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Drug-Resistant Malaria Cases Imported To U.K. From African Nations Pose Warning For Continent, Study Says

NPR: Drug-Resistant Malaria Turns Up In The U.K.
“…Resistance to artemisinin-based medications has been slowly developing in Southeast Asia. And now these malaria wonder drugs look like they may be starting to lose their mojo in Africa, too. Late in 2015, health officials in Britain for the first time came across a cluster of malaria cases that refused to succumb to Artemether-lumefantrine. The patients were travelers who had returned from three different African countries — Angola, Liberia, and Uganda. After being treated with Artemether-lumefantrine, each patient appeared to be cured. Then the parasitic infections came racing back. … In an article published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Sutherland and his colleagues document the four cases…” (Beaubien, 1/31).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Failure of malaria drug ‘early warning’ for Africa, researchers say
“… ‘This is concerning and may indicate that there’s a bigger story beginning to emerge in Africa,’ Colin Sutherland, a medical researcher from the [London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine], told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. ‘It may be an early warning that we need to change a few things,’ he said, calling for more research into the efficacy of the Artemether-lumefantrine drug. Sutherland said he had heard anecdotes from colleagues in Africa who had also seen resistance by parasites to the drug, saying the cases seem to be developing in different parts of the continent slowly…” (Hayden, 1/31).

VOA News: British Scientists: Drug-resistant Malaria Cases ‘A Warning For Africa’
“… ‘If [the use of artemisinin-based medications] is under threat from resistance, and we have not absolutely ascertained that is the case but we suspect it is, [it’s] certainly time now to look very carefully at that. If it is under threat, then that is a serious issue and we need to take steps,’ said Dr. Sutherland. Such steps might involve using other drugs alongside [artemisinin combination therapy]. But such a change of strategy takes time, said Sutherland…” (Ridgwell, 2/1).

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