Objectives: To evaluate the state of chloroquine resistant malaria in the South West Province of Cameroon. To estimate the prevalence of different species of Plasmodium in the area.
Design: A cross sectional study.
Setting: South West Province of Cameroon.
Subjects: 326 febrile patients.
Main outcome measures: Chloroquine resistance studies using the WHO seven-day standard in vivo test. Speciation of malaria by polymerase chain reaction. Prevalence of falciparum malaria by light microscopy of thick blood smears.
Results: Prevalence of chloroquine resistance ranged from 4.3 to 13.2%. A total of six cases showed RIII resistance, and three cases showed RII resistance. Plasmodium falciparum was the predominant species, 96.8% of those testing positive for P. falciparum, 6.3% of cases showed mixed infections of P. falciparum and P. malariae. P. ovale accounted for 3% of cases.
Conclusion: P. falciparum resistance to chloroquine may not be on the increase compared to earlier reports from the South West Province. The results have important implications in treatment of malaria in view of the low cost of chloroquine.