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Antifolate drug resistance and point mutations in Plasmodium falciparum in Kenya

by Khan B, Omar S, Kanyara JN, Warren-Perry M, Nyalwidhe J, Peterson DS, Wellems T, Kaniaru S, Gitonga J, Mulaa FJ, Koech DK

Published in 1997

Due to increased chloroquine resistance, the antifolate/sulpha drug combinations are becoming increasingly important in the chemotherapy of falciparum malaria. However, point mutations in the dihydrofolate reductase gene lead to resistance to the antifolate drugs. We therefore investigated the prevalence of the 6 reported point mutations in this gene among field isolates of Plasmodium falciparum from Kenya, to determine if the mutations correlated with resistance to pyrimethamine and the biguanides cycloguanil and chlorcycloguanil. We used a mutation-specific polymerase chain reaction technique to test for these reported mutations in 21 Kenyan isolates and 4 reference lines. We also amplified and directly sequenced the dihydrofolate reductase coding sequence from these parasites to confirm the results and test for other possible mutations. Of the reported mutations, we found S108N, which is the central mutation of pyrimethamine resistance, and mutations N51I and C59R, which modulate the levels of resistance and may confer decreases in response to cycloguanil that are folate and p-aminobenzoic acid dependent. No isolate possessed the paired point mutations S108T and A16V, or I164L and S108N, which have been associated with cycloguanil resistance in previous studies. These results provided supportive evidence for the combined use of a cycloguanil-class drug (e.g., chlorproguanil) and a sulpha drug (e.g., dapsone) against P.falciparum malaria in Kenya.

Mutations in Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase and dihydropteroate synthase and epidemiologic patterns of pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine use and resistance

by Plowe CV, Cortese JF, Djimde A, Nwanyanwu OC, Watkins WM, Winstanley PA, Estrada-Franco JG, Mollinedo RE, Avila JC, Cespedes JL, Carter D, Doumbo OK

Published in 1997

To assess the relationship between mutations in Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS) and clinical pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine resistance, polymerase chain reaction surveys and analyses for new mutations were conducted in four countries with increasing levels of pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine resistance: Mali, Kenya, Malawi, and Bolivia. Prevalence of mutations at DHFR codon 108 and a new mutation at DHPS 540 correlated with increased pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine resistance (P < .05). Mutations at DHFR 51, DHFR 59, and DHPS 437 correlated with resistance without achieving statistical significance. Mutations at DHFR 164 and DHPS 581 were common in Bolivia, where pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine resistance is widespread, but absent in African sites. Two new DHFR mutations, a point mutation at codon 50 and an insert at codon 30, were found only in Bolivia. DHFR and DHPS mutations occur in a progressive, stepwise fashion. Identification of specific sets of mutations causing in vivo drug failure may lead to the development of molecular surveillance methods for pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine resistance.

High prevalence of mutations in the dihydrofolate reductase gene of Plasmodium falciparum in isolates from Tanzania without evidence of an association to clinical sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine resistance

by Jelinek T, Ronn AM, Curtis J, Duraisingh MT, Lemnge M M, Mhina J, Bygbjerg IC, Warhurst DC

Published in 1997

Recently the efficacy of sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (S/P) in treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Tanzania has been seriously compromised by the development of resistance. The occurrence of active site mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum gene sequence coding for dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is known to confer resistance to pyrimethamine. This study investigates the occurrence of these mutations in infected blood samples taken from Tanzanian children before treatment with S/P and their relationship to parasite breakthrough by day 7. The results confirm the occurrence of one or more DHFR mutations in all the samples, but no relationship was found with the presence of parasites in the blood at day 7. The results suggest that alterations in the coding region for dihydropteroate synthetase (DHPS), the enzyme target for sulfadoxine, should be studied in order to predict resistance to the S/P combination. It has been proposed earlier that sulfadoxine could itself act on DHFR, because of a false dihydrofolate produced by drug metabolism through DHPS and dihydrofolate synthase. The results of this treatment study suggest that such a possibility is unlikely.

