An efficient and fast diagnostic assay was developed to detect the point mutation involved in the resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to chloroquine. The test, based upon a real-time PCR principle and performed with the LightCycler system, was carried out on venous blood isolates from 221 cases of falciparum malaria. The assay provided a quick, sensitive and reliable detection of the T76 Pfcrt mutation and the chloroquine resistance. The results of this study suggest that this LightCycler-based technique could be used to optimise the treatment of imported uncomplicated falciparum malaria, and also for the molecular surveillance of drug resistance among imported cases of this disease.
Copyright 2004 Springer-Verlag