Resistance to front-line malaria drugs confirmed in Africa
Scientists have confirmed that malaria parasites in Africa have developed resistance to a key family of drugs used to protect against them.
“We’ve all been expecting and dreading this for quite some time,” says Leann Tilley, a biochemist at the University of Melbourne in Australia, who researches the molecular basis of antimalarial resistance.
Signs of drug resistance have long been present in Africa: for instance, in Rwanda between 2012 and 2015, scientists detected1 the existence of gene mutations associated with resistance in malaria parasites. A new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine today2, bolsters these findings by showing that such mutations are causing an observable drop in antimalarials’ ability to quickly treat people with the disease.