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close this bookGuidelines for the Treatment of Malaria (WHO; 2006; 266 pages) View the PDF document
View the documentGlossary
View the documentAbbreviations
open this folder and view contents1. Introduction
View the document2. The clinical disease
open this folder and view contents3. Treatment objectives
open this folder and view contents4. Diagnosis of malaria
close this folder5. Resistance to antimalarial medicines9
View the document5.1 Impact of resistance
View the document5.2 Global distribution of resistance
View the document5.3 Assessing resistance
open this folder and view contents6. Antimalarial treatment policy
open this folder and view contents7. Treatment of uncomplicated P. Falciparum malaria10
open this folder and view contents8. Treatment of severe falciparum malaria14
open this folder and view contents9. Treatment of malaria caused by P. vivax, P. ovale or P. malariae19
View the document10. Mixed malaria infections
open this folder and view contents11. Complex emergencies and epidemics
open this folder and view contentsAnnexes

5.1 Impact of resistance

Initially, at low levels of resistance and with a low prevalence of malaria, the impact of resistance to antimalarials is insidious. The initial symptoms of the infection resolve and the patient appears to be better for some weeks. When symptoms recur, usually more than two weeks later, anaemia may have worsened and there is a greater probability of carrying gametocytes (which in turn carry the resistance genes) and transmitting malaria. However, the patient and the treatment provider may interpret this as a newly acquired infection. At this stage, unless clinical drug trials are conducted, resistance may go unrecognized. As resistance worsens the interval between primary infection and recrudescence shortens, until eventually symptoms fail to resolve following treatment. At this stage, malaria incidence may rise in low-transmission settings and mortality is likely to rise in all settings.

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