K13 Propeller Mutations in Plasmodium falciparum Populations in Regions of Malaria Endemicity in Vietnam from 2009 to 2016
Thuy-Nhien N., Tuyen NK., Tong NT., Vy NT., Thanh NV., Van HT., Huong-Thu P., Quang HH., Boni MF., Dolecek C., Farrar J., Thwaites GE., Miotto O., White NJ., Hien TT.
ABSTRACT The spread of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum compromises the therapeutic efficacy of artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) and is considered the greatest threat to current global initiatives to control and eliminate malaria. This is particularly relevant in Vietnam, where dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) is the recommended ACT for P. falciparum infection. The propeller domain gene of K13, a molecular marker of artemisinin resistance, was successfully sequenced in 1,060 P. falciparum isolates collected at 3 malaria hot spots in Vietnam between 2009 and 2016. Eight K13 propeller mutations (Thr474Ile, Tyr493His, Arg539Thr, Ile543Thr, Pro553Leu, Val568Gly, Pro574Leu, and Cys580Tyr), including several that have been validated to be artemisinin resistance markers, were found. The prevalences of K13 mutations were 29% (222/767), 6% (11/188), and 43% (45/105) in the Binh Phuoc, Ninh Thuan, and Gia Lai Provinces of Vietnam, respectively. Cys580Tyr became the dominant genotype in recent years, with 79.1% (34/43) of isolates in Binh Phuoc Province and 63% (17/27) of isolates in Gia Lai Province carrying this mutation. K13 mutations were associated with reduced ring-stage susceptibility to dihydroartemisinin (DHA) in vitro and prolonged parasite clearance in vivo. An analysis of haplotypes flanking K13 suggested the presence of multiple strains with the Cys580Tyr mutation rather than a single strain expanding across the three sites.