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Distribution Pattern of Plasmodium falciparum Chloroquine Transporter (pfcrt) Gene Haplotypes in Sri Lanka 1996–2006

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  • Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; Infectious Disease Initiative, The Broad Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Centre for Medical Parasitology and International Health Unit, Institute for International Health, Immunology and Microbiology, Copenhagen, Denmark; Department of Zoology, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka; Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka
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Widespread antimalarial resistance has been a barrier to malaria elimination efforts in Sri Lanka. Analysis of genetic markers in historic parasites may uncover trends in the spread of resistance. We examined the frequency of Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine transporter (pfcrt; codons 72–76) haplotypes in Sri Lanka in 1996–1998 and 2004–2006 using a high-resolution melting assay. Among 59 samples from 1996 to 1998, we detected the SVMNT (86%), CVMNK (10%), and CVIET (2%) haplotypes, with a positive trend in SVMNT and a negative trend in CVMNK frequency (P = 0.004) over time. Among 24 samples from 2004 to 2006, we observed only the SVMNT haplotype. This finding indicates selection for the SVMNT haplotype over time and its possible fixation in the population.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Nadira D. Karunaweera, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, 25, Kynsey Road, Colombo 8, Sri Lanka. E-mail: nadira@parasit.cmb.ac.lk

Financial support: This study received financial support from National Institutes of Health Grants 5R03TW007966-02 and 1R01AI075080-01A1.

Authors' addresses: Jenny J. Zhang, Tharanga N. Senaratne, Rachel Daniels, Clarissa Valim, and Dyann F. Wirth, Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, E-mails: zhang33@post.harvard.edu, nsenarat@hsph.harvard.edu, rdaniels@broadinstitute.org, cvalim@hsph.harvard.edu, and dfwirth@hsph.harvard.edu. Michael Alifrangis and Flemming Konradsen, Centre for Medical Parasitology and International Health Unit, Institute for International Health, Immunology and Microbiology, Copenhagen, Denmark, E-mails: micali@sund.ku.dk and flko@sund.ku.dk. Priyanie Amerasinghe and Rupika Rajakaruna, Department of Zoology, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, E-mails: P.Amerasinghe@cgiar.org and rupikar@pdn.ac.lk. Nadira D. Karunaweera, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka, E-mail: nadira@parasit.cmb.ac.lk.

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