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Jpn J Infect Dis. 2012;65(6):465-75.

Evolution of Plasmodium falciparum drug resistance: implications for the development and containment of artemisinin resistance.

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1
Department of Molecular and Cellular Parasitology, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan. tmita´╝ájuntendo.ac.jp

Abstract

Malaria is a protozoan disease transmitted by the bite of the Anopheles mosquito. Among five species that can infect humans, Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the most severe human malaria. Resistance of P. falciparum to chloroquine and pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine, conventionally used antimalarial drugs, is already widely distributed in many endemic areas. As a result, artemisinin-based combination therapies have been rapidly and widely adopted as first-line antimalarial treatments since the mid-2000s. Recent population and evolutionary genetic analyses have proven that the geographic origins of parasite lineages resistant to the conventional drugs are considerably limited. Almost all resistance emerged from either Southeast Asia or South America. The Greater Mekong subregion in Southeast Asia is probably the most alarming source of resistance, from which P. falciparum resistant to chloroquine and pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine dispersed to Africa. The emergence of artemisinin resistance has also recently been confirmed in the Greater Mekong. The WHO Global Malaria Programme has recently launched a "Global Plan for Artemisinin Resistance Containment," which aims to prevent the spread of artemisinin resistance while also stopping the emergence of novel resistance. However, an inadequate understanding of a mechanism of artemisinin resistance and the lack of reliable genetic markers to monitor artemisinin resistance make it difficult to survey the spread of resistance. Elucidation of such markers would substantially contribute to the design of an effective policy for the containment of artemisinin resistance.

PMID:
23183197
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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