Rapid Increase in the Prevalence of Sulfadoxine-Pyrimethamine Resistance among Plasmodium falciparum Isolated from Pregnant Women in Ghana

Mockenhaupt, Frank P.; Bedu-Addo, George; Eggelte, Teunis A.; Hommerich, Lena; Holmberg, Ville; von Oertzen, Christa; Bienzle, Ulrich
November 2008
Journal of Infectious Diseases;11/15/2008, Vol. 198 Issue 10, p1545
Academic Journal
Use of intermittent preventive treatment with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) during pregnancy (IPTp-SP) has become policy in much of sub-Saharan Africa but crucially depends on the efficacy of SP. We assessed the frequency of the dhfr triple mutation among Plasmodium falciparum isolates obtained from pregnant Ghanaian women in 1998, 2000, and 2006. The prevalence of the triple mutation, which confers resistance to SP, doubled from 36% to 73% during the study period (P<.001). In 2006, the prevalence was virtually identical among women of early gestation and delivering women with or without a history of IPTp-SP use, indicating that such treatment did not select for mutant parasites. Nevertheless, IPTp-SP may be outdated by drug resistance before it is fully implemented.


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