Therapeutic efficacy of chloroquine and sequence variation in pfcrt gene among patients with falciparum malaria in central India

Praveen Kumar Bharti, Mohammad Tauqeer Alam, Robert Boxer, Man Mohan Shukla, Sant P. Gautam, Yagya D. Sharma, Neeru Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives To assess the therapeutic efficacy of chloroquine (CQ) treatment against uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum infections in a tribal population of central India (Madhya Pradesh) and to investigate the prevalence of mutant P. falciparum chloroquine-resistant transporter (pfcrt) gene in the parasite population. Methods Clinical and parasitological response was determined by in-vivo testing. For molecular testing, the parasite DNA was extracted from blood samples and used to amplify and sequence parts of the pfcrt (44-177 codons), MSP1 (block 2) and MSP2 (central repeat region) genes. Results Of 463 patients presenting fever, 137 tested positive for P. falciparum. They were treated with CQ. Of these, 58% participated in the study. Overall, treatment failure occurred in 53% of participants. Children under 5 years of age showed significantly more CQ resistance than adults. Mutant genotype S 72V73M74N75T76 was prevalent among both CQ responders (61.29%) and non-responders (66.7%). Interestingly, several patients from the CQ non-responder group (33.3%, n = 39) were harbouring parasite with wild type C72V73M 74N75K76 genotype of the pfcrt gene. Microsatellite sequences downstream of exon 2 varied widely among both wild type and mutant pfcrt haplotypes. Conclusion The high rate of treatment failure in the present study clearly indicates the need to reassess the use of CQ as first-line antimalarial therapy in central India. This is supported by the presence of mutant pfcrt genotype among majority of the parasite population of the CQ non-responder group of patients. However, the presence of wild type amino acid at codon 76 of the pfcrt gene among several patients with CQ non-responders requires further investigations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-40
Number of pages8
JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • CQ
  • Central India
  • Mutant
  • Pfcrt gene
  • Resistance
  • Wild type

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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