Association of Plasmodium falciparum isolates encoding the P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter gene K76T polymorphism with anemia and splenomegaly, but not with multiple infections
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The aim of the study was to assess whether infections with Plasmodium falciparum isolates encoding the P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt) gene K76T polymorphism, a molecular marker for chloroquine resistance, are associated with multiple infections, age, or clinical signs of malaria in a semi-immune population in a holoendemic area of Burkina Faso. The parameters of interest were investigated in 210 P. falciparum-positive inhabitants. Logistic regression analysis showed that pfcrt K76T-carrying isolates are significantly more likely to cause anemia and splenomegaly. Furthermore, we found that infections with P. falciparum isolates encoding pfcrt K76T are dependent on age rather than multiple infections. Our findings suggest that pfcrt K76T might serve as a valuable marker for assessing the long-term clinical effect of chronic infections with chloroquine-resistant P. falciparum isolates in populations, without the need of drug efficacy trials.
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene