Piperaquine resistance is associated with a copy number variation on chromosome 5 in drug-pressured Plasmodium falciparum parasites.
ABSTRACT: The combination of piperaquine and dihydroartemisinin has recently become the official first-line therapy in several Southeast Asian countries. The pharmacokinetic mismatching of these drugs, whose plasma half-lives are ~20 days and ~1 h, respectively, implies that recrudescent or new infections emerging shortly after treatment cessation will encounter piperaquine as a monotherapy agent. This creates substantial selection pressure for the emergence of resistance. To elucidate potential resistance determinants, we subjected cloned Plasmodium falciparum Dd2 parasites to continuous piperaquine pressure in vitro (47 nM; ~2-fold higher than the Dd2 50% inhibitory concentration [IC(50)]). The phenotype of outgrowth parasites was assayed in two clones, revealing an IC(50) against piperaquine of 2.1 ?M and 1.7 ?M, over 100-fold greater than that of the parent. To identify the genetic determinant of resistance, we employed comparative whole-genome hybridization analysis. Compared to the Dd2 parent, this analysis found (in both resistant clones) a novel single-nucleotide polymorphism in P. falciparum crt (pfcrt), deamplification of an 82-kb region of chromosome 5 (that includes pfmdr1), and amplification of an adjacent 63-kb region of chromosome 5. Continued propagation without piperaquine selection pressure resulted in "revertant" piperaquine-sensitive parasites. These retained the pfcrt polymorphism and further deamplified the chromosome 5 segment that encompasses pfmdr1; however, these two independently generated revertants both lost the neighboring 63-kb amplification. These results suggest that a copy number variation event on chromosome 5 (825600 to 888300) is associated with piperaquine resistance. Transgene expression studies are underway with individual genes in this segment to evaluate their contribution to piperaquine resistance.
Project description:The combination of piperaquine and dihydroartemisinin has recently become the official first-line therapy in several Southeast Asian countries. The pharmacokinetic mismatching of these drugs, whose plasma half lives are ∼20 days and ∼1 hr respectively, implies that recrudescent or new infections emerging shortly after treatment cessation will encounter piperaquine as a monotherapy agent. This creates substantial selection pressure for the emergence of resistance. To elucidate potential resistance determinants, we subjected cloned Plasmodium falciparum Dd2 parasites to continuous piperaquine pressure in vitro (47 nM, ∼two-fold higher than the Dd2 IC(50) value). The phenotype of outgrowth parasites was assayed in two clones, revealing an IC(50) value against piperaquine of 2.1 μM and 1.7 μM, over 100-fold greater than the parent. To identify the genetic determinant of resistance, we employed comparative whole-genome hybridization analysis. Compared to the Dd2 parent, this analysis found (in both resistant clones) a novel single nucleotide polymorphism in pfcrt, deamplification of an 82 kb region of chromosome 5 (that includes pfmdr1), and amplification of an adjacent 63 kb region of chromosome 5. Continued propagation without piperaquine selection pressure resulted in derivation of "revertant" piperaquine-sensitive parasites. These retained the pfcrt polymorphism and further deamplified the chromosome 5 segment that encompasses pfmdr1; however, these two independently generated revertants both lost the neighboring 63 kb amplification. These results suggest that a copy number variation event on chromosome 5 (825600-888300) is associated with piperaquine resistance. Transgenic studies are underway with individual genes in this segment to evaluate their contribution to piperaquine resistance. Overall design: Genome DNA from in vitro Piperaquine-Resistant Parasites vs. Parental Dd2
Project description:The widely used antimalarial combination therapy dihydroartemisinin + piperaquine (DHA + PPQ) has failed in Cambodia. Here, we perform a genomic analysis that reveals a rapid increase in the prevalence of novel mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter PfCRT following DHA + PPQ implementation. These mutations occur in parasites harboring the K13 C580Y artemisinin resistance marker. By introducing PfCRT mutations into sensitive Dd2 parasites or removing them from resistant Cambodian isolates, we show that the H97Y, F145I, M343L, or G353V mutations each confer resistance to PPQ, albeit with fitness costs for all but M343L. These mutations sensitize Dd2 parasites to chloroquine, amodiaquine, and quinine. In Dd2 parasites, multicopy plasmepsin 2, a candidate molecular marker, is not necessary for PPQ resistance. Distended digestive vacuoles were observed in pfcrt-edited Dd2 parasites but not in Cambodian isolates. Our findings provide compelling evidence that emerging mutations in PfCRT can serve as a molecular marker and mediator of PPQ resistance.
