Malaria is a major public health concern in Northeast India with a preponderance of drug-resistant strains. Until recently the partner drug for artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) was sulphadoxine pyrimethamine (SP). Antifolate drug resistance has been associated with the mutations at dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) and dihydrofolatereductase (dhfr) genes. This study investigated antifolate drug resistance at the molecular level. A total of 249 fever cases from Arunachal Pradesh, NE India, were screened for malaria, and of these, 75 were found to be positive for Plasmodium falciparum. Samples were sequenced and analysed with the help of BioEdit and ClustalW. Three novel point mutations were found in the dhps gene with 10 haplotypes along with the already reported mutations. A single haplotype having quadruple mutation was found in the dhfr gene. The study reports higher degree of antifolate drug resistance as evidenced by the presence of multiple point mutations in dhps and dhfr genes. The findings of this study strongly discourage the use SP as a partner drug in ACT.
- Northeast India
- Plasmodium falciparum
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)