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Resistance to the world's most effective anti-malarial drug, artemisinin, is now widespread across mainland Southeast Asia, seriously threatening global malaria control and elimination, according to a study led by Oxford University researchers based in Thailand.

The study, which analysed blood samples from 1241 malaria patients in 10 countries across Asia and Africa, found that artemisinin resistance in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is now firmly established in Western Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Eastern Myanmar and Northern Cambodia. There are also signs of emerging resistance in Central Myanmar, Southern Laos and Northeastern Cambodia.

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