• SURVEY OF PLASMODIUM FALCIPARUM SULFADOXINE/PYRIMETHAMINE (SP) RESISTANCE MARKERS IN MSF PROJECTS IN NORTH AND SOUTH KIVU, DR CONGO Short Title: SP Resistance Molecular Marker Prevalence Survey DRC

      de Wit, Marit; Rao, Bhargavi; Lassovski, Maryvonne; Ouabo, Adelaide; Badjo, Colette; Bousema, Teun; Roper, Cally; Okell, Lucy; Piriou, Erwan; Cibinda; et al. (2018-07)
      Primary Objective: To measure the prevalence of molecular markers of SP resistant malaria in North and South Kivu, DRC. Sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (SP) forms the backbone of most malaria chemoprevention programmes in high endemicity settings, including intermittent preventative therapy in pregnancy and infants (IPTp and IPTi respectively) as well as seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC). P. falciparum parasite resistance to SP threatens recent triumphs preventing malaria infection in the most vulnerable risk groups. WHO guidance is that chemoprevention using SP may not be implemented when prevalence of the dhps K540E gene denoting SP resistance are greater than 50%. Simple, robust polymerase chain reaction (PCR) - based methods for molecular surveillance of resistance to SP have the potential to indicate whether SP-based chemoprevention programmes would be effective in areas where surveillance was conducted, but also to identify early stages of emerging resistance in order to advocate for alternative chemoprevention strategies.A minimum of 750 samples will be collected per province. Three sites per province will provide 250 samples assuming an estimated prevalence of 50% prevalence of dhps K540E gene with 95% confidence and 5% precision. This is also sufficient for robust estimation of the prevalence of dhps 581, an alternative critical marker. This sample size is calculated to estimate regional prevalence, i.e. for both South Kivu and North Kivu, and hence this study requires samples from multiple MSF sites (including from different MSF Operating Centre missions) e.g. Baraka, Kimbi and Lulingu amongst others in South Kivu and Mweso, Rutsuru and Walikale in North Kivu with a minimum total of 750 per province. If estimating specific prevalence in only one limited site, a large sample size would be required.