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University of Pretoria, Malaria Parasite Molecular Laboratory, Institute for Sustainable Malaria Control

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Abstract Bachelor project 2017-2018: Nested PCR amplification of Plasmodium falciparum antimalarial drug resistance markers in DNA extracted from RDT isolates from the Limpopo province of South Africa

The use of antimalarial drugs for the prevention and treatment of malaria is a major strategy used in the control of the disease. Although over the past 50 years, the emergence of antimalarial drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum has significantly hindered global control efforts at great cost to human health and life.

In malaria elimination settings such as South Africa, the knowledge of the prevalence of resistance markers which are associated with drug resistance is essential for helping to implement effective drug policy. This study examines the prevalence of the resistance marker Plasmodium falciparum multi-drug resistance 1 (Pfmdr1), related to quinolone resistance, in Limpopo province of South Africa.

Nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was done on 332 DNA samples extracted from Plasmodium falciparum positive Rapid Diagnostic Tests supplied by different public health facilities located in Limpopo province in order to confirm identity of the parasite species. The Plasmodium falciparum confirmed DNA samples were then investigated for the presence of the N86Y mutation at codon 86 of the Pfmdr1 gene by nested PCR followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism.

Detailed results cannot be described here due to a signed confidentiality agreement with the University of Pretoria, however the results suggest a decrease in the prevalence of the Pfmdr1 N86Y mutation in Limpopo province. Future, larger studies are required to confirm this.


South Africa


Traineeship supervisor
Lyn-Marie Birkholtz
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