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BackgroundDihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHA-PPQ) combination therapy is the current first-line treatment for Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Thailand. Since its introduction in 2015, resistance to this drug combination has emerged in the eastern part of the Greater Mekong Subregion including the eastern part of Thailand near Cambodia. This study aimed to assess whether the resistance genotypes have arisen the western part of country.MethodsFifty-seven P. falciparum-infected blood samples were collected in Tak province of northwestern Thailand between 2013 and 2019. Resistance to DHA was examined through the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of kelch13. PPQ resistance was examined through the copy number plasmepsin-2 and the SNPs of Pfcrt.ResultsAmong the samples whose kelch13 were successfully sequenced, approximately half (31/55; 56%) had mutation associated with artemisinin resistance, including G533S (23/55; 42%), C580Y (6/55; 11%), and G538V (2/55; 4%). During the study period, G533S mutation appeared and increased from 20% (4/20) in 2014 to 100% (9/9) in 2019. No plasmepsin-2 gene amplification was observed, but one sample (1/54) had the Pfcrt F145I mutation previously implicated in PPQ resistance.ConclusionsKelch13 mutation was common in Tak Province in 2013-2019. A new mutation G533S emerged in 2014 and rose to dominance in 2019. PPQ resistance marker Pfcrt F145I was also detected in 2019. Continued surveillance of treatment efficacy and drug resistance markers is warranted.

Original publication




Journal article


Malaria journal

Publication Date





Department of Tropical Hygiene, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, 10400, Thailand.


Plasmodium falciparum, Artemisinins, Antimalarials, Thailand, Biomarkers