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Antimalarial drug resistance:

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Biotechnology.

 

Context:

In recent years there is increasing evidence for the failure of artemisinin-based combination therapy for falciparum malaria either alone or with partner drugs.

  • A recent study has described the presence of two mutations responsible for artemisinin resistance in Northern Uganda.
  • The current report of artemisinin resistance in East Africa is a matter of great concern as this is the only drug that has saved several lives across the globe.

 

Why is there an increase in Antimalarial drug resistance?

In most malaria-endemic countries including India, Artemisinin-based antimalarial drugs are the first-line choice for malaria treatment especially against Plasmodium falciparum parasite which is responsible for almost all malaria-related deaths in the world. Overuse has led to mutations in P. falciparum cases treated with artemisinin.

 

What needs to be done?

The time has come to carry out Molecular Malaria Surveillance to find out the drug-resistant variants so that corrective measures can be undertaken in time to avert any consequences.

Some experts even advocate using triple artemisinin-based combination therapies where the partner drug is less effective.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Antibiotic resistance?
  2. What are antibodies?
  3. Milk production and consumption in India.
  4. What are critically important antibiotics (CIAs)?

Mains link:

Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest health challenges of 21st century. Examine why.

Sources: Indian Express.