Short report: Molecular evaluation of the efficacy of chloroquine treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in East Timor.

Nanhua ChenAustralian Army Malaria Institute, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

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Joanne BakerAustralian Army Malaria Institute, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

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Nadine EzardAustralian Army Malaria Institute, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

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Matthew BurnsAustralian Army Malaria Institute, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

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Michael D EdsteinAustralian Army Malaria Institute, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

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Qin ChengAustralian Army Malaria Institute, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

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The efficacy of chloroquine treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in East Timor was investigated via molecular tools. Genotyping of the polymorphic markers msp1 and msp2 was performed to investigate the number and type of parasite alleles in pre- and posttreatment blood samples collected from 48 patients. Patients were infected with a minimum of 8 msp1 and 14 msp2 allelic types of parasite, and 43% of the patients had more than one allelic type before treatment. The genotyping also revealed that 66.7% of the patients were infected with at least one identical allelic type of parasite before and after treatment and therefore were likely to have experienced recrudescence. All parasites in pre- and posttreatment blood samples carried the K76T mutation in pfcrt, regardless of the clinical response to chloroquine. The sequence polymorphism patterns in pfcrt in the majority of parasites examined were identical to those observed in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea.

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