Atovaquone is a component of Malarone, a widely prescribed antimalarial combination, that targets malaria respiration. Here we show that parasites with high-level resistance to an inhibitor of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase demonstrate unexpected atovaquone tolerance. Fortunately, the tolerance is diminished with proguanil, the second partner in Malarone. It is important to understand such "genetic cross talk" between respiration and pyrimidine biosynthesis since many antimalarial drug development programs target these two seemingly independent pathways.
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