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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060


TOTEJA, Ravi; NAIR, Lathika  and  BHASIN, VK. Genome comparison of progressively drug resistant Plasmodium falciparum lines derived from drug sensitive clone. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 2001, vol.96, n.3, pp.427-433. ISSN 0074-0276.

Chloroquine has been the mainstay of malaria chemotherapy for the past five decades, but resistance is now widespread. Pyrimethamine or proguanil form an important component of some alternate drug combinations being used for treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum infections in areas of chloroquine resistance. Both pyrimethamine and proguanil are dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) inhibitors, the proguanil acting primarily through its major metabolite cycloguanil. Resistance to these drugs arises due to specific point mutations in the dhfr gene. Cross resistance between cycloguanil and pyrimethamine is not absolute. It is, therefore, important to investigate mutation rates in P. falciparum for pyrimethamine and proguanil so that DHFR inhibitor with less mutation rate is favored in drug combinations. Hence, we have compared mutation rates in P. falciparum genome for pyrimethamine and cycloguanil. Using erythrocytic stages of P. falciparum cultures, progressively drug resistant lines were selected in vitro and comparing their RFLP profile with a repeat sequence. Our finding suggests that pyrimethamine has higher mutation rate compared to cycloguanil. It enhances the degree of genomic polymorphism leading to diversity of natural parasite population which in turn is predisposes the parasites for faster selection of resistance to some other antimalarial drugs.

Keywords : Plasmodium falciparum; malaria; drug resistance; sequencing-RFLP; dihydrofolate reductase.

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