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.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom may hire Turkish power ship

    Cambodia is considering negotiating with Turkey to hire a 200MW-capacity power ship to meet electricity demands as the country faces an ongoing electrical shortage, according to the prime minister. Speaking to garment workers in Pursat province on Wednesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Electricite du

  • ‘Kingdom lacks up to 400MW in available electricity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the general public, hoteliers and businesspeople with generators to use them as back-up as the Electricity Authority of Cambodia cannot generate enough electricity to meet needs due to low water levels in power station reservoirs. On Saturday evening

  • EDC tackles power shortfall

    Electrcite Du Cambodge (EDC) on Monday issued a statement updating the public on its efforts to tackle insufficient electricity supplies during the ongoing dry season. Reductions in electricity prices have resulted in a steady increase in consumers in the Kingdom, while local and international investors

  • African swine fever spreads to VN-Cambodia border

    African swine fever has spread to parts of Vietnam that border Cambodia’s Ratanakkiri and Kratie provinces, a Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries official said on Friday. Tan Phannara, the General Directorate of Animal Health and Production director-general, told a Phnom Penh workshop that