In vivo delayed clearance of Plasmodium falciparum malaria independent of kelch13 polymorphisms and with escalating malaria in Bangladesh.
Maisha Khair Nima,
Saiful Arefeen Sazed,
Muhammad Riadul Haque Hossainey,
Ching Swe Phru,
Fatema Tuj Johora,
Afsana Alamgir Khan,
Aung Swi Prue Marma,
Russell E Ware,
Wasif Ali Khan,
Mohammad Shafiul Alam,
Posted 26 Jun 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.06.24.21259123
Posted 26 Jun 2021
The emergence of resistance to artemisinin drugs threatens global malaria control. Resistance is widely seen in South East Asia (SEA) and Myanmar, but not comprehensively assessed in Bangladesh. This is due to lack of measuring parasite clearance times in response to drug treatment, a gold standard used to track artemisinin resistance (AR), in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), where >90% of malaria occurs in Bangladesh. Here we report delay in clinical parasite clearance half-lives > 5 h characteristic of AR, in Bandarban, a south-eastern rural, CHT district with escalating malaria and bordering Myanmar. Thirty-one and 68 malaria patients respectively presented in the clinic in 2018 and 2019, and this increase well correlated to the district-level malaria surge and rise in rainfall, humidity and temperature. A total of 27 patients with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria mono-infection, after administration of an artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) showed median (range) parasite clearance half-life and time of 5.6 (1.5 --9.6) and 24 (12--48) hours (h) respectively. The frequency distribution of parasite clearance half-life and time was bimodal, with a slower parasite clearance of 8 h in 20% of the participants. There was however, no detectable parasitemia 72 h after initiating ACT. Half-life clearance of > 5h, respectively seen in 35% and 40% of participants in 2018 and 2019, lacked in correlation to initial parasitemia, blood count parameters or resistance mutations of PfKelch13 (K13, the major parasite marker of AR). Culture adapted strains await assessment of in vitro resistance and new parasite determinants of AR.
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