Artemisinin (ART) resistance in Plasmodium falciparum is thought to occur during the early stage of the parasite's erythrocytic cycle. Here, we identify a novel factor associated with the late stage parasite development that contributes to ART resistance.
Artemisinin resistance has emerged and spread in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), followed by artemisinin-based combination therapy failure, due to both artemisinin and partner drug resistance. More worrying, artemisinin resistance has been recently reported and confirmed in Rwanda. Therefore, there is an urgent need to strengthen surveillance systems beyond the GMS to track the emergence or spread of artemisinin and partner drug resistance in other endemic settings. Currently, anti-malarial drug efficacy is monitored primarily through therapeutic efficacy studies (TES).
The rise in Plasmodium falciparum resistance to dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine in Vietnam justifies the need to evaluate alternative artemisinin-based combination therapies. Between July 2018 and October 2019, a single-arm trial of pyronaridine-artesunate (Pyramax, PA) was conducted in Dak Nong province, Vietnam. PA (3-day course) was administered to adults and children infected with P. falciparum. PA was well tolerated by the participants. The proportion of patients with Day 42 PCR-corrected adequate clinical and parasitological response was 95.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 82.3 to 98.8, n = 40/42) for treating falciparum malaria.
The causative agent of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, has been developing resistance to several drugs worldwide since more than five decades. Initially, resistance was toward drugs such as chloroquine, pyrimethamine, sulfadoxine, mefloquine, and quinine. Research studies are now reporting the resistance of parasites to the most effective and novel drug used against malaria infection worldwide, that is, artemisinin; for this reason, the first-line treatment strategy, including artemisinin combination therapy, is becoming unsuccessful in areas where drug resistance is highly prevalent.
Malaria remains a major public health disease due to its high yearly mortality and morbidity. Resistance to the gold standard drug, artemisinin, is worrisome and needs better understanding in order to be overcome. In this work, we sought to study whether redox processes are involved in artemisinin resistance. As artemisinin is known to act among others via production of reactive species, we first compared the production of reactive oxygen species and concomitant protein oxidation in artemisinin-sensitive and artemisinin-resistant parasites when treated with artemisinin.
To the Editor—In a study of 10 Plasmodium falciparum–infected volunteers with submicroscopic parasitemias given a single 200-mg dose of artesunate, Rebelo et al  reported a substantial difference in the ex vivo growth of sequentially sampled circulating ring-stage  parasites comparing infections with artemisinin-sensitive (Pfkelch wild-type) and artemisinin-resistant (Pfkelch R539T) parasites.
Since the spread of chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum in the 1960s, recommendations have been made on how to respond to antimalarial resistance. Only with the advent of artemisinin partial resistance were large scale efforts made in the Greater Mekong Subregion to carry out recommendations in a coordinated and well-funded manner. Independent emergence of parasites partially resistant to artemisinins has now been reported in Rwanda.
It is well-known that Prof. Tu Youyou won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2015 due to the research on artemisinin treating malaria, and this can be regarded as the milestone of modernization of Traditional medicine. This first Nobel Prize in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has aroused profound impetus in the investigation of TCM and attracted global attention to the ancient books of TCM.
Artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) have been used as the first-line treatments against Plasmodium falciparum malaria for decades. Recent advances in chemical proteomics have shed light on the complex mechanism of action of semi-synthetic artemisinin (ARTs), particularly their promiscuous alkylation of parasite proteins via previous heme-mediated bioactivation of the endoperoxide bond. Alarmingly, the rise of resistance to ART in South East Asia and the synthetic limitations of the ART scaffold have pushed the course for the necessity of fully synthetic endoperoxide-based antimalarials.
Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) have been able to reduce the clinical and pathological malaria cases in endemic areas around the globe. However, recent reports have shown a progressive decline in malaria parasite clearance in South-east Asia after ACT treatment, thus envisaging a need for new artemisinin (ART) derivatives and combinations. To address the emergence of drug resistance to current antimalarials, here we report the synthesis of artemisinin-peptidyl vinyl phosphonate hybrid molecules that show superior efficacy than artemisinin alone against chloroquine-resistant as well as multidrug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum strains with EC50 in pico-molar ranges.