Artemisinin-Resistant Malaria More Widespread In Asia Than Previously Thought, Research Shows

News outlets discuss a study and commentary regarding the spread of drug-resistant malaria in Asia published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Agence France-Presse: Drug-resistant malaria parasite spreading
“Parasites resistant to the frontline malaria drug have spread westward from southeast Asia to just short of the Indian border — a gateway to Africa, researchers warned Friday…” (Le Roux, 2/20).

BBC News: Malaria on Myanmar-India border is ‘huge threat’
“…Experts said the development was ‘alarming’ and an ‘enormous threat’…” (Gallagher, 2/19).

Bloomberg News: Drug-Resistant Malaria Near India Seen Posing Global Threat
“…The advance into India of the parasites that can’t be stopped by the drug called artemisinin, the frontline treatment for the mosquito-borne disease, would pose a serious threat to the international control and eradication of malaria, according to the study coordinated by the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit and published in The Lancet…” (Matsuyama, 2/19).

New York Times: Malaria in Widening Area Resists Drug, Study Finds
“…The new study in The Lancet shows that resistance to the drug extends more than 1,500 miles away from Cambodia, along the border between Myanmar and India. It was not known whether resistance had spread overland or whether new diagnostic tools were revealing a situation that had previously gone undetected…” (Fuller, 2/19).

NPR: The World Could Be On The Verge Of Losing A Powerful Malaria Drug
“…The great concern is that Southeast Asia has historically been a graveyard for malaria drugs. In the 1960s, malaria parasites in Thailand learned how to fend off chloroquine, a first-line malaria drug. That resistance eventually spread around the globe. In sub-Saharan Africa, the loss of chloroquine cost hundreds of thousands of lives…” (Beaubien, 2/20).

Reuters: Drug-resistant malaria found close to Myanmar border with India
“…And if resistance spreads from Asia to Africa, or emerges in Africa independently — as has been seen before with previously effective but now powerless antimalarials, ‘millions of lives will be at risk,’ they said in a report…” (Kelland, 2/20).

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