Project description:Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHA-PQ) is under study for intermittent preventive treatment during pregnancy (IPTp), but it may accelerate selection for drug resistance. Understanding the relationships between piperaquine concentration, prevention of parasitemia, and selection for decreased drug sensitivity can inform control policies and optimization of DHA-PQ dosing. Piperaquine concentrations, measures of parasitemia, and Plasmodium falciparum genotypes associated with decreased aminoquinoline sensitivity in Africa (pfmdr1 86Y, pfcrt 76T) were obtained from pregnant Ugandan women randomized to IPTp with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) or DHA-PQ. Joint pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic models described relationships between piperaquine concentration and the probability of genotypes of interest using nonlinear mixed effects modeling. An increase in the piperaquine plasma concentration was associated with a log-linear decrease in risk of parasitemia. Our models predicted that higher median piperaquine concentrations would be required to provide 99% protection against mutant infections than against wild-type infections (pfmdr1: N86, 9.6?ng/ml; 86Y, 19.6?ng/ml; pfcrt: K76, 6.5?ng/ml; 76T, 19.6?ng/ml). Comparing monthly, weekly, and daily dosing, daily low-dose DHA-PQ was predicted to result in the fewest infections and the fewest mutant infections per 1,000 pregnancies (predicted mutant infections for pfmdr1 86Y: SP monthly, 607; DHA-PQ monthly, 198; DHA-PQ daily, 1; for pfcrt 76T: SP monthly, 1,564; DHA-PQ monthly, 283; DHA-PQ daily, 1). Our models predict that higher piperaquine concentrations are needed to prevent infections with the pfmdr1/pfcrt mutant compared to those with wild-type parasites and that, despite selection for mutants by DHA-PQ, the overall burden of mutant infections is lower for IPTp with DHA-PQ than for IPTp with SP. (This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under identifier NCT02282293.).
Project description:Mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine (CQ) resistance transporter (PfCRT) are major determinants of verapamil (VP)-reversible CQ resistance (CQR). In the presence of mutant PfCRT, additional genes contribute to the wide range of CQ susceptibilities observed. It is not known if these genes influence mechanisms of chemosensitization by CQR reversal agents. Using quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping of progeny clones from the HB3 × Dd2 cross, we show that the P. falciparum multidrug resistance gene 1 (pfmdr1) interacts with the South-East Asia-derived mutant pfcrt haplotype to modulate CQR levels. A novel chromosome 7 locus is predicted to contribute with the pfcrt and pfmdr1 loci to influence CQR levels. Chemoreversal via a wide range of chemical structures operates through a direct pfcrt-based mechanism. Direct inhibition of parasite growth by these reversal agents is influenced by pfcrt mutations and additional loci. Direct labelling of purified recombinant PfMDR1 protein with a highly specific photoaffinity CQ analogue, and lack of competition for photolabelling by VP, supports our QTL predictions. We find no evidence that pfmdr1 copy number affects CQ response in the progeny; however, inheritance patterns indicate that an allele-specific interaction between pfmdr1 and pfcrt is part of the complex genetic background of CQR.
