Plasmodium falciparum: mutation pattern in the dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase genes of Vietnamese isolates, a novel mutation, and coexistence of two clones in a Thai patient

Exp Parasitol. 1996 Oct;84(1):56-64. doi: 10.1006/expr.1996.0089.


Pyrimethamine and cycloguanil resistance of Plasmodium falciparum has been linked to mutations in the dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) portion of the dhfr-ts gene. In this paper, the DNA sequence of the dhfr-ts gene of 50 isolates from Vietnam and 2 clones (T9/94 and T9/96) isolated from a malaria patient from Thailand have been analyzed. A comparison between these isolates and clones showed differential mutation patterns. Forty-eight isolates were found to consist of mutations associated with Pyr. A novel leucine mutation at position 140 was found in the isolate VP8 and in clone T9/94. The isolate VP8 and the clone T9/94 were found to also have the characteristic changes at positions 16 (Val) and 108 (Thr) that have been found in cycloguanil-resistant isolates. The isolate VP35 was shown to be resistant to both antifolates, while the clone T9/96 was found to be sensitive to both antifolates and to have a sequence identical to that of wild-type dhfr-ts. The two clones from a single patient showed the coexistence of resistant and sensitive clones in the absence of treatment by antifolates. Since cycloguanil resistance seems to be rare in Vietnam, cycloguanil alone or in combination with other antimalarial agents might be an alternative for treatment and prophylaxis, even in areas with high resistance to pyrimethamine.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antimalarials / pharmacology
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Protozoan / analysis
  • Drug Resistance / genetics
  • Folic Acid Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Malaria, Falciparum / parasitology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plasmodium falciparum / drug effects
  • Plasmodium falciparum / enzymology
  • Plasmodium falciparum / genetics*
  • Point Mutation*
  • Proguanil
  • Pyrimethamine / pharmacology
  • Tetrahydrofolate Dehydrogenase / genetics*
  • Thailand
  • Thymidylate Synthase / genetics*
  • Triazines / pharmacology
  • Vietnam


  • Antimalarials
  • DNA, Protozoan
  • Folic Acid Antagonists
  • Triazines
  • cycloguanil
  • Tetrahydrofolate Dehydrogenase
  • Thymidylate Synthase
  • Proguanil
  • Pyrimethamine