Remaining Plasmodium falciparum cases in Cambodia are concentrated in forested border areas and in remote populations who are hard to reach through passive case detection. A key approach to reach these populations is active case detection by mobile malaria workers (MMWs). However, this is operationally challenging because of changing movement patterns of the target population moving into less accessible areas. From January 2018 to December 2020, a tailored package of active case detection approaches was implemented in forested border areas of three provinces in north-eastern Cambodia to reach remote populations and support the elimination of falciparum malaria.
Newly emerged mutations within the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT) can confer piperaquine resistance in the absence of amplified plasmepsin II (pfpm2). In this study, we estimated the prevalence of co-circulating piperaquine resistance mutations in P. falciparum isolates collected in northern Cambodia from 2009-2017.
Rapid elimination of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Cambodia is a goal with both national and international significance. Transmission of malaria in Cambodia is limited to forest environments, and the main population at risk consists of forest-goers who rely on forest products for income or sustenance. The ideal interventions to eliminate malaria from this population are unknown.
Atovaquone-proguanil remains effective against multidrug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum in Southeast Asia, but resistance is mediated by a single point mutation in cytochrome b (cytb) that can arise during treatment. Among 14 atovaquone-proguanil treatment failures in a clinical trial in Cambodia, only one recrudescence harbored the cytb mutation Y268C.
After a marked reduction in malaria burden in Cambodia over the last decades, case numbers increased again in 2017–2018. In light of the national goal of malaria elimination by 2025, remaining pockets of high risk need to be well defined and strategies well-tailored to identify and target the persisting burden cost-effectively. This study presents species-specific prevalence estimates and risk stratification for a remote area in Cambodia.
Genetic surveillance of malaria parasites supports malaria control programmes, treatment guidelines and elimination strategies. Surveillance studies often pose questions about malaria parasite ancestry (e.g. how antimalarial resistance has spread) and employ statistical methods that characterise parasite population structure. Many of the methods used to characterise structure are unsupervised machine learning algorithms which depend on a genetic distance matrix, notably principal coordinates analysis (PCoA) and hierarchical agglomerative clustering (HAC).
Clinical failure of primaquine (PQ) has been demonstrated in people with CYP450 2D6 genetic polymorphisms that result in reduced or no enzyme activity. The distribution of CYP2D6 genotypes and predicted phenotypes in the Cambodian population is not well described. Surveys in other Asian countries have shown an approximate 50% prevalence of the reduced activity CYP2D6 allele *10, which could translate into increased risk of PQ radical cure failure and repeated relapses, making interruption of transmission and malaria elimination difficult to achieve.
High rates of dihydroartemisinin–piperaquine (DHA–PPQ) treatment failures have been documented for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum in Cambodia. The genetic markers plasmepsin 2 (pfpm2), exonuclease (pfexo) and chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt) genes are associated with PPQ resistance and are used for monitoring the prevalence of drug resistance and guiding malaria drug treatment policy.
In the absence of an effective vaccine, the efficacy of antimalarial chemotherapies underpins the success of malaria control programmes. Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), which combine fast-acting artemisinin derivatives and longer-acting partner drugs, are the mainstay of treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in endemic regions.
Artesunate-amodiaquine is a potential therapy for uncomplicated malaria in Cambodia.