Antifolate drug resistance and point mutations in Plasmodium falciparum in Kenya

by Khan B, Omar S, Kanyara JN, Warren-Perry M, Nyalwidhe J, Peterson DS, Wellems T, Kaniaru S, Gitonga J, Mulaa FJ, Koech DK

Published in 1997

Due to increased chloroquine resistance, the antifolate/sulpha drug combinations are becoming increasingly important in the chemotherapy of falciparum malaria. However, point mutations in the dihydrofolate reductase gene lead to resistance to the antifolate drugs. We therefore investigated the prevalence of the 6 reported point mutations in this gene among field isolates of Plasmodium falciparum from Kenya, to determine if the mutations correlated with resistance to pyrimethamine and the biguanides cycloguanil and chlorcycloguanil. We used a mutation-specific polymerase chain reaction technique to test for these reported mutations in 21 Kenyan isolates and 4 reference lines. We also amplified and directly sequenced the dihydrofolate reductase coding sequence from these parasites to confirm the results and test for other possible mutations. Of the reported mutations, we found S108N, which is the central mutation of pyrimethamine resistance, and mutations N51I and C59R, which modulate the levels of resistance and may confer decreases in response to cycloguanil that are folate and p-aminobenzoic acid dependent. No isolate possessed the paired point mutations S108T and A16V, or I164L and S108N, which have been associated with cycloguanil resistance in previous studies. These results provided supportive evidence for the combined use of a cycloguanil-class drug (e.g., chlorproguanil) and a sulpha drug (e.g., dapsone) against P.falciparum malaria in Kenya.

Mutations in Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase and dihydropteroate synthase and epidemiologic patterns of pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine use and resistance

by Plowe CV, Cortese JF, Djimde A, Nwanyanwu OC, Watkins WM, Winstanley PA, Estrada-Franco JG, Mollinedo RE, Avila JC, Cespedes JL, Carter D, Doumbo OK

Published in 1997

To assess the relationship between mutations in Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS) and clinical pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine resistance, polymerase chain reaction surveys and analyses for new mutations were conducted in four countries with increasing levels of pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine resistance: Mali, Kenya, Malawi, and Bolivia. Prevalence of mutations at DHFR codon 108 and a new mutation at DHPS 540 correlated with increased pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine resistance (P < .05). Mutations at DHFR 51, DHFR 59, and DHPS 437 correlated with resistance without achieving statistical significance. Mutations at DHFR 164 and DHPS 581 were common in Bolivia, where pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine resistance is widespread, but absent in African sites. Two new DHFR mutations, a point mutation at codon 50 and an insert at codon 30, were found only in Bolivia. DHFR and DHPS mutations occur in a progressive, stepwise fashion. Identification of specific sets of mutations causing in vivo drug failure may lead to the development of molecular surveillance methods for pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine resistance.

High prevalence of mutations in the dihydrofolate reductase gene of Plasmodium falciparum in isolates from Tanzania without evidence of an association to clinical sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine resistance

by Jelinek T, Ronn AM, Curtis J, Duraisingh MT, Lemnge M M, Mhina J, Bygbjerg IC, Warhurst DC

Published in 1997

Recently the efficacy of sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (S/P) in treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Tanzania has been seriously compromised by the development of resistance. The occurrence of active site mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum gene sequence coding for dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is known to confer resistance to pyrimethamine. This study investigates the occurrence of these mutations in infected blood samples taken from Tanzanian children before treatment with S/P and their relationship to parasite breakthrough by day 7. The results confirm the occurrence of one or more DHFR mutations in all the samples, but no relationship was found with the presence of parasites in the blood at day 7. The results suggest that alterations in the coding region for dihydropteroate synthetase (DHPS), the enzyme target for sulfadoxine, should be studied in order to predict resistance to the S/P combination. It has been proposed earlier that sulfadoxine could itself act on DHFR, because of a false dihydrofolate produced by drug metabolism through DHPS and dihydrofolate synthase. The results of this treatment study suggest that such a possibility is unlikely.

Resistance to antifolates in Plasmodium falciparum monitored by sequence analysis of dihydropteroate synthetase and dihydrofolate reductase alleles in a large number of field samples of diverse origins

by Wang P, Lee CS, Bayoumi R, Djimde A, Doumbo O, Swedberg G, Dao LD, Mshinda H, Tanner M, Watkins WM, Sims P, Hyde JE

Published in 1997

Resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to antifolate chemotherapy is a significant problem where combinations such as Fansidar (pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine; PYR-SDX) are used in the treatment of chloroquine-resistant malaria. Antifolate resistance has been associated with variant sequences of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and dihydropteroate synthetase (DHPS), the targets of PYR and SDX respectively. However, while the nature and distribution of mutations in the dhfr gene are well established, this is not yet the case for dhps. We have thus examined by DNA sequence analysis 141 field samples from several geographical regions with differing Fansidar usage (West and East Africa, the Middle East and Viet Nam) to establish a database of the frequency and repertoire of dhps mutations, which were found in 60% of the samples. We have also simultaneously determined from all samples their dhfr sequences, to better understand the relationship of both types of mutation to Fansidar resistance. Whilst the distribution of mutations was quite different across the regions surveyed, it broadly mirrored our understanding of relative Fansidar usage. In samples taken from individual patients before and after drug treatment, we found an association between the more highly mutated forms of dhps and/or dhfr and parasites that were not cleared by antifolate therapy. We also report a novel mutation in a Pakistani sample at position 16 of DHFR (A16S) that is combined with the familiar C59R mutation, but is wild-type at position 108. This is the first observation in a field sample of a mutant dhfr allele where the 108 codon is unchanged.

