Independent emergence of Plasmodium falciparum artemisinin resistance mutations in Southeast Asia.

Takala-Harrison, S; Jacob, CG; Arze, C; Cummings, MP; Silva, JC; Dondorp, AM; Fukuda, MM; Hien, TT; Mayxay, M; Noedl, H; Nosten, F; Kyaw, MP; Nhien, NT; Imwong, M; Bethell, D; Se, Y; Lon, C; Tyner, SD; Saunders, DL; Ariey, F; Mercereau-Puijalon, O; Menard, D; Newton, PN; Khanthavong, M; Hongvanthong, B; Starzengruber, P; Fuehrer, HP; Swoboda, P; Khan, WA; Phyo, AP; Nyunt, MM; Nyunt, MH; Brown, TS; Adams, M; Pepin, CS; Bailey, J; Tan, JC; Ferdig, MT; Clark, TG; Miotto, O; MacInnis, B; Kwiatkowski, DP; White, NJ; Ringwald, P; Plowe, CV; (2014) Independent emergence of Plasmodium falciparum artemisinin resistance mutations in Southeast Asia. The Journal of infectious diseases. ISSN 0022-1899 DOI:

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BACKGROUND  The emergence of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum in Southeast Asia threatens malaria treatment efficacy. Mutations in a kelch protein encoded on P. falciparum chromosome 13 (K13) have been associated with resistance in vitro and in field samples from Cambodia. METHODS  P. falciparum infections from artesunate efficacy trials in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam were genotyped at 33,716 genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Linear mixed models were used to test associations between parasite genotypes and parasite clearance half-lives following artesunate treatment. K13 mutations were tested for association with artemisinin resistance and extended haplotypes on chromosome 13 were examined to determine whether mutations arose focally and spread, or emerged independently. RESULTS  The presence of non-reference K13 alleles was associated with prolonged parasite clearance half-life (p=1.97E-12). Parasites with a mutation in any of the K13 kelch domains displayed longer parasite clearance half-lives than parasites with wild-type alleles. Haplotype analysis revealed both population-specific emergence of mutations and independent emergence of the same mutation in different geographic areas. CONCLUSIONS  K13 appears to be a major determinant of artemisinin resistance throughout Southeast Asia. While we found some evidence of spreading resistance, there was no evidence of resistance moving westward from Cambodia into Myanmar.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Pathogen Molecular Biology
Research Centre: Antimicrobial Resistance Centre (AMR)
Malaria Centre
PubMed ID: 25180241
Web of Science ID: 350222000002


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