What is needed to avert antimalarial drug resistance in India

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What is needed to avert antimalarial drug resistance in India

  • 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.