Increasedpfmdr1copy number inPlasmodium falciparumisolates from Suriname

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Amplification of the pfmdr1 gene is associated with clinical failures and reduced in vivo and in vitro sensitivity to both mefloquine and artemether–lumefantrine in South-East Asia. Several African countries have reported the absence or very low prevalence of increased copy number, whilst South American reports are limited to Peru without and Venezuela with increased pfmdr1 multiplication. The relative pfmdr1 copy numbers were assessed in 68 isolates from Suriname collected from different endemic villages (2005) and from mining areas (2009). 11% of the isolates harbour multiple copies of the pfmdr1 gene. Isolates originating from mining areas do not yet display a higher tendency for increased copy number and no significant differences could be registered within a time span of 4 years, but the mere presence of increased copy number warrants caution and should be considered as an early warning sign for emerging drug resistance in Suriname and South America.

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