Although the last two decades have seen a substantial decline in malaria incidence and mortality due to the use of insecticide-treated bed nets and artemisinin combination therapy, the threat of drug resistance is a constant obstacle to sustainable malaria control. Given that patients can die quickly from this disease, public health officials and doctors need to understand whether drug resistance exists in the parasite population, as well as how prevalent it is so they can make informed decisions about treatment.
artemisinin combination therapy
Artemisinin monotherapy of Plasmodium falciparum infection is frequently ineffective due to recrudescence. Artemisinin-induced dormancy, shown in vitro and in animal models, provides a plausible explanation. To date, direct evidence of artemisinin-induced dormancy in humans is lacking.
Since 2012, single low dose of primaquine (SLDPQ, 0.25mg/kg) has been recommended with artemisinin-based combination therapies, as first-line treatment of acute uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria, to interrupt its transmission, especially in low transmission settings of multidrug, including artemisinin, resistance. Policy makers in Cambodia have been reluctant to implement this recommendation due to primaquine safety concerns and lack of data on its efficacy.