Association of molecular markers in Plasmodium falciparum crt and mdr1 with in vitro chloroquine resistance: A Philippine study

Toshimitsu Hatabu, Moritoshi Iwagami, Shin ichiro Kawazu, Nao Taguchi, Aleyla D. Escueta, Elena A. Villacorte, Pilarita T. Rivera, Shigeyuki Kano

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Specific mutations in the pfcrt and pfmdr1 genes have been reported to be associated with chloroquine-resistant falciparum malaria parasites worldwide. These genetic markers are considered to be useful tools for the elucidation of several aspects of the epidemiology of drug resistant malaria. In this study, Plasmodium falciparum isolates from three distinct areas of the Philippines were analyzed for drug-resistance-associated genetic mutations, and their association with the in vitro chloroquine (CQ) response. Two novel pfcrt 72-76 allelic types, CVMDT and SVMDT, were detected. The frequency of the pfcrt K76T mutation in the isolates that were successfully tested for in vitro CQ susceptibility was found to be 100% in Kalinga, 80% in Palawan, and 87% in Mindanao. The frequency of the pfmdr1 N86Y mutation was 39% in Kalinga, 35% in Palawan, and 93% in Mindanao isolates. No mutations were found at positions 1042 and 1246 of pfmdr1. However, there were no significant associations found between polymorphisms in these genes and in vitro CQ susceptibility. The results of this study indicate that mutations in pfcrt and pfmdr1 are not predictive of in vitro CQ resistance in Philippine isolates and may therefore not be suitable as molecular markers for surveillance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-170
Number of pages5
JournalParasitology International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2009



  • Chloroquine resistance
  • Philippines
  • pfcrt
  • pfmdr1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases

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