Project description:Changing treatment practices may be selecting for changes in the drug sensitivity of malaria parasites. We characterized ex vivo drug sensitivity and parasite polymorphisms associated with sensitivity in 459 Plasmodium falciparum samples obtained from subjects enrolled in two clinical trials in Tororo, Uganda, from 2010 to 2013. Sensitivities to chloroquine and monodesethylamodiaquine varied widely; sensitivities to quinine, dihydroartemisinin, lumefantrine, and piperaquine were generally good. Associations between ex vivo drug sensitivity and parasite polymorphisms included decreased chloroquine and monodesethylamodiaquine sensitivity and increased lumefantrine and piperaquine sensitivity with pfcrt 76T, as well as increased lumefantrine sensitivity with pfmdr1 86Y, Y184, and 1246Y. Over time, ex vivo sensitivity decreased for lumefantrine and piperaquine and increased for chloroquine, the prevalences of pfcrt K76 and pfmdr1 N86 and D1246 increased, and the prevalences of pfdhfr and pfdhps polymorphisms associated with antifolate resistance were unchanged. In recurrent infections, recent prior treatment with artemether-lumefantrine was associated with decreased ex vivo lumefantrine sensitivity and increased prevalence of pfcrt K76 and pfmdr1 N86, 184F, and D1246. In children assigned chemoprevention with monthly dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine with documented circulating piperaquine, breakthrough infections had increased the prevalence of pfmdr1 86Y and 1246Y compared to untreated controls. The noted impacts of therapy and chemoprevention on parasite polymorphisms remained significant in multivariate analysis correcting for calendar time. Overall, changes in parasite sensitivity were consistent with altered selective pressures due to changing treatment practices in Uganda. These changes may threaten the antimalarial treatment and preventive efficacies of artemether-lumefantrine and dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine, respectively.
Project description:One of the fundamental steps toward malaria control is the use of antimalarial drugs. The success of antimalarial treatment can be affected by the presence of drug-resistant populations of Plasmodium falciparum. To assess resistance, we used molecular methods to examine 351 P. falciparum isolates collected from 4 sentinel sites in Mozambique for K13, pfmdr1, pfcrt, and pfdhps polymorphisms and for plasmepsin2 (pfpm2) and pfmdr1 copy numbers. We found multiple copies of pfpm2 in 1.1% of isolates. All isolates carried K13 wild-type alleles (3D7-like), except 4 novel polymorphisms (Leu619Leu, Phe656Ile, Val666Val, Gly690Gly). Prevalence of isolates with pfcrt mutant (K76T) allele was low (2.3%). Prevalence of isolates with pfdhps mutant alleles (A437G and K540E) was >80%, indicating persistence of sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine resistance; however, markers of artemisinin were absent, and markers of piperaquine resistance were low. Piperaquine resistance isolates may spread in Mozambique as dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine drug pressure increases.
Project description:Mutations in the chloroquine resistance (CQR) transporter gene of Plasmodium falciparum (Pfcrt; chromosome 7) play a key role in CQR, while mutations in the multidrug resistance gene (Pfmdr1; chromosome 5) play a significant role in the parasite's resistance to a variety of antimalarials and also modulate CQR. To compare patterns of genetic variation at Pfcrt and Pfmdr1 loci, we investigated 460 blood samples from P. falciparum-infected patients from four Asian, three African, and three South American countries, analyzing microsatellite (MS) loci flanking Pfcrt (five loci [approximately 40 kb]) and Pfmdr1 (either two loci [approximately 5 kb] or four loci [approximately 10 kb]). CQR Pfmdr1 allele-associated MS haplotypes showed considerably higher genetic diversity and higher levels of subdivision than CQR Pfcrt allele-associated MS haplotypes in both Asian and African parasite populations. However, both Pfcrt and Pfmdr1 MS haplotypes showed similar levels of low diversity in South American parasite populations. Median-joining network analyses showed that the Pfcrt MS haplotypes correlated well with geography and CQR Pfcrt alleles, whereas there was no distinct Pfmdr1 MS haplotype that correlated with geography and/or CQR Pfmdr1 alleles. Furthermore, multiple independent origins of CQR Pfmdr1 alleles in Asia and Africa were inferred. These results suggest that variation at Pfcrt and Pfmdr1 loci in both Asian and African parasite populations is generated and/or maintained via substantially different mechanisms. Since Pfmdr1 mutations may be associated with resistance to artemisinin combination therapies that are replacing CQ, particularly in Africa, it is important to determine if, and how, the genetic characteristics of this locus change over time.
