[Molecular surveillance of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum in São Tomé and Príncipe].
The prevalence of point mutations associated with resistance to sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine was determined by sequencing the fragments of genes encoding dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) and dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr), respectively in 59 isolates collected during 2002-2003 in São Tomé and Príncipe to develop an early warning system of drug-resistant P. falciparum. Almost all isolates (57 of 59, 97%) were dhfr mutant. The majority of the isolates (43 of 59, 73%; 16 with mixed alleles) carried the triple dhfr mutations (lle-51/Arg-59/Asn-108). The presence of dhps mutations were only limited to positions 436 and 437. The pure mutant codon Gly-437 was present in 39 out of 59 isolates (66%), in association with Ser-436 (n=34) or Ala-436 (n=5). Mixed isolates displayed different combinations of 436 (Ser, Ala ou Phe) and 437 (Gly with or without Ala) alleles. None of the isolates carried mutant 540, 581 or 613 codons. A total of 39 isolates (66%) were characterized as quadruple mutants (i.e. triple dhfr mutations + Gly-437 dhps mutant allele). Monitoring the possible emergence of isolates carrying multiple dhfr and dhps mutations, in particular codon Glu-540, may be used as an early warning system which indicates a decrease in sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine efficacy.DOI: