Rapid genotyping of loci involved in antifolate drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum by primer extension.
Nair S., Brockman A., Paiphun L., Nosten F., Anderson TJC.
Current methods used to genotype point mutations in Plasmodium falciparum genes involved in resistance to antifolate drugs include restriction digestion of PCR products, allele-specific amplification or sequencing. Here we demonstrate that known point mutations in dihydrofolate reductase and dihydropteroate synthase can be scored quickly and accurately by single-nucleotide primer extension and detection of florescent products on a capillary sequencer. We use this method to genotype parasites in natural infections from the Thai-Myanmar border. This approach could greatly simplify large-scale screening of resistance mutations of the type required for evaluating and updating antimalarial drug treatment policies. The method can be easily adapted to other P. falciparum genes and will greatly simplify scoring of point mutations in this and other parasitic organisms.