Background: Malaria control and prevention efforts continue to rely heavily on the use of medicines especially artemisinin agents. However, currently, the emergence of artemisinin resistance threatens this effort globally. The K13-gene polymorphisms associated with artemisinin resistance have been detected in Southeast Asia. In countries outside Southeast Asia, artemisinin resistance has not yet been confirmed.
Methods/design: The articles will be obtained from the search of MEDLINE via PubMed, Scopus, EMBASE, and LILACS/VHL databases. Mesh terms will be used in the article search. Boolean operators ("AND", "OR") will be used in the article search. Article search will be done independently by two librarians (RS and AK). The articles will be screened for inclusion using set criteria and following the PRISMA guidelines. Data extraction will be done by two independent reviewers (NL and BB), Kappa statistic will be calculated, and any discrepancies resolved by discussion. Heterogeneity in the articles will be established using I2 statistic.
Discussion: This review will focus on establishing the K13-gene polymorphisms among Plasmodium falciparum parasites reported from previous studies in malaria-affected countries. Artemisinin resistance has not been widely reported among parasites in Africa and other malaria-endemic countries outside Southeast Asia. However, several studies on artemisinin resistance have reported different K13-gene polymorphisms from the validated mutations found in Southeast Asia. This study will collate evidence from previous studies on the commonly reported K13 -gene polymorphisms among P. falciparum parasites in malaria-affected countries.
Systematic review registration: PROSPERO CRD 42018084624.
Keywords: Africa; Artemisinin; K13-propeller gene polymorphism; Malaria; Plasmodium falciparum.