Resistance to antifolates in Plasmodium falciparum monitored by sequence analysis of dihydropteroate synthetase and dihydrofolate reductase alleles in a large number of field samples of diverse origins

by Wang P, Lee CS, Bayoumi R, Djimde A, Doumbo O, Swedberg G, Dao LD, Mshinda H, Tanner M, Watkins WM, Sims P, Hyde JE

Published in 1997

Resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to antifolate chemotherapy is a significant problem where combinations such as Fansidar (pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine; PYR-SDX) are used in the treatment of chloroquine-resistant malaria. Antifolate resistance has been associated with variant sequences of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and dihydropteroate synthetase (DHPS), the targets of PYR and SDX respectively. However, while the nature and distribution of mutations in the dhfr gene are well established, this is not yet the case for dhps. We have thus examined by DNA sequence analysis 141 field samples from several geographical regions with differing Fansidar usage (West and East Africa, the Middle East and Viet Nam) to establish a database of the frequency and repertoire of dhps mutations, which were found in 60% of the samples. We have also simultaneously determined from all samples their dhfr sequences, to better understand the relationship of both types of mutation to Fansidar resistance. Whilst the distribution of mutations was quite different across the regions surveyed, it broadly mirrored our understanding of relative Fansidar usage. In samples taken from individual patients before and after drug treatment, we found an association between the more highly mutated forms of dhps and/or dhfr and parasites that were not cleared by antifolate therapy. We also report a novel mutation in a Pakistani sample at position 16 of DHFR (A16S) that is combined with the familiar C59R mutation, but is wild-type at position 108. This is the first observation in a field sample of a mutant dhfr allele where the 108 codon is unchanged.

Molecular basis of in vivo resistance to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine in African adult patients infected with Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites

by Basco LK, Tahar R, Ringwald P

Published in 1998

In vitro sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine resistance has been associated with point mutations in the dihydropteroate synthase and dihydrofolate reductase domains, respectively, but the in vivo relevance of these point mutations has not been well established. To analyze the correlation between genotype and phenotype, 10 Cameroonian adult patients were treated with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine and followed up for 28 days. After losses to follow-up (n = 1) or elimination of DNA samples due to mixed parasite populations with pyrimethamine-sensitive and pyrimethamine-resistant profiles (n = 3), parasite genomic DNA from day 0 blood samples of six patients were analyzed by DNA sequencing. Three patients who were cured had isolates characterized by a wild-type or mutant dihydrofolate reductase gene (with one or two mutations) and wild-type dihydropteroate synthase gene. Three other patients who failed to respond to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine treatment carried isolates with triple dihydrofolate reductase gene mutations and either a wild-type or a mutant dihydropteroate synthase gene. Three dihydrofolate reductase gene codons (51, 59, and 108) may be reliable genetic markers that can accurately predict the clinical outcome of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine treatment in Africa.

Molecular basis of in vivo resistance to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine in African adult patients infected with Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites

by Basco LK, Tahar R, Ringwald P

Published in 1998

In vitro sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine resistance has been associated with point mutations in the dihydropteroate synthase and dihydrofolate reductase domains, respectively, but the in vivo relevance of these point mutations has not been well established. To analyze the correlation between genotype and phenotype, 10 Cameroonian adult patients were treated with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine and followed up for 28 days. After losses to follow-up (n = 1) or elimination of DNA samples due to mixed parasite populations with pyrimethamine-sensitive and pyrimethamine-resistant profiles (n = 3), parasite genomic DNA from day 0 blood samples of six patients were analyzed by DNA sequencing. Three patients who were cured had isolates characterized by a wild-type or mutant dihydrofolate reductase gene (with one or two mutations) and wild-type dihydropteroate synthase gene. Three other patients who failed to respond to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine treatment carried isolates with triple dihydrofolate reductase gene mutations and either a wild-type or a mutant dihydropteroate synthase gene. Three dihydrofolate reductase gene codons (51, 59, and 108) may be reliable genetic markers that can accurately predict the clinical outcome of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine treatment in Africa.

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