Special Issue "Drug Resistance in the Malaria Parasite: Biology and Epidemiology"

A special issue of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease (ISSN 2414-6366).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2019)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Jutta Marfurt

Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: infectious diseases; parasitology; malaria; molecular epidemiology; diagnostics; surveillance

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Although malaria case incidence has decreased globally since 2010, thanks to intensified control interventions, such as the deployment of insecticide-treated bed nets, residual indoor spraying, and better access to preventive and curative chemotherapy against the disease, the rate of decline has stalled and even reversed in some regions since 2014. The most recent report by the World Health Organization estimated that in 2016, there were 216 million cases of malaria, an increase of five million cases over the previous year, and 445,000 deaths from the disease globally. In the absence of an effective vaccine, the emergence and spread of insecticide resistance, and current control measures being effective against P. falciparum, but to a lesser extent against P. vivax, early diagnosis and treatment with effective antimalarial drugs is a key component of malaria control programs. However, the emergence and spread of resistant parasites to all antimalarials ever deployed worldwide poses a major threat to the global malaria control and elimination agenda.

In order to detect, contain, and ultimately eliminate multidrug resistant parasites, we need a better understanding of the mechanism of drug resistance in the parasite. Although we have a fairly good understanding of drug resistance mechanisms in P. falciparum, the knowledge about the mechanisms of resistance in non-falciparum Plasmodium species is still elusive.

This Special Issue will focus on the current epidemiology of drug resistant malaria globally and what we know about the mechanisms of drug resistance Plasmodium species that infect humans. Furthermore, it will highlight how this knowledge translates into the development of novel tools for the surveillance of drug resistance on individual and population level, and how this knowledge guides innovative strategies to find novel candidate compounds for the antimalarial drug pipeline.

Dr. Jutta Marfurt
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Malaria
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • P. vivax
  • P. malariae
  • P. ovale
  • P. knowlesi
  • Treatment Efficacy
  • Radical Cure
  • Drug Susceptibility
  • Drug Resistance Mechanism
  • Drug Resistance Markers
  • Epidemiology
  • Surveillance
  • Mapping
  • Cell Biology
  • Drug Development

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessReview
Resistance to Artemisinin Combination Therapies (ACTs): Do Not Forget the Partner Drug!
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010026
Received: 27 December 2018 / Revised: 30 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
PDF Full-text (238 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) have become the mainstay for malaria treatment in almost all malaria endemic settings. Artemisinin derivatives are highly potent and fast acting antimalarials; but they have a short half-life and need to be combined with partner drugs with a longer [...] Read more.
Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) have become the mainstay for malaria treatment in almost all malaria endemic settings. Artemisinin derivatives are highly potent and fast acting antimalarials; but they have a short half-life and need to be combined with partner drugs with a longer half-life to clear the remaining parasites after a standard 3-day ACT regimen. When introduced, ACTs were highly efficacious and contributed to the steep decrease of malaria over the last decades. However, parasites with decreased susceptibility to artemisinins have emerged in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), followed by ACTs’ failure, due to both decreased susceptibility to artemisinin and partner drug resistance. Therefore, there is an urgent need to strengthen and expand current resistance surveillance systems beyond the GMS to track the emergence or spread of artemisinin resistance. Great attention has been paid to the spread of artemisinin resistance over the last five years, since molecular markers of decreased susceptibility to artemisinin in the GMS have been discovered. However, resistance to partner drugs is critical, as ACTs can still be effective against parasites with decreased susceptibility to artemisinins, when the latter are combined with a highly efficacious partner drug. This review outlines the different mechanisms of resistance and molecular markers associated with resistance to partner drugs for the currently used ACTs. Strategies to improve surveillance and potential solutions to extend the useful therapeutic lifespan of the currently available malaria medicines are proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Resistance in the Malaria Parasite: Biology and Epidemiology)
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