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Malar J. 2017 Jun 14;16(1):250. doi: 10.1186/s12936-017-1897-6.

Ex vivo susceptibility and genotyping of Plasmodium falciparum isolates from Pikine, Senegal.

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Laboratory of Parasitology/Mycology HALD, Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar, PO Box 5005, Dakar, Senegal.
Laboratory of Parasitology/Mycology HALD, Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar, PO Box 5005, Dakar, Senegal.
Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
Medical Research Council Unit, The Gambia, Fajara, Gambia.
University of Bamako, Bamako, Mali.
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, USA.



The monitoring of Plasmodium falciparum sensitivity to anti-malarial drugs is a necessity for effective case management of malaria. This species is characterized by a strong resistance to anti-malarial drugs. In Senegal, the first cases of chloroquine resistance were reported in the Dakar region in 1988 with nearly 7% population prevalence, reaching 47% by 1990. It is in this context that sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine temporarily replaced chloroquine as first line treatment in 2003, pending the introduction of artemisinin-based combination therapy in 2006. The purpose of this study is to assess the ex vivo sensitivity to different anti-malarial drugs of the P. falciparum population from Pikine.


Fifty-four samples were collected from patients with non-complicated malaria and aged between 2 and 20 years in the Deggo health centre in Pikine in 2014. An assay in which parasites are stained with 4', 6-di-amidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI), was used to study the ex vivo sensitivity of isolates to chloroquine, amodiaquine, piperaquine, pyrimethamine, and dihydroartemisinin. High resolution melting was used for genotyping of pfdhps, pfdhfr, pfmdr1, and pfcrt genes.


The mean IC50s of chloroquine, amodiaquine, piperaquine, dihydroartemisinin, and pyrimethamine were, respectively, 39.44, 54.02, 15.28, 2.23, and 64.70 nM. Resistance mutations in pfdhfr gene, in codon 437 of pfdhps gene, and an absence of mutation at position 540 of pfdhps were observed. Mutations in codons K76T of pfcrt and N86Y of pfmdr1 were observed at 51 and 11% population prevalence, respectively. A relationship was found between the K76T and N86Y mutations and ex vivo resistance to chloroquine.


An increase in sensitivity of isolates to chloroquine was observed. A high sensitivity to dihydroartemisinin was observed; whereas, a decrease in sensitivity to pyrimethamine was observed in the parasite population from Pikine.


Chemosensitivity; Genotyping; Pikine; Plasmodium falciparum

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