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Short communication: Point mutations in the dihydrofolate reductase and dihydropteroate synthase genes of Plasmodium falciparum isolates from Colombia

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Summary

Point mutations in the dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS) genes of Plasmodium falciparum can lead to an increasing resistance of P. falciparum to pyrimethamine/sulphadoxine. We examined the prevalence of these mutations in 36 samples from Colombia. Analysed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for infection with P. falciparum, 25 (69%) tested positive. These positive isolates were tested further for point mutations in the genes of DHFR (codons 16, 51, 59, 108 and 164) and DHPS (codons 436, 437, 540, 581 and 613) by nested PCR and following mutation-specific restriction enzyme digestion. Gene mutations occurred in both the DHFR and DHPS gene of the Colombian isolates, suggesting that resistance to antifolate drugs exists or may develop soon in Colombia.
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Keywords: Colombia; Plasmodium falciparum; dihydrofolate reductase; dihydropteroate synthase; drug resistance; malaria

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, University of Munich, Germany 2: Instituto Colombiano de Medicina Tropical, Medellin, Colombia

Publication date: February 1, 2003

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