Novel phenotypic assays for the detection of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Cambodia: in-vitro and ex-vivo drug-response studies.
ABSTRACT Artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum lengthens parasite clearance half-life during artemisinin monotherapy or artemisinin-based combination therapy. Absence of in-vitro and ex-vivo correlates of artemisinin resistance hinders study of this phenotype. We aimed to assess whether an in-vitro ring-stage survival assay (RSA) can identify culture-adapted P falciparum isolates from patients with slow-clearing or fast-clearing infections, to investigate the stage-dependent susceptibility of parasites to dihydroartemisinin in the in-vitro RSA, and to assess whether an ex-vivo RSA can identify artemisinin-resistant P falciparum infections.
We culture-adapted parasites from patients with long and short parasite clearance half-lives from a study done in Pursat, Cambodia, in 2010 (registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00341003) and used novel in-vitro survival assays to explore the stage-dependent susceptibility of slow-clearing and fast-clearing parasites to dihydroartemisinin. In 2012, we implemented the RSA in prospective parasite clearance studies in Pursat, Preah Vihear, and Ratanakiri, Cambodia (NCT01736319), to measure the ex-vivo responses of parasites from patients with malaria. Continuous variables were compared with the Mann-Whitney U test. Correlations were analysed with the Spearman correlation test.
In-vitro survival rates of culture-adapted parasites from 13 slow-clearing and 13 fast-clearing infections differed significantly when assays were done on 0-3 h ring-stage parasites (10·88% vs 0·23%; p=0·007). Ex-vivo survival rates significantly correlated with in-vivo parasite clearance half-lives (n=30, r=0·74, 95% CI 0·50-0·87; p<0·0001).
The in-vitro RSA of 0-3 h ring-stage parasites provides a platform for the molecular characterisation of artemisinin resistance. The ex-vivo RSA can be easily implemented where surveillance for artemisinin resistance is needed.
Institut Pasteur du Cambodge and the Intramural Research Program, NIAID, NIH.
- SourceAvailable from: PubMed Central[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Across the globe, over 200 million annual malaria infections result in up to 660,000 deaths, 77% of which occur in children under the age of five years. Although prevention is important, malaria deaths are typically prevented by using antimalarial drugs that eliminate symptoms and clear parasites from the blood. Artemisinins are one of the few remaining compound classes that can be used to cure multidrug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum infections. Unfortunately, clinical trials from Southeast Asia are showing that artemisinin-based treatments are beginning to lose their effectiveness, adding renewed urgency to the search for the genetic determinants of parasite resistance to this important drug class. We review the genetic and genomic approaches that have led to an improved understanding of artemisinin resistance, including the identification of resistance-conferring mutations in the P. falciparum kelch13 gene.Genome Biology 11/2014; 15(11):544. · 10.47 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Chloroquine was a cheap, extremely effective drug against Plasmodium falciparum until resistance arose. One approach to reversing resistance is the inhibition of chloroquine efflux from its site of action, the parasite digestive vacuole. Chloroquine accumulation studies have traditionally relied on radiolabelled chloroquine, which poses several challenges. There is a need for development of a safe and biologically relevant substitute. We report here a commercially-available green fluorescent chloroquine-BODIPY conjugate, LynxTag-CQ GREEN, as a proxy for chloroquine accumulation. This compound localized to the digestive vacuole of the parasite as observed under confocal microscopy, and inhibited growth of chloroquine-sensitive strain 3D7 more extensively than in the resistant strains 7G8 and K1. Microplate reader measurements indicated suppression of LynxTag-CQ GREEN efflux after pretreatment of parasites with known reversal agents. Microsomes carrying either sensitive-or resistant-type PfCRT were assayed for uptake; resistant-type PfCRT exhibited increased accumulation of LynxTag-CQ GREEN , which was suppressed by pretreatment with known chemosensitizers. Eight laboratory strains and twelve clinical isolates were sequenced for PfCRT and Pgh1 haplotypes previously reported to contribute to drug resistance, and pfmdr1 copy number and chloroquine IC 50 s were determined. These data were compared with LynxTag-CQ GREEN uptake/fluorescence by multiple linear regression to identify genetic correlates of uptake. Uptake of the compound correlated with the logIC 50 of chloroquine and, more weakly, a mutation in Pgh1, F1226Y. Copyright: ß 2014 Loh et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Data Availability: The authors confirm that all data underlying the findings are fully available without restriction. All relevant data are within the paper. Funding: As part of the Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Program of Wellcome Trust–Mahidol University, Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU) is funded by the Wellcome Trust of Great Britain. The authors further thank the National Research Foundation (NRF2009NRF-POC002–102), the National Medical Research Council (NMRC/1310/2011; NMRC/EDG/1038/2011), and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR, Singapore) for their generous support. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Competing Interests: KSWT and MJL are founding directors of BioLynx Technologies (Singapore), a private company that specializes in fluorophore-conjugated drug surrogates including LynxTag-CQGREEN. Other authors declare no competing interests. KSWT and MJL own minority shares in BioLynx Technologies (Singapore). LR and BR are PLOS ONE Editorial Board Members. This does not alter the authors' adherence to PLOS ONE Editorial policies and criteria. (LMCC) . These authors contributed equally to this work.PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10). · 3.53 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Bangladesh is a malaria hypo-endemic country sharing borders with India and Myanmar. Artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) remains successful in Bangladesh. An increase of artemisinin-resistant malaria parasites on the Thai-Cambodia and Thai-Myanmar borders is worrisome. K13 propeller gene (PF3D7_1343700 or PF13_0238) mutations have been linked to both in vitro artemisinin resistance and in vivo slow parasite clearance rates. This group undertook to evaluate if mutations seen in Cambodia have emerged in Bangladesh where ACT use is now standard for a decade. METHODS: Samples were obtained from Plasmodium falciparum-infected malaria patients from Upazila health complexes (UHC) between 2009 and 2013 in seven endemic districts of Bangladesh. These districts included Khagrachari (Matiranga UHC), Rangamati (Rajasthali UHC), Cox's Bazar (Ramu and Ukhia UHC), Bandarban (Lama UHC), Mymensingh (Haluaghat UHC), Netrokona (Durgapur and Kalmakanda UHC), and Moulvibazar (Sreemangal and Kamalganj UHC). RESULTS: Out of 296 microscopically positive P. falciparum samples, 271 (91.6%) were confirmed as mono-infections by both real-time PCR and nested PCR. The K13 propeller gene from 253 (93.4%) samples was sequenced bi-directionally. One non-synonymous mutation (A578S) was found in Bangladeshi clinical isolates. The A578S mutation was confirmed and lies adjacent to the C580Y mutation, the major mutation causing delayed parasite clearance in Cambodia. Based on computational modeling A578S should have a significant effect on tertiary structure of the protein. CONCLUSION: The data suggest that P. falciparum in Bangladesh remains free of the C580Y mutation linked to delayed parasite clearance. However, the mutation A578S is present and based on structural analysis could affect K13 gene function. Further in vivo clinical studies are required to validate the effect of this mutation.Malaria Journal 11/2014; 13(1):431. · 3.49 Impact Factor