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Antimalarial drug resistance: A review of the biology and strategies to delay emergence and spread

Antimalarial drug resistance: A review of the biology and strategies to delay emergence and spread

The Question

This article examines what is known about how resistance to antimalarial drugs emerges and spreads, and reviews various strategies for controlling the spread of resistance.

What we found

This paper is a literature review, and as such there are no new findings to report. However, the author concludes that “the emergence of an artemisinin-resistant phenotype threatens one of the key components of elimination and eradication plans, and new control strategies are ugently needed.” He also notes that devising these strategies will require “a better understanding of how drug resistance emerges and spreads.”

Why it matters

Artemisinin-based therapies are currently the most effective treatment for malaria. If these drugs were to be lost to resistance, which already appears to be emerging in Southeast Asia, the results could be globally catastrophic.