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PREVALENCE OF PLASMODIUM FALCIPARUM MUTATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH ANTIMALARIAL DRUG RESISTANCE DURING AN EPIDEMIC IN KUNA YALA, PANAMA, CENTRAL AMERICA

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  • 1 Instituto Conmemorativo Gorgas de Estudio de la Salud, ICGES, Panama, Republic of Panama

A molecular epidemiology study was conducted to determine the distribution of antimalarial drug resistance alleles among field isolates of Plasmodium falciparum. Samples were obtained during an epidemic affecting Kuna Amerindians in Panama. A high prevalence of mutations associated with chloroquine, pyrimethamine, and sulfadoxine was observed. Genotype analysis of msp2 revealed a low genetic diversity of P. falciparum parasites circulating in the studied area. The public health implications of these findings for the Central American region are discussed.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: José E. Calzado, Instituto Conmemorativo Gorgas de Estudio de la Salud, apartado Postal 0816-02593, Panamá, República de Panamá, E-mail: jcalzada@gorgas.gob.pa.
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