Signs of Drug-Resistant Malarial Mutations in Rwanda

New research delivers troubling signs that drug-resistant mutations in a malaria parasite may be gaining traction in Rwanda, according to a Lancet Infectious Diseases news release, spurring calls for vigilance.
The study, examining treatment outcomes for 224 children under-5 with P. falciparuminfections, documents for the first time that the mutations are associated with delayed parasite clearance. 

  • 3 days post-artemisinin treatment, ~15% of participants in 2 different parts of the country still had detectable parasites.

  • The mutations are more prevalent than previous studies report—indicating likely transmission of the mutations and spurring concern about greater spread geographically.

Drug efficacy remains high so far, the authors emphasized—at 94–97%—but they stressed that along with increased monitoring, additional antimalarials should be considered for Rwanda.

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