Plasmodium vivax resistance to chloroquine (CQ) has been reported from many endemic regions in the world. Plasmodium vivax is responsible for 95% of malaria cases in Afghanistan and CQ is the first-line treatment given for vivax malaria. The pvmdr-1 and pvcrt-o (K10 insertion) genes are possible markers for CQ-resistance in P. vivax isolates. There have been no studies done on the presence or absence of molecular markers for CQ-resistance P. vivax in Afghanistan. The present work aimed to evaluate the frequency of mutations in the pvmdr-1 and K10 insertion in the pvcrt-o genes of P. vivax.
Plasmodium vivax is the predominant Plasmodium species in Afghanistan. National guidelines recommend the combination of chloroquine and primaquine (CQ-PQ) for radical treatment of P. vivax malaria. Artesunate in combination with the antifolates sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) has been first-line treatment for uncomplicated falciparum malaria until 2016. Although SP has been the recommended treatment for falciparum and not vivax malaria, exposure of the P. vivax parasite population to SP might still have been quite extensive because of community based management of malaria. The change in the P. vivax antifolate resistance markers between 2007 and 2017 were investigated.
Laghman province, in the east of the Afghanistan, is one of the most malaria endemic regions with an eminence of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum. So far, no study has been conducted to investigate the extent of mixed infections in this area.
During their deployment to Afghanistan, the authors identified a low compliance rate with malaria chemoprophylaxis. A performance improvement project was developed to improve compliance.