Treatment efficacy of artesunate-amodiaquine and prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum drug resistance markers in Zanzibar, 2002-2017
Abstract: Introduction: Emergence of resistance to artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) is a major threat to combat Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Regular therapeutic studies to monitor treatment efficacy is essential, and genotyping of molecular makers is useful for mapping development and spread of resistance. Aims: The study aims are to assess efficacy of artesunate-amodiquine (ASAQ) and prevalence of molecular markers of drug resistance in Zanzibar in 2017. Methods: Treatment efficacy of the clinical trial conducted in 2017 was compared with efficacies in 2002 and 2005. A total of 142 samples were genotyped for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter gene (pfcrt) gene, the P. falciparum multi drug resistance 1 (pfmdr1) gene, and in the P. falciparum Kelch 13 (PfK13) propeller region. Prevalence of SNPs were assessed during the period 2002-2017. Results: Cure rate was 100% in 2017, compared to 94% and 96%, in 2002-2003 and 2005, respectively. Day 3 fever clearance rate were also high 93% (2002-3), 99% (2005) and 98% (2017) in all studies. Prevalence of pfcrt 76T, pfmdr1 86Y, 184Y and 1246Y and pfmdr1 (86Y, 184Y and 1246Y) YYY haplotypes were significantly decreased between 2002-3 and 2017 (p < 0.001). No SNP in the PfK13 gene related to artemisinin resistance was identified. Conclusion: Efficacy of ASAQ remains high after fourteen years as first-line treatment, despite the wide-scale use of ASAQ, and there is no evidence of selection of resistance markers in Zanzibar. Continuous monitoring of drug efficacy and resistance markers is recommended.
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