The Birthplace of Resistance

An “alarming” decline in the effectiveness of go-to malaria drugs in Southeast Asia could signal their eventual failure across the globe, according to 2 new Lancet studies led by authors from Wellcome Sanger Institute and the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit in Bangkok.

The Mekong Delta region has been the birthplace of resistance to many generations of malaria drugs; the current go-to artemisinin combination treatment is no different. One study found that the drug had a 50% overall failure rate; another tracked how resistance has spread from Cambodia to parts of Thailand and Vietnam.

While the resistance is largely confined to the Mekong Delta region, there’s no reason these parasites can’t spread elsewhere.

NPR Goats and Soda

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