Credit: Sylvain Raybum, Flickr

Molecular and in vitro surveillance of ACT partner drug efficacy in the Greater Mekong Subregion (MIVS-ACT)

New project funded by the French 5% Initiative on AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria aims to make information on the prevalence and distribution of molecular markers of ACT drug resistance across the Mekong Greater Subregion available in close to real-time.

In the context of increasing artemisinin resistance (ART-R) in the Greater Mekong Subregion, the effectiveness of the antimalarial partner drugs becomes the most important determinant of artemisinin-based combination treatment (ACT) efficacy. Therefore, resistance to ACT partner drugs must be assessed rapidly throughout the region to ensure that an optimal antimalarial treatment strategy is implemented.

The MIVS-ACT Project aims to make critical information on the prevalence and distribution of markers of ACT partner drug resistance available to policy makers and public health officials in near real-time through regularly updated maps. These data will be complemented by in vitro phenotyping of selected isolates to assess parasite susceptibility to ACTs and to monitor for resistance emerging due to as yet uncharacterised or candidate genetic markers.

In combination, this rapidly generated information will provide evidence to policy makers to select drug combinations with the best likely therapeutic efficacy – a key requirement for malaria elimination campaigns in the Greater Mekong Subregion and elsewhere. The project plans to sustain the monitoring and surveillance activities beyond the 3-year duration of the project by providing training on in vitro assays to partner laboratories and by making available resources for quality assurance of genotyping tests.

The MIVS-ACT project is possible thanks to timely funding support from the 5% Initiative on AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, implemented by Expertise France and funded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development in support of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The project will be carried out by a consortium constituted of the Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University (lead organisation), the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit Tropical Health Network, WWARN and the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge

Discover more about the French government 5% initiative and WWARN's Asia Regional Centre.

For further information, please email Dr Mehul Dhorda: mehul [dot] dhorda [at] wwarn [dot] org