A key drawback to monitoring the emergence and spread of antimalarial drug resistance in sub-Saharan Africa is early detection and containment. Next-generation sequencing methods offer the resolution, sensitivity, and scale required to fill this gap by surveilling for molecular markers of drug resistance.
antimalarial drug resistance
To monitor drug resistance in Plasmodium vivax, a multidrug resistance 1 (Pvmdr1) gene and a putative transporter protein (Pvcrt-o) gene were used as molecular markers for chloroquine resistance. The biomarkers, the dihydrofolate reductase (Pvdhfr) gene and the dihydropteroate synthetase (Pvdhps) gene, were also used for the detection of resistance to sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP); this drug is often accidentally used to treat P. vivax infections. Clinical blood samples (n = 120) were collected from patients who had been to one of eight malaria-endemic countries and diagnosed with P. vivax infection.
Antimalarial drug resistance is an evolving global health security threat to malaria control.
Early detection of Plasmodium falciparum resistance through therapeutic efficacy studies and associated genetic analyses may facilitate timely implementation of intervention strategies. The US President’s Malaria Initiative–supported Antimalarial Resistance Monitoring in Africa (PARMA) Network has assisted numerous laboratories in partner countries in acquiring the knowledge and capability to independently monitor for molecular markers of antimalarial drug resistance.