Analysis of anti-Plasmodium IgG profiles among Fulani nomadic pastoralists in northern Senegal to assess malaria exposure
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Analysis of anti-Plasmodium IgG profiles among Fulani nomadic pastoralists in northern Senegal to assess malaria exposure

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  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      Malar J
    • Description:

      Northern Senegal is a zone of very low malaria transmission, with an annual incidence of < 5/1000 inhabitants. This area, where the Senegal National Malaria Control Programme has initiated elimination activities, hosts Fulani, nomadic, pastoralists that spend the dry season in the south where malaria incidence is higher (150–450/1000 inhabitants) and return to the north with the first rains. Previous research demonstrated parasite prevalence of < 1% in this Fulani population upon return from the south, similar to that documented in the north in cross-sectional surveys.


      A modified snowball sampling survey of nomadic pastoralists was conducted in five districts in northern Senegal during September and October 2014. Demographic information and dried blood spots were collected. Multiplex bead-based assays were used to assess antibody responses to merozoite surface protein (MSP-119) antigen of the four primary Plasmodium species, as well as circumsporozoite protein (CSP) and liver stage antigen (LSA-1) of Plasmodium falciparum.


      In the five study districts, 1472 individuals were enrolled, with a median age of 22 years (range 1 to 80 years). Thirty-two percent of subjects were under 14 years and 57% were male. The overall seroprevalence of P. falciparum MSP-119, CSP and LSA-1 antibodies were 45, 12 and 5%, respectively. Plasmodium falciparum MSP-119 antibody responses increased significantly with age in all study areas, and were significantly higher among males. The highest seroprevalence to P. falciparum antigens was observed in the Kanel district (63%) and the lowest observed in Podor (28%). Low seroprevalence was observed for non-falciparum species in all the study sites: 0.4, 0.7 and 1.8%, respectively, for Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium malariae MSP-1. Antibody responses to P. vivax were observed in all study sites except Kanel.


      Prevalence of P. falciparum MSP-119 antibodies and increases by study participant age provided data for low levels of exposure among this transient nomadic population. In addition, antibody responses to P. falciparum short half-life markers (CSP and LSA-1) and non-falciparum species were low. Further investigations are needed to understand the exposure of the Fulani population to P. vivax.

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