The emergence and spread of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum poses a threat to malaria eradication, including China’s plan to eliminate malaria by 2020. Piperaquine (PPQ) resistance has emerged in Cambodia, compromising an important partner drug that is widely used in China in the form of dihydroartemisinin (DHA)-PPQ. Several mutations in a P. falciparum gene encoding a kelch protein on chromosome 13 (k13) are associated with artemisinin resistance and have arisen spread in the Great Mekong subregion, including the China–Myanmar border. Multiple copies of the plasmepsin II/III (pm2/3) genes, located on chromosome 14, have been shown to be associated with PPQ resistance.
In the Greater Mekong sub-region, Plasmodium vivax has become the predominant species and imposes a major challenge for regional malaria elimination. This study aimed to investigate the variations in genes potentially related to drug resistance in P. vivax populations from the China–Myanmar border area. In addition, this study also wanted to determine whether divergence existed between parasite populations associated with asymptomatic and acute infections.
In moving toward malaria elimination, finer scale malaria risk maps are required to identify hotspots for implementing surveillance–response activities, allocating resources, and preparing health facilities based on the needs and necessities at each specific area. This study aimed to demonstrate the use of multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) in conjunction with geographic information systems (GISs) to create a spatial model and risk maps by integrating satellite remote-sensing and malaria surveillance data from 18 counties of Yunnan Province along the China–Myanmar border.