The emergence of mutant K13-mediated artemisinin (ART) resistance in Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites has led to widespread treatment failure across Southeast Asia. In Africa, K13-propeller genotyping confirms the emergence of the R561H mutation in Rwanda and highlights the continuing dominance of wild-type K13 elsewhere.
Plasmodium falciparum malaria remains a disease of significant public health impact today. With the risk of emerging artemisinin resistance stalling malaria control efforts, the need to deepen our understanding of the parasite's biology is dire. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are vital to the biology of P. falciparum and play a role in the pathogenesis of malaria.
Plasmodium falciparum has evolved resistance to almost all front-line drugs including artemisinin, which threatens malaria control and elimination strategies. Oxidative stress and protein damage responses have emerged as key players in the generation of artemisinin resistance. In this study, we show that PfGCN5, a histone acetyltransferase, binds to the stress-responsive genes in a poised state and regulates their expression under stress conditions.
The recent emergence of Plasmodium falciparum parasite resistance to the first line antimalarial drug artemisinin is of particular concern. Artemisinin resistance is primarily driven by mutations in the P. falciparum K13 protein, which enhance survival of early ring-stage parasites treated with the artemisinin active metabolite dihydroartemisinin in vitro and associate with delayed parasite clearance in vivo However, association of K13 mutations with in vivo artemisinin resistance has been problematic due to the absence of a tractable model.
Myanmar is a premalaria elimination country with artemisinin-resistant malaria. A strategy for transmission control is focused on vulnerable groups such as mobile and migrant populations (MMPs), and includes improving access to insecticide-treated bed nets in the Myanmar artemisinin resistance containment (MARC) zones using multisectoral approaches (MSA).
Due to resistance to chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, treatment for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria switched to artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) in 2006 in Senegal. Several mutations in the gene coding the kelch13 helix (pfk13-propeller) were identified to be associated with in vitro and in vivo artemisinin resistance in Southeast Asia.
The mortality caused by Plasmodium falciparum was reduced by Artemisinin (ART) and ART combination therapy (ACT). However, Artemisinin resistance (ART-R) emerge during 2008 in Cambodia and spread to Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).
Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) have been recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as first-line treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) malaria since 2005 in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and a regular surveillance of the ACT efficacy is required to ensure the treatment effectiveness. Mutations in the propeller domain of the pfk13 gene were identified as molecular markers of artemisinin resistance (ART-R).
Resistance to the artemisinin derivatives, our most effective antimalarial drugs, has not manifest as a classical resistance phenotype in which parasites can tolerate higher drug concentrations.
Despite a significant decline in morbidity and mortality over the last two decades, in 2018 there were 228 million reported cases of malaria and 405000 malaria-related deaths. Artemisinin, the cornerstone of artemisinin-based combination therapies, is the most potent drug in the antimalarial armamentarium against falciparum malaria. Heme-mediated activation of artemisinin and its derivatives results in widespread parasite protein alkylation, which is thought to lead to parasite death.