In efforts to control malaria infection, the Democratic Republic of Congo has implemented several strategies. Studies assessing their efficiency mainly involved at-risk groups, especially children under five years of age. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and identify the risk factors associated with Plasmodium spp. infection.
Democratic Republic of Congo
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).
Anecdotal reports from DRC suggest that long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN) distributed through mass campaigns in DRC may not last the expected average three years. To provide the National Malaria Control Programme with evidence on physical and insecticidal durability of nets distributed during the 2016 mass campaign, two brands of LLIN, DawaPlus® 2.0 and DuraNet©, were monitored in neighbouring and similar health zones in Sud Ubangi and Mongala Provinces.
Between 2011 and 2018, an estimated 134.8 million pyrethroid-treated long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) were distributed nationwide in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for malaria control. Pyrethroid resistance has developed in DRC in recent years, but the intensity of resistance and impact on LLIN efficacy was not known. Therefore, the intensity of resistance of Anopheles gambiae sensu lato (s.l.) to permethrin and deltamethrin was monitored before and after a mass distribution of LLINs in Kinshasa in December 2016, and in 6 other sites across the country in 2017 and 11 sites in 2018.
The loss of chloroquine (CQ) effectiveness has led to its withdrawal from national policies as a first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria in several endemic countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The K76T mutation on the pfcrt gene has been identified as a marker of CQ resistance and the SVMNT haplotype in codons 72–76 on the same gene has been associated with resistance to amodiaquine (AQ). In the DRC, the prevalence of K76T has decreased from 100% in 2000 to 63.9% in 2014. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of K76T mutations in circulating strains of Plasmodium falciparum, 16 years after CQ withdrawal in the DRC and to investigate the presence of the SVMNT haplotype.
Sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine (SP) is a cornerstone of malaria chemoprophylaxis and is considered for programmes in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). However, SP efficacy is threatened by drug resistance, that is conferred by mutations in the dhfr and dhps genes. The World Health Organization has specified that intermittent preventive treatment for infants (IPTi) with SP should be implemented only if the prevalence of the dhps K540E mutation is under 50%. There are limited current data on the prevalence of resistance-conferring mutations available from Eastern DRC. The current study aimed to address this knowledge gap.