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Int J Parasitol. 2003 Nov;33(13):1545-52.

Application of a multi-faceted approach for the assessment of treatment response in falciparum malaria: a study from Malaysian Borneo.

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Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Malaysia Sarawak, 93150, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, Kuching, Malaysia.


Thirty-two patients reporting to the Lundu District Hospital, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, with uncomplicated falciparum malaria were recruited into a multifaceted study to assess treatment response. Following combined chloroquine and sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine treatment the patients were followed for 28 days according to the World Health Organisation in vivo drug response protocol. The in vivo study revealed that 13 (41%) of the patients had a sensitive response to treatment, five (16%) cleared asexual stage parasites but had persistent gametocytes, 11 (34%) had RI type resistance and three (9%) had RII type resistance requiring quinine intervention before day 7 for parasite clearance. Although clinically insignificant, patients with persistent gametocytes, surviving chloroquine and sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine treatment during maturation, were placed in the reduced response to treatment group for analysis. Allelic typing detected 100% prevalence of the pfcrt K76T marker associated with chloroquine resistance and 78% prevalence of the pfdhfr NRNL haplotype associated with sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine treatment failure. High serum chloroquine levels and pfdhfr haplotypes with <or=2 point mutations were independently associated with a sensitive response to treatment. However four patients in the sensitive response group had both low serum chloroquine levels and the pfdhfr NRNL haplotype. A degree of immunity, consistent with malaria endemicity, may account for the apparently paradoxical presence of markers of drug resistance in the sensitive group.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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