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.
Resistance to anti-malarials is a major threat to the control and elimination of malaria. Sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine (SP) anti-malarial treatment was used as a national policy for treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Thailand from 1973 to 1990. In order to determine whether withdrawal of this antifolate drug has led to restoration of SP sensitivity, the prevalence of genetic markers of SP resistance was assessed in historical Thai samples.