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Schunk, Mirjam; Kumma, Wondimagegn P.; Barreto Miranda, Isabel; Osman, Maha E.; Roewer, Susanne; Alano, Abraham; Loescher, Thomas; Bienzle, Ulrich; Mockenhaupt, Frank P. (2006): High prevalence of drug-resistance mutations in Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax in southern Ethiopia. In: Malaria Journal 5:54


Background: In Ethiopia, malaria is caused by both Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. Drug resistance of P. falciparum to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) and chloroquine (CQ) is frequent and intense in some areas. Methods: In 100 patients with uncomplicated malaria from Dilla, southern Ethiopia, P. falciparum dhfr and dhps mutations as well as P. vivax dhfr polymorphisms associated with resistance to SP and P. falciparum pfcrt and pfmdr1 mutations conferring CQ resistance were assessed. Results: P. falciparum and P. vivax were observed in 69% and 31% of the patients, respectively. Pfdhfr triple mutations and pfdhfr/pfdhps quintuple mutations occurred in 87% and 86% of P. falciparum isolates, respectively. Pfcrt T76 was seen in all and pfmdr1 Y86 in 81% of P. falciparum. The P. vivax dhfr core mutations N117 and R58 were present in 94% and 74%, respectively. Conclusion: These data point to an extraordinarily high frequency of drug-resistance mutations in both P. falciparum and P. vivax in southern Ethiopia, and strongly support that both SP and CQ are inadequate drugs for this region.