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Folia Parasitol (Praha). 2013 Sep;60(4):372-6.

Prevalence of mutation and phenotypic expression associated with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax.

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  • 1Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


Therapeutic efficacy of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP), which is commonly used to treat falciparum malaria, was assessed in isolates of Plasmodium falciparum (Welch, 1897) and Plasmodium vivax (Grassi et Feletti, 1890) ofAligarh, Uttar Pradesh, North India and Taif, Saudi Arabia during 2011-2012. Both the species showed mutations in dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) enzyme as they have common biochemical drug targets. Mutation rate for pfdhfr was higher compared to pvdhfr because the drug was mainly given to treat falciparum malaria. Since both the species coexist, P. vivax was also exposed to SP due to faulty species diagnosis or medication without specific diagnosis. Low level of mutations against SP in P. falciparum of Saudi isolates indicates that the SP combination is still effective for the treatment of falciparum malaria. Since SP is used as first-line of treatment because of high level of resistance against chloroquine (CQ), it may result in spread of higher level of mutations resulting in drug resistance and treatment failure in near future. Therefore, to avoid further higher mutations in the parasite, use of better treatment regimens such as artesunate combination therapy must be introduced against SP combination.

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