Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 37237307
Link to DOI – 10.1186/s12936-023-04588-1
Malar J 2023 May; 22(1): 167
Malaria control is highly dependent on the effectiveness of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), the current frontline malaria curative treatment. Unfortunately, the emergence and spread of parasites resistant to artemisinin (ART) derivatives in Southeast Asia and South America, and more recently in Rwanda and Uganda (East Africa), compromise their long-term use in sub-Saharan Africa, where most malaria deaths occur.Here, ex vivo susceptibility to dihydroartemisinin (DHA) was evaluated from 38 Plasmodium falciparum isolates collected in 2017 in Thiès (Senegal) expressed in the Ring-stage Survival Assay (RSA). Both major and minor variants were explored in the three conserved-encoding domains of the pfkelch13 gene, the main determinant of ART resistance using a targeted-amplicon deep sequencing (TADS) approach.All samples tested in the ex vivo RSA were found to be susceptible to DHA (parasite survival rate < 1%). The non-synonymous mutations K189T and K248R in pfkelch13 were observed each in one isolate, as major (99%) or minor (5%) variants, respectively.The results suggest that ART is still fully effective in the Thiès region of Senegal in 2017. Investigations combining ex vivo RSA and TADS are a useful approach for monitoring ART resistance in Africa.