Korean J Parasitol.  2011 Jun;49(2):125-131. 10.3347/kjp.2011.49.2.125.

Plasmodium vivax dhfr Mutations among Isolates from Malarious Areas of Iran

  • 1Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
  • 2Tabriz Research Center of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Tabriz, Iran. shahbazy42@yahoo.com
  • 3Department of Parasitology and Mycology, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
  • 4Department of Biotechnology, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.


The use of sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine (SP) for treatment of vivax malaria is uncommon in most malarious areas, but Plasmodium vivax isolates are exposed to SP because of mixed infections with other Plasmodium species. As P. vivax is the most prevalent species of human malaria parasites in Iran, monitoring of resistance of the parasite against the drug is necessary. In the present study, 50 blood samples of symptomatic patients were collected from 4 separated geographical regions of south-east Iran. Point mutations at residues 57, 58, 61, and 117 were detected by the PCR-RFLP method. Polymorphism at positions 58R, 117N, and 117T of P. vivax dihydrofolate reductase (Pvdhfr) gene has been found in 12%, 34%, and 2% of isolates, respectively. Mutation at residues F57 and T61 was not detected. Five distinct haplotypes of the Pvdhfr gene were demonstrated. The 2 most prevalent haplotypes were F57S58T61S117 (62%) and F57S58T61N117 (24%). Haplotypes with 3 and 4 point mutations were not found. The present study suggested that P. vivax in Iran is under the pressure of SP and the sensitivity level of the parasite to SP is diminishing and this fact must be considered in development of malaria control programs.


Plasmodium vivax; dihydrofolate reductase; pyrimethamine; mutation; Iran

MeSH Terms

Amino Acid Substitution/genetics
Drug Combinations
*Drug Resistance
Malaria, Vivax/*parasitology
*Mutation, Missense
Plasmodium vivax/*enzymology/genetics/isolation & purification
Polymorphism, Genetic
Tetrahydrofolate Dehydrogenase/*genetics
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