Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency genotypes and allele frequencies in the Kavango and Zambezi regions of northern Namibia

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Background: Namibia has made significant gains in the fight against malaria, with a target of elimination by 2023. We examined the genotype and allele frequencies of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency to inform decisions on primaquine use, as we recently detected clusters of Plasmodium ovale curtisi in Kavango. Methods: A multistaged cross-sectional sampling method was used to enrol 212 children 2-9 y of age from schools and clinics in the Okavango and Zambezi regions of northern Namibia. Genotypes for the 202 G→A and 376 A→G mutations were assigned by polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism. Results: Of the 212 subjects enrolled, genotypes were available for 210, made up of 61 males and 149 females. G6PD-deficient males (hemizygotes) and females (homozygotes) constituted 3.27% (2/61) and 0.0% (0/149), respectively. Female heterozygotes (AA- and BA-) constituted 10.07% (15/149), while G6PD wild-type males (with A or B haplotype) and females (with AA, BB or AB haplotypes) consisted of 96.72% (59/61) and 89.93% (134/149), respectively. The A-, A and B allele frequencies were 0.0474, 0.3036 and 0.6490, respectively. Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium tests for female genotype frequencies did not show deviation (p=0.29). Conclusions: The frequency of G6PD deficiency alleles in males in the Kavango and Zambezi regions of northern Namibia constitute 3.27%, a first report to inform policy on primaquine role out.


  • Daniel H. Haiyambo
  • Alex Ilunga
  • Ruth Nangombe
  • Grace Ababio
  • Toini Hatuikulipi
  • Larysa Aleksenko
  • Jane Misihairabgwi
  • Petrina Uusiku
  • Jeffrey M. Pernica
  • Beatrice Greco
  • Isaac K. Quaye
External organisations
  • University of Namibia
  • University of Ghana
  • McMaster University
  • Welwitchia University
  • Ministry of Health and Social Services, Namibia
  • Merck KGaA
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Medical Genetics
  • Infectious Medicine


  • G6PDd alleles, genotypes, Kavango, Namibia, primaquine, Zambezi
Original languageEnglish
Article numbertrz035
Pages (from-to)483-488
Number of pages6
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Aug 1
Publication categoryResearch