Systematic Review and Geospatial Modeling of Molecular Markers of Resistance to Artemisinins and Sulfadoxine–Pyrimethamine in Plasmodium falciparum in India

The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
2 Apr 2024
Minu Nain, Mehul Dhorda, Jennifer A. Flegg, Apoorv Gupta, Lucinda E. Harrison, Sauman Singh-Phulgenda, Sabina D. Otienoburu, Eli Harriss, Praveen K. Bharti, Beauty Behera, Manju Rahi, Philippe J. Guerin, Amit Sharma

Surveillance for genetic markers of resistance can provide valuable information on the likely efficacy of antimalarials but needs to be targeted to ensure optimal use of resources. We conducted a systematic search and review of publications in seven databases to compile resistance marker data from studies in India. The sample collection from the studies identified from this search was conducted between 1994 and 2020, and these studies were published between 1994 and 2022. In all, Plasmodium falciparum Kelch13 (PfK13), P. falciparum dihydropteroate synthase, and P. falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (PfDHPS) genotype data from 2,953, 4,148, and 4,222 blood samples from patients with laboratory-confirmed malaria, respectively, were extracted from these publications and uploaded onto the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network molecular surveyors. These data were fed into hierarchical geostatistical models to produce maps with a predicted prevalence of the PfK13 and PfDHPS markers, and of the associated uncertainty. Zones with a predicted PfDHPS 540E prevalence of >15% were identified in central, eastern, and northeastern India. The predicted prevalence of PfK13 mutants was nonzero at only a few locations, but were within or adjacent to the zones with >15% prevalence of PfDHPS 540E. There may be a greater probability of artesunate–sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine failures in these regions, but these predictions need confirmation. This work can be applied in India and elsewhere to help identify the treatments most likely to be effective for malaria elimination.