Studies on Malaria Prevalence, Drug Treatment Regimes and Intensity : Current School News

Studies on Malaria Prevalence, Drug Treatment Regimes and Intensity of Chloroquine-Resistant Plasmodium Falciparum in Zaria, Nigeria



– Studies on Malaria Prevalence, Drug Treatment Regimes and Intensity of Chloroquine-Resistant Plasmodium Falciparum in Zaria, Nigeria –


This study was carried out to investigate the malaria prevalence and chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum among malaria patients in Zaria. Six hundred and seventy-eight (678) patients’ demographic and socio-economic information was obtained using a structured questionnaire.
5% Giemsa stained thick blood films from the patients were examined using light microscopy and the samples were also confirmed for positivity using Rapid Diagnostic Test cassettes.

Sucrose-sorbitol density gradient centrifugation was carried out to obtain the asexual stages of the parasite. The eluent was inoculated into a complete malaria culture medium to increase the parasite density/ml.
Isolation of genomic DNA extraction of Plasmodium falciparum was carried out from the culture media using the standard phenol/chloroform extraction method.
Mutations associated with CQ- resistance at codon 76 of pfcrt were analyzed using nested PCR/RFLP. The isolates were genotyped for pfcrt-76 since the presence of a mutation at this codon indicates that the parasite carries a resistant gene.
Of the 678 samples examined, 159 were Plasmodium slide positive indicating an overall prevalence of 23.45%. Of the 425 females examined, 120 were malaria positive while 81 out of the 253 males were positive indicating prevalence rates of 28.35% and 32.01% respectively.
The mean percentage prevalence among pregnant and non-pregnant women was 50% and 26.22% respectively. RDT showed 36 positive results out 159 microscopic samples (22.64%).
DNA extraction from the 36 positive samples yielded no results. To this end, CQ still elicits its therapeutic effect despite previous reports on the parasite resistance to the drug.


Background of Study
Malaria remains one of the most devastating diseases of the developing world, killing 1-3million people and causing disease in 300-500 million people annually (WHO, 2003).
Plasmodium falciparum is a blood-borne Apicomplexan parasite that affects persons living in sub-Saharan and other parts of the world (southeast America, Asia).
This parasite is responsible for most of the complications (Blackwater fever, gastrointestinal disturbance, hyperpyrexia, seizures, and hypoglycemia in pregnant women) associated with human malaria.
Antimalarial drug resistance is a major public health problem, which hinders the control of malaria. Drug resistance in malaria describes the knowledge about the problem and also outlines the current thinking regarding strategies to limit the advent, spread and intensification of drug-resistant malaria, thereby affecting challenges facing malaria control today (WHO, 2001).
Resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to chloroquine, the cheapest and most used drug is spreading in almost all endemic countries. Chloroquine is a 4-aminoquinoline derivative of quinine, which was synthesized around 1934, has since been the most widely used antimalarial drug (Bruce-Chwatt, 1980; WHO, 2001).
Chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum has been described everywhere Plasmodium falciparum malaria is transmitted except for the malarious areas of central America, in the limited areas of the Middle East and Central Asia (Mockenhaupt, 1995).
Again, many antimalarial drugs currently in use are closely related chemically and the development of resistance to one can facilitate the development of resistance to others (Basco, 1991).


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