Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 32448203
Link to DOI – 10.1186/s12936-020-03264-y
Malar J 2020 May; 19(1): 191
Over the last decade, artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) has contributed substantially to the decrease in malaria-related morbidity and mortality. The emergence of Plasmodium falciparum parasites resistant to artemisinin derivatives in Southeast Asia and the risk of their spread or of local emergence in sub-Saharan Africa are a major threat to public health. This study thus set out to estimate the proportion of P. falciparum isolates, with Pfkelch13 gene mutations associated with artemisinin resistance previously detected in Southeast Asia.Blood samples were collected in two sites of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR) from 2017 to 2019. DNA was extracted and nested PCR were carried out to detect Plasmodium species and mutations in the propeller domain of the Pfkelch13 gene for P. falciparum samples.A total of 255 P. falciparum samples were analysed. Plasmodium ovale DNA was found in four samples (1.57%, 4/255). Among the 187 samples with interpretable Pfkelch13 sequences, four samples presented a mutation (2.1%, 4/187), including one non-synonymous mutation (Y653N) (0.5%, 1/187). This mutation has never been described as associated with artemisinin resistance in Southeast Asia and its in vitro phenotype is unknown.This preliminary study indicates the absence of Pfkelch13 mutant associated with artemisinin resistance in Bangui. However, this limited study needs to be extended by collecting samples across the whole country along with the evaluation of in vitro and in vivo phenotype profiles of Pfkelch13 mutant parasites to estimate the risk of artemisinin resistance in the CAR.