Invasion of human red blood cells (RBCs) by Plasmodium parasites is a crucial yet poorly characterised phenotype. Two-color flow cytometry (2cFCM) promises to be a very sensitive and high throughput method for phenotyping parasite invasion. However, current protocols require high (~1.0%) parasitemia for assay set-up and need to be adapted for low parasitemia samples, which are becoming increasingly common in low transmission settings.
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.
Malaria continues to be endemic in the coast and Amazon regions of Ecuador. Clarifying current Plasmodium falciparum resistance in the country will support malaria elimination efforts. In this study, Ecuadorian P. falciparum parasites were analysed to determine their drug resistance genotypes and phenotypes.