Volume 59, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


It has been postulated that chloroquine resistance may be associated with a single point mutation at codon 86 of the Plasmodium falciparum multidrug resistance 1 (pfmdr 1) gene. Using a simple and rapid molecular technique involving polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism, the frequency of the Asn-to-Tyr mutation associated with chloroquine resistance was established among 129 clinical isolates obtained from indigenous patients in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The results showed that 110 of 129 isolates display a mutant codon. The other clinical isolates had either a pure wild-type Asn-86 codon (n = 12) or mixed Asn/Tyr alleles (n = 7). In vitro drug assays were performed to compare the genotype and phenotype in 102 clinical isolates. Of these isolates, 86 displayed pure Tyr-86 mutant codon; 48 (56%) mutant isolates were chloroquine-resistant (50% inhibitory concentration [IC50] > 100 nM), as expected, but 38 (44%) mutant isolates were chloroquine-sensitive (IC50 < 100 nM). Three chloroquine-resistant isolates and seven chloroquine-sensitive parasites carried a wild-type Asn-86 codon. Mixed alleles were found in six isolates (four chloroquine-sensitive and two chloroquine-resistant isolates). Our results did not confirm previous observations on the possible association between chloroquine resistance phenotype and genotype based on the pfmdr 1 gene.


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