Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Discovery of variations in resistance to sulfadoxine across Africa

15.04.2009
Findings lead experts to call for greater coordination of malaria control campaigns across continent

Researchers have discovered that malaria parasites in east and west Africa carry different resistance mutations, which suggests that the effectiveness of sulfadoxine as an antimalarial drug may vary across Africa.

The findings have implications for the manner in which malaria control campaigns are carried out, and suggest that coordinating efforts between parts of Africa that share similar patterns of resistance is likely to be more effective than working in isolation in each country.

Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) a mosquito-borne parasite that causes malaria, kills nearly one million people a year, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. Until recently, treatment in Africa relied on chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine. Unfortunately, parasites have developed resistance to both these drugs by acquiring 'resistance mutations', genetic changes that prevent the drugs from killing them.

Scientists have discovered that the mutations that caused resistance to chloroquine and pyrimethamine originated in Asia and spread into Africa in the late 1970s and early 1980s respectively. These mutations are now common across Africa and it is no longer possible to determine how they spread across the continent. However, the mutations that cause resistance to sulfadoxine only began to emerge in the mid-1990s, and have not yet spread evenly across Africa.

A study published today in PloS Medicine, and led by Dr. Cally Roper of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, used genetic methods to characterise how resistance to sulfadoxine has spread across Africa, with a view to determining its geographical origins in order to help improve measures aimed at controlling the spread of drug-resistant P. falciparum.

The team analysed blood samples collected from patients with malaria in various African countries, and searched the scientific literature for other similar studies. They discovered five major variant genetic sequences (three of which contain mutations that confer various degrees of resistance to sulfadoxine in laboratory tests) to be present in Africa, each with a unique geographical distribution. In particular, the data showed that malaria parasites in east and west Africa carry different resistance mutations.

The findings show that sulfadoxine-resistant parasites have emerged independently at multiple sites in Africa, and that the molecular basis for sulfadoxine resistance is different in east and west Africa. This latter result may have clinical implications because it suggests that the effectiveness of sulfadoxine as an antimalarial drug may vary across the continent. They also suggest that economic and transport infrastructures may have played a role in governing recent parasite dispersal across the continent through their influence on the volume of human migration.

Dr. Roper comments: 'Our findings suggest that the effectiveness of sulfadoxine as an antimalarial drug may vary across Africa. They also point to the need to co-ordinate malaria control campaigns across socioeconomically linked areas in Africa, rather than focusing solely on national territories, in order to more effectively reduce the malaria burden in the continent'

Gemma Howe | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.lshtm.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
19.07.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY

nachricht NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>