Artemisinin resistance

Abstract number: S282

Noedl H.

Within the past 10 years virtually all malaria-endemic countries have officially adopted artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) as first or second line therapy for the treatment of P. falciparum malaria. Artemisinins have become the most essential class of antimalarials, their impact comparable only to that of chloroquine in the mid 20th century. Spreading artemisinin resistance could therefore have a devastating impact on malaria control efforts throughout the malaria-endemic world. In the current situation losing a single class of antimalarial drugs to resistance may severely impact the ability of many countries to treat falciparum malaria.

The concept of artemisinin resistance has been a contentious one for many years, with some authorities suggesting that it was unlikely to arise in the first place. However, recent data indicate that the first cases of genuine artemisinin resistance have already emerged in western Cambodia. We may already be losing artemisinins in selected parts of the world.

Our data showing individual parasite isolates resistant to high doses of artemisinins, prolonged parasite clearance times, and reduced in vitro drug response indicate that this phenomenon is as yet limited to a relatively small proportion of the parasite isolates and probably also to a relatively small area in Southeast Asia.

Once it starts spreading, resistance to artemisinin derivatives, currently the most essential antimalarial drugs, could very well be the most devastating event in the history of malaria control in the 21st century. Artemisinin-resistant malaria is a new emerging disease that will require new treatment and control strategies to limit the impact and spread of resistance to the rest of the malaria-endemic world.

Session Details

Date: 10/04/2010
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: Abstracts 20th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: Vienna, Austria, 10 - 13 April 2010
Presentation type:
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