The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1475-2875-11-58) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
EK, SJ and GS carried out the molecular genetic studies and drafted the manuscript. MM, JK and EK carried out field study, patients follow-up and drafted the manuscript. GK, FK and GS conceived the study, and participated in its design and coordination. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Drug resistance to anti-malarials is a major public health problem worldwide. This study aimed at establishing the efficacy of artemether-lumefantrine (ACT) in Igombe-Mwanza, north-western Tanzania after a few years of ACT use, and establish the prevalence of mutations in key targets for artemisinin, chloroquine and sulphadoxine/pyrimetamine (SP) drugs.
A prospective single cohort study was conducted at Igombe health centre using artemether-lumefantrine combination therapy between February 2010 and March 2011. The follow-up period was 28 days and outcome measures were according to WHO guidelines. Blood was collected on Whatman filter paper for DNA analysis. DNA extraction was done using TRIS-EDTA method, and mutations in Pfcrt, Pfmdr 1, Pfdhfr, Pfdhps and Pfatp 6 were detected using PCR-RFLP methods established previously.
A total of 103 patients completed the 28 days follow-up. The mean haemoglobin was 8.9 g/dl (range 5.0 to 14.5 g/dl) and mean parasite density was 5,608 parasites/μl. Average parasite clearance time was 34.7 hours and all patients cleared the parasites by day 3. There was no early treatment failure in this study. Late clinical failure was seen in three (2.9%) patients and late parasitological failure (LPF) was seen in two (1.9%). PCR-corrected LPF was 1% and adequate clinical and parasitological response was 96%. The majority of parasites have wild type alleles on pfcrt 76 and pfmdr 1 86 positions being 87.8% and 93.7% respectively. Mutant parasites predominated at pfdhfr gene at the main three positions 108, 51 and 59 with prevalence of 94.8%, 75.3% and 82.5% respectively. Post-treatment parasites had more wild types of pfdhps at position 437 and 540 than pre-treatment parasites. No mutation was seen in pfatp6 769 in re-infecting or recrudescing parasites.
The efficacy of artemether-lumefantrine for treatment of uncomplicated malaria is still high in the study area although the rate of re-infection is higher than previously reported. Parasite clearance after 48 hours was lower compared to previous studies. The prevalence of wild type allele pfcrt 76 K and pfmdr 1 86 N was high in the study area while markers for SP resistance is still high. Artemether-lumefantrine may be selecting for wild type alleles on both positions (437 and 540) of pfdhps.
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- Efficacy of artemether-lumefantrine in treatment of malaria among under-fives and prevalence of drug resistance markers in Igombe-Mwanza, north-western Tanzania
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