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A highly drug resistant malaria "superbug" from western Cambodia is now present in southern Vietnam, leading to alarming failure rates for dihydroartemisinin (DHA)-piperaquine — Vietnam’s national first-line malaria treatment, leading malaria scientists warn.

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The spread of this dominant artemisinin drug resistant P falciparum C580Y mutant malaria parasite lineage across the entire Mekong Sub-region is a serious threat to malaria control and eradication efforts, the scientists say in a letter published today in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

"A single mutant strain of very drug resistant malaria has now spread from western Cambodia to north-eastern Thailand, southern Laos and into southern Vietnam and caused a large increase in treatment failure of patients with malaria," says letter co-author Oxford Prof. Arjen Dondorp, Head of Malaria and Deputy Head of the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) in Thailand, Asia.

Read more (Nuffield Department of Medicine website)

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