Project description:The 4-aminoquinoline bisquinoline piperaquine is an important partner drug in one of the presently recommended artemisinin combination therapies. Recent clinical trials have confirmed its high efficacy in combination with dihydroartemisinin. Resistance to piperaquine alone has, however, been documented. Amplification in copy number of the Plasmodium falciparum multidrug resistance locus on chromosome 5, containing the pfmdr1 gene, has been shown to confer resistance to structurally unrelated antimalarials. Through the determination of the 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC(50)s) and IC(90)s for piperaquine and chloroquine in a set of 46 adapted P. falciparum cultures originating from the Thai-Burmese border, we have characterized the regions around the pfmdr1 gene and identified a significant association between the presence of pfmdr1 duplications and enhanced sensitivity to piperaquine (P = 0.005 for IC(50) and P = 0.002 for IC(90)) and chloroquine, reaching statistical significance at IC(90)s (P = 0.026). These results substantiate the potential importance of pfmdr1 copy number amplifications in the efficacy of the combination therapy piperaquine-dihydroartemisinin. It supports the rational use of 4-aminoquinolines and artemisinin-based compounds, as they independently select for mutually incompatible combinations of mutations.
Project description:Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) offers prolonged protection against malaria, but its impact on Plasmodium falciparum drug sensitivity is uncertain. In a trial of intermittent preventive treatment in schoolchildren in Tororo, Uganda, in 2011 to 2012, monthly DP for 1 year decreased the incidence of malaria by 96% compared to placebo; DP once per school term offered protection primarily during the first month after therapy. To assess the impact of DP on selection of drug resistance, we compared the prevalence of key polymorphisms in isolates that emerged at different intervals after treatment with DP. Blood obtained monthly and at each episode of fever was assessed for P. falciparum parasitemia by microscopy. Samples from 160 symptomatic and 650 asymptomatic episodes of parasitemia were assessed at 4 loci (N86Y, Y184F, and D1246Y in pfmdr1 and K76T in pfcrt) that modulate sensitivity to aminoquinoline antimalarials, utilizing a ligase detection reaction-fluorescent microsphere assay. For pfmdr1 N86Y and pfcrt K76T, but not the other studied polymorphisms, the prevalences of mutant genotypes were significantly greater in children who had received DP within the past 30 days than in those not treated within 60 days (86Y, 18.0% versus 8.3% [P = 0.03]; 76T, 96.0% versus 86.1% [P = 0.05]), suggesting selective pressure of DP. Full sequencing of pfcrt in a subset of samples did not identify additional polymorphisms selected by DP. In summary, parasites that emerged soon after treatment with DP were more likely than parasites not under drug pressure to harbor pfmdr1 and pfcrt polymorphisms associated with decreased sensitivity to aminoquinoline antimalarials. (This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under no. NCT01231880.).
Project description:Molecular tools are valuable for determining evolutionary history and the prevalence of drug-resistant malaria parasites. These tools have helped to predict decreased sensitivity to antimalarials and fixation of multidrug resistance genotypes in some regions. In order to assess how historical drug policies impacted Plasmodium falciparum in Venezuela, we examined molecular changes in genes associated with drug resistance. We examined pfmdr1 and pfcrt in samples from Sifontes, Venezuela, and integrated our findings with earlier work describing dhfr and dhps in these samples. We characterized pfmdr1 genotypes and copy number variation, pfcrt genotypes, and proximal microsatellites in 93 samples originating from surveillance from 2003 to 2004. Multicopy pfmdr1 was found in 12% of the samples. Two pfmdr1 alleles, Y184F/N1042D/D1246Y (37%) and Y184F/S1034C/N1042D/D1246Y (63%), were found. These alleles share ancestry, and no evidence of strong selective pressure on mutations was found. pfcrt chloroquine resistance alleles are fixed with two alleles: S(tct)VMNT (91%) and S(agt)VMNT (9%). These alleles are associated with strong selection. There was also an association between pfcrt, pfmdr1, dhfr, and dhps genotypes/haplotypes. Duplication of pfmdr1 suggests a potential shift in mefloquine sensitivity in this region, which warrants further study. A bottleneck occurred in P. falciparum in Sifontes, Venezuela, and multidrug resistance genotypes are present. This population could be targeted for malaria elimination programs to prevent the possible spread of multidrug-resistant parasites.