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Prevalence of Antimalarial Drug Resistance Mutations in Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum from a Malaria-Endemic Area of Pakistan

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  • 1 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan; College of Health Sciences, University of California, Irvine, California
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To study drug resistance in Bannu district, a malaria-endemic area in Pakistan, molecular-based analyses were undertaken. In Plasmodium vivax, antifolate resistance mutations were detected in pvdhfr gene codons 57, 58, and 117, with a 117N mutation frequency of 93.5%. All P. falciparum isolates exhibited double 59R + 108N mutations in pfdhfr, whereas the triple mutant 59R + 108N + 437G haplotype was found in 31.8% isolates. Furthermore, all (100%) P. falciparum isolates exhibited the key chloroquine resistance mutation, pfcrt 76T, which is also associated with resistance to amodiaquine. Additionally, pfmdr1 86Y and D1042Y mutations were, respectively, detected in 32% and 9% isolates. These results indicate an emerging multi-drug resistance problem in P. vivax and P. falciparum malaria parasites in Pakistan.

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