Drug resistance to artemesinin family of drugs?

BBC recently reported drug resistance to artesunate drugs (artemesinin family of drugs for malaria treatment) in western Cambodia.

Out of about 90 patients that American scientists studied so far, about a third to half were still positive for malaria parasites after three days, some even after four or five days. This means the drug is not able to kill the parasites quickly enough, and the parasite may develop tolerance or resistance. The reason for resistance is still not known.

If this is a new form of drug resistance that spreads to other countries, its spread would be a global health disaster. Resistance to previous malaria such as chloroquin and fansidar (SF) caused many unnecessary deaths in Africa.

In our study in Chano near Arba Minch, Eskindir Loha is starting a study to monitor possible resistance to Artemether – Lumefantrine  in a few months.

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