Volume 58, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Resistance to antifolate antimalarial drugs (cycloguanil, a biologically active metabolite of proguanil, and pyrimethamine) is associated with a Ser- to Asn-108 point mutation in the dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase gene of Plasmodium falciparum. The frequency of this mutation was studied in 127 clinical isolates obtained in Yaounde, Cameroon using a simple and rapid molecular technique based on the polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism. Of the 127 isolates, pure wild-type Ser-108 codon, pure mutant-type Asn-108 codon, and mixed codons were observed in 66, 55, and six parasites, respectively. The proportion of antifolate-resistant, pure mutant-type codon, with respect to pure wild-type or mixed alleles, was 43% (55 of 127). The results of the molecular assay were compared with those of semimicro isotopic in vitro assay in 34 isolates. All 17 pure Ser-108 isolates and two isolates with mixed alleles were sensitive to both pyrimethamine (50% inhibitory concentration [IC50] < 100 nM) and cycloguanil (IC50 < 50 nM). Fourteen of 15 isolates with the mutant-type Asn-108 codon were resistant to pyrimethamine and cycloguanil. One isolate with Asn-108 showed a slightly elevated pyrimethamine IC50 (78 nM), which was within the sensitive range. This study provides further evidence that antifolate-resistant P. falciparum isolates are already present in Yaounde, Cameroon.


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