In vitro growth competition experiments that suggest consequences of the substandard artemisinin epidemic that may be accelerating drug resistance in P. falciparum malaria.

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Date: Mar. 9, 2021
From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 3)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 9,194 words
Lexile Measure: 1560L

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Abstract :

Over the past decade, artemisinin (ART)-combination therapies (ACTs) have shown declining efficacy within Southeast Asia (SEA). These resistance-like phenomena manifest as a delayed clearance phenotype (DCP) in some patients treated with ACTs. ACTs are currently the recommended treatment for P. falciparum infections by the World Health Organization (WHO), and they are our last line of defense to effectively treat all strains of malaria. Acceleration of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is often theorized to be exacerbated by the use of subtherapeutic dosages of drugs ("substandard" drug), which for ACTs has been well documented over the last decade. Troublingly, in 2017, the WHO estimated that nearly 1 in 10 medical products tested in low- and middle-income countries failed to meet quality standards. We have developed a tissue culture-based approach for testing possible connections between substandard treatment and the spread of ACT resistant blood stage forms of P. falciparum. Via sequencing of pfk13, a molecular marker that is predictive for ART resistance (ARTR), we monitor competition of sensitive vs resistant strains over time and under various conditions and define conditions that favor emergence of ARTR parasites. Our findings help to define the conditions under which substandard drug treatments might favor the proliferation of mutant PfK13-mediated drug resistant strains over drug sensitive.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A654395282