Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 16325698
Lancet 2005 Dec;366(9501):1960-3
Artemisinin derivatives are an essential component of treatment against multidrug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria. We aimed to investigate in-vitro resistance to artemisinin derivatives in field isolates. In-vitro susceptibility of 530 P falciparum isolates from three countries (Cambodia, French Guiana, and Senegal) with different artemisinin use was assessed with an isotopic microtest. Artemether IC50 up to 117 and 45 nmol/L was seen in French Guiana and Senegal, respectively. DNA sequencing in a subsample of 60 isolates lends support to SERCA-PfATPase6 as the target for artemisinins. The S769N PfATPase6 mutation, noted exclusively in French Guiana, was associated with raised (>30 nmol/L) artemether IC50s (p<0.0001, Mann-Whitney). All resistant isolates came from areas with uncontrolled use of artemisinin derivatives. This rise in resistance indicates the need for increased vigilance and a coordinated and rapid deployment of drug combinations.