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Identification and characterisation of Mansonella perstans in the Volta Region of Ghana

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posted on 2024-06-28, 03:24 authored by Millicent OpokuMillicent Opoku, DK de Souza
Mansonella spp. have been reported to have a wide global distribution. Despite the distribution and co-occurrence with other filarial parasites like Wuchereria bancrofti, Onchocerca volvulus and Loa loa, it is given little attention. There are few surveillance programmes for assessing the distribution of mansonellosis, due to the associated mild to no symptoms experienced by infected people. However, addressing this infection is critical to the onchocerciasis control program as current rapid diagnostic tools targeting O. volvulus have the tendency to cross react with Mansonella species. In this study we identified and character-ised M. perstans from five sites in two districts in the Volta Region of Ghana and compared them to samples from other regions. Night blood smears and filter blood blots were obtained from individuals as part of a study on lymphatic filariasis. The Giemsa-stained smears were screened by microscopy for the presence of filarial parasites. Genomic DNA was extracted from blood blots from 39 individuals that were positive for M. perstans and Nested PCR targeting the internal spacer 1 (ITS-1) was conducted. Of these, 30 were sequenced and 24 sequences were kept for further analysis. Phylogenetic analysis of 194 nucleotide positions showed no differences in the samples collected. The similarities suggests that there could be one species in this area. However, more robust studies with larger sample sizes are required to draw such conclusions. We also observed a clustering of the samples from Ghana with reference sequences from Africa and Brazil, suggesting they could be related. This study draws further attention to a neglected infection, presents the first characterisation of M. perstans in Ghana and calls for more population-based studies across different geographical zones to ascertain species variations and disease distribution.


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© 2024 Opoku, de Souza. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.