Genetic polymorphisms associated with antimalaria drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum population in Ghanaian
Malaria is still a devastating disease in Ghana especially in children and pregnant women. The NMIMR in collaboration with the National Malaria Control Program has been involved in Treatment Efficacy Studies before and after the change in treatment policy in 2005. The artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) drug regimens used for treatment of uncomplicated malaria are artesunate-amodiaquine (AA), artemether-lumefantrine (AL) and dihydroartemisinin piperaquine (DHAP) which have been used for about 17 years. There have been reports of presumptive treatment, noncompliance and the right use of the drugs which may contribute to the development, selection and spread of antimalarial drug resistance parasites due to drug pressure. Since the drugs have been used for years, genetic mutations linked to resistance are being monitored in the parasite population over time. The detection and characterization of the molecular markers of resistance is important for the evaluation of the possibility of the selection of resistant genotypes in parasites populations which serves as an early warning system for policy makers. The objectives are:
- Conduct molecular surveillance for molecular markers of antimalarial drug resistance in Ghanaian malaria parasites.
- Determine geographic and ecological diversity of the markers
iii. Describe the trends in the prevalence of the gene mutations in Ghana over the years and detect evolutionary patterns or signatures of selection.
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