Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Genetic marker found for drug-resistant malaria parasites

Genetic marker found for drug-resistant malaria parasites

A health worker looks at malaria samples under a microscope at a Pailin province health centre in 2012. Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP
A health worker looks at malaria samples under a microscope at a Pailin province health centre in 2012. Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP

Genetic marker found for drug-resistant malaria parasites

A group of researchers have identified a genetic marker able to detect malaria parasites resistant to piperaquine – a drug that has been used in Cambodia since 2008 in combination with artemisinin – according to a new study.

The findings of the study, published on Thursday in the medical journal the Lancet, pave the way for health officials to better monitor drug resistance and provide alternative effective treatment.

Genetic markers that predict failure of artemisinin combination therapy “are urgently needed to monitor the spread of partner drug resistance, and to recommend alternative treatments in Southeast Asia and beyond”, the study says.

Francois Nosten of the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit, a field station for tropical medicine faculty at Mahidol University in Bangkok, said the researchers’ findings were a major advancement for Cambodia and the region.

“It allows us to track the progression of resistance to this important drug – piperaquine,” he said in an email. “It confirms that [after] the fall of the artemisinins, the partner drugs are now failing as well.”

Scientists at the Pasteur Institute and the National Malaria Control program participated in the research. Researchers at the institute and Huy Rekol, director of the National Malaria Centre couldn’t be reached for comment yesterday.

As of late August, a total of 13,370 malaria cases, but no deaths, had been reported this year.


  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • Passing the test: Is Cambodia’s education system failing its people?

    The Kingdom’s education system needs to grow its people but some flaws might stifle​ this growth Coming from the Khmer Rouge occupation, with the loss of many scholars and academicians and a collapsed government, the education system had to be reconstructed from scratch – one

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia