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Frontiers of Medicine >> 2022, Volume 16, Issue 1 doi: 10.1007/s11684-021-0894-x

Prevalence of antifolate drug resistance markers in in China

Available online: 2022-03-03

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The dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) and dihydropteroate synthetase (dhps) genes of Plasmodium vivax and antifolate resistance-associated genes were used for drug resistance surveillance. A total of 375 P. vivax isolates collected from different geographical locations in China in 2009–2019 were used to sequence Pvdhfr and Pvdhps. The majority of the isolates harbored a mutant type allele for Pvdhfr (94.5%) and Pvdhps (68.2%). The most predominant point mutations were S117T/N (77.7%) in Pvdhfr and A383G (66.8%) in Pvdhps. Amino acid changes were identified at nine residues in Pvdhfr. A quadruple-mutant haplotype at 57, 58, 61, and 117 was the most frequent (57.4%) among 16 distinct Pvdhfr haplotypes. Mutations in Pvdhps were detected at six codons, and the double-mutant A383G/A553G was the most prevalent (39.3%). Pvdhfr exhibited a higher mutation prevalence and greater diversity than Pvdhps in China. Most isolates from Yunnan carried multiple mutant haplotypes, while the majority of samples from temperate regions and Hainan Island harbored the wild type or single mutant type. This study indicated that the antifolate resistance levels of P. vivax parasites were different across China and molecular markers could be used to rapidly monitor drug resistance. Results provided evidence for updating national drug policy and treatment guidelines.

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