Similar trends of pyrimethamine resistance-associated mutations in Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum

Mohammad Tauqeer Alam, Hema Bora, Praveen K. Bharti, Muheet A. Saifi, Manoj K. Das, Vas Dev, Ashwani Kumar, Neeru Singh, Aditya P. Dash, Brahmananda Das, Wajihullah, Yagya D. Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The antifolate drugs sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine are commonly used to treat Plasmodium falciparum malaria. However, they can also affect the Plasmodium vivax parasite if it coexists with P. falciparum, as both species have common drug targets. Resistance to the antifolate drugs arises due to point mutations in the target enzymes of the respective parasite. To assess the cross-species impact of antifolate drug treatment, we describe here the dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) mutations among field isolates of P. vivax and P. falciparum. The overall DHFR mutation rate for P. vivax was lower than that for P. falciparum. However, both species of Plasmodium followed similar trends of DHFR mutations. Similar to P. falciparum, the DHFR mutation rate of P. vivax also varied from region to region. It was lower in P. vivox-dominant regions but higher in the P. falciparum-dominated areas and highest where antifolates are used as the first line of antimalarial treatment. In conclusion, the antifolate treatment of falciparum malaria is proportionately affecting the DHFR mutations of P. vivax, suggesting that the drug should be used with caution to minimize the development of cross-species resistance in the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)857-863
Number of pages7
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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