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      Sequence analysis of pfcrt and pfmdr1 genes and its association with chloroquine resistance in Southeast Indian Plasmodium falciparum isolates

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          Due to the widespread resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to chloroquine drug, artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) has been recommended as the first-line treatment. This study aims to evaluate the extent of chloroquine resistance in P. falciparum infection after the introduction of ACT. This study was carried out based on the mutation analysis in P. falciparum chloroquine resistant transporter ( pfcrt) and P. falciparum multidrug resistance 1 ( pfmdr1) genes. Identification of these molecular markers plays a significant role in monitoring and assessment of drug resistance as well as in designing an effective antimalarial drug policy in India.


          Sixty blood samples were collected from patients infected with P. falciparum from JIPMER, Puducherry and MKCG Medical College, Odisha. Polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism was performed, targeting the point mutation of K76T in pfcrt and N86Y in pfmdr1 gene. The PCR products were sequenced, genotyped and further analysed for amino acid changes in these codons.


          The frequency of pfcrt mutation at 76th position was dominant for mutant T allele with 56.7% and wild type K, 43.3%. Majority of pfmdr1 86 allele were wild type, with N (90%) and mutant, Y (10%). Additionally, we found three haplotypes for CQ resistance, SVMNT, CVIET and CVIKT in association with the pfcrt gene. However, a poorly studied SNP in pfmdr1 gene (Y184F) associated with CQ resistance showed high frequency (70%) in P. falciparum isolates.


          The point mutation K76T of pfcrt is high in P. falciparum suggesting a sustained high CQ resistance even after five years of the introduction of ACTs for antimalarial therapy. The present study suggests a strong association of CQ resistance with pfcrt T76, but not with the pfmdr1 Y86 mutation. However, sequence analysis showed that Y184F mutation on pfmdr1 gene was found to be associated with high resistance. Also, a new pfcrt haplotype ‘CVIKT’ associated with CQ resistance was found to be present in Indian strains of P. falciparum. The data obtained from this study helps in continuous monitoring of drug resistance in malaria and also suggests the need for careful usage of CQ in Plasmodium vivax malarial treatment.

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          A molecular marker for chloroquine-resistant falciparum malaria.

          Chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria is a major health problem, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Chloroquine resistance has been associated in vitro with point mutations in two genes, pfcrt and pfmdr 1, which encode the P. falciparum digestive-vacuole transmembrane proteins PfCRT and Pgh1, respectively. To assess the value of these mutations as markers for clinical chloroquine resistance, we measured the association between the mutations and the response to chloroquine treatment in patients with uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Mali. The frequencies of the mutations in patients before and after treatment were compared for evidence of selection of resistance factors as a result of exposure to chloroquine. The pfcrt mutation resulting in the substitution of threonine (T76) for lysine at position 76 was present in all 60 samples from patients with chloroquine-resistant infections (those that persisted or recurred after treatment), as compared with a base-line prevalence of 41 percent in samples obtained before treatment from 116 randomly selected patients (P<0.001), indicating absolute selection for this mutation. The pfmdr 1 mutation resulting in the substitution of tyrosine for asparagine at position 86 was also selected for, since it was present in 48 of 56 post-treatment samples from patients with chloroquine-resistant infections (86 percent), as compared with a base-line prevalence of 50 percent in 115 samples obtained before treatment (P<0.001). The presence of pfcrt T76 was more strongly associated with the development of chloroquine resistance (odds ratio, 18.8; 95 percent confidence interval, 6.5 to 58.3) than was the presence of pfmdr 1 Y86 (odds ratio, 3.2; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.5 to 6.8) or the presence of both mutations (odds ratio, 9.8; 95 percent confidence interval, 4.4 to 22.1). This study shows an association between the pfcrt T76 mutation in P. falciparum and the development of chloroquine resistance during the treatment of malaria. This mutation can be used as a marker in surveillance for chloroquine-resistant falciparum malaria.
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            Microsatellite markers reveal a spectrum of population structures in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

            Multilocus genotyping of microbial pathogens has revealed a range of population structures, with some bacteria showing extensive recombination and others showing almost complete clonality. The population structure of the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum has been harder to evaluate, since most studies have used a limited number of antigen-encoding loci that are known to be under strong selection. We describe length variation at 12 microsatellite loci in 465 infections collected from 9 locations worldwide. These data reveal dramatic differences in parasite population structure in different locations. Strong linkage disequilibrium (LD) was observed in six of nine populations. Significant LD occurred in all locations with prevalence <1% and in only two of five of the populations from regions with higher transmission intensities. Where present, LD results largely from the presence of identical multilocus genotypes within populations, suggesting high levels of self-fertilization in populations with low levels of transmission. We also observed dramatic variation in diversity and geographical differentiation in different regions. Mean heterozygosities in South American countries (0.3-0.4) were less than half those observed in African locations (0. 76-0.8), with intermediate heterozygosities in the Southeast Asia/Pacific samples (0.51-0.65). Furthermore, variation was distributed among locations in South America (F:(ST) = 0.364) and within locations in Africa (F:(ST) = 0.007). The intraspecific patterns of diversity and genetic differentiation observed in P. falciparum are strikingly similar to those seen in interspecific comparisons of plants and animals with differing levels of outcrossing, suggesting that similar processes may be involved. The differences observed may also reflect the recent colonization of non-African populations from an African source, and the relative influences of epidemiology and population history are difficult to disentangle. These data reveal a range of population structures within a single pathogen species and suggest intimate links between patterns of epidemiology and genetic structure in this organism.
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              Chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites conferred by pfcrt mutations.

              Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance is a major cause of worldwide increases in malaria mortality and morbidity. Recent laboratory and clinical studies have associated chloroquine resistance with point mutations in the gene pfcrt. However, direct proof of a causal relationship has remained elusive and most models have posited a multigenic basis of resistance. Here, we provide conclusive evidence that mutant haplotypes of the pfcrt gene product of Asian, African, or South American origin confer chloroquine resistance with characteristic verapamil reversibility and reduced chloroquine accumulation. pfcrt mutations increased susceptibility to artemisinin and quinine and minimally affected amodiaquine activity; hence, these antimalarials warrant further investigation as agents to control chloroquine-resistant falciparum malaria.

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                Genom Data
                Genom Data
                Genomics Data
                18 April 2016
                June 2016
                18 April 2016
                : 8
                : 85-90
                [a ]Department of Microbiology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry 605006, India
                [b ]Department of Microbiology, Maharaja Krishna Chandra Gajapati Medical College (MKCG Medical College), Odisha 760004, India
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                [* ]Corresponding author. subhashparija@ 123456yahoo.co.in
                © 2016 The Authors

                This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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