Artemisinin resistance could endanger fight against malaria

Talha Burki | 30 Apr 2009
The Lancet Infectious Diseases
WHO has issued a warning about the emergence of artemisinin-resistant malaria along the Thai—Cambodia border. Hiroki Nakatani (WHO, Geneva, Switzerland) commented that unless the situation is brought under control "it could spread rapidly to neighbouring countries and threaten our efforts to control this deadly disease".

If used properly, artemisinin is effective in treating over 90% of cases of malaria. As things stand, there are no prospective alternatives: all the phase II and phase III of antimalarial treatments are for artemisinin-based combination therapies. "If we lose artemisinin, we're in serious trouble", Prudence Hamade (Malaria Consortium, London, UK) told TLID.

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