Molecular screening for Plasmodium falciparum resistance markers for artemisinins in Mbita, Kenya
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Artemisinins-based combination therapies (ACTs) are being recommended against uncomplicated malaria in endemic areas of Africa. However, in these areas data on their long term usefulness is limited. It has been demonstrated that ACTs resistance may be due to single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the chemotherapeutic target, the SERCA-type ATPase protein (PfATPase6). This study analyzed PfATPase6 mutations in asymptomatic infections from samples collected from Mbita, a malaria endemic region in Kenya. Mutations in A623E and S769N residues were screened with gene specific primers followed by sequencing. The study demonstrates that there is no mutation in Mbita, Kenya because neither A623E nor S769N PfATPase6 mutations were detected. Resurgence of infections in this area could be due to re-infections and not drug failure. The study recommends that other sites be assessed for PfATPase 6 mutations to verify the long-term usefulness of ACT and monitor any emergency of resistance.