Micro RNAs (miRNAs) play crucial regulatory roles in multiple biological processes. Recently they have garnered the attention for their strong influence on the secondary metabolite production in plants. Their role in the regulation of artemisinin (ART) biosynthesis is, however, not fully elucidated. ART is a potent anti-malarial compound recommended by WHO for the treatment of drug-resistant malaria. It is produced by Artemisia annua (A. annua).
Southeast Asia has been the hotbed for the development of drug-resistant malaria parasites, including those with resistance to artemisinin combination therapy. While mutations in the kelch propeller domain (K13 mutations) are associated with artemisinin resistance, a range of evidence suggests that other factors are critical for the establishment and subsequent transmission of resistance in the field.
Sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) is used as intermittent preventive therapy in pregnancy (IPTp) for malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. The resistance marker dhps A581G has been associated with reduced IPTp-SP efficacy and enhanced morbidity in SP recipients.
In Brazil, Plasmodium vivax infection accounts for around 80% of malaria cases. This infection has a substantial impact on the productivity of the local population as the course of the disease is usually prolonged and the development of acquired immunity in endemic areas takes several years. The recent emergence of drug-resistant strains has intensified research on alternative control methods such as vaccines.
Resistance to the current first-line antimalarials threatens the control of malaria caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum and underscores the urgent need for new drugs with novel modes of action.
Sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) is used as intermittent preventive therapy in pregnancy (IPTp) for malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. The resistance marker dhps A581G has been associated with reduced IPTp-SP efficacy and enhanced morbidity in SP-recipients.