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A lineage of multidrug resistant P. falciparum malaria has widely spread and is now established in parts of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, causing high treatment failure rates for the main falciparum malaria medicines, artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs), according to a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Global malaria control threatened by multidrug resistant strain

The emergence and spread of artemisinin drug resistant P. falciparum lineage represents a serious threat to global malaria control and eradication efforts. The authors warn that malaria parasites resistant to both artemisinin and its widely used partner drug piperaquine are now spreading quickly throughout Cambodia, with fitter multidrug resistant parasites spreading throughout western Cambodia, southern Laos and northeastern Thailand.

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