Are there artesunate failures in Vietnam?

In early April of this year a Vietnamese news source carried an article about the challenges of malaria control and the possibility of future malaria epidemics. A substantial portion of the piece focused on antimalarial resistance, including high failure rates of chloroquine and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine. What was surprising was a passing mention of artesunate failures:

… while treatment using artesunat failed for 7-18 per cent of cases in Dak Lak and south-central Binh Thuan and Ninh Thuan provinces.

While this is likely just bad reporting, the reported information should be verified. Was it an ACT failure or artesunate monotherapy (which will often fail when given alone)? In case of the latter, why were artesunate monotherapy trials still being conducted, or are they just reporting older data? There are many unanswered questions, including the source of the data though the National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology was cited earlier in the article. Protecting artemisinin combination therapies is crucial (previous post here) and to my knowledge no widespread ACT failures outside of the Thai-Cambodia border have yet been reported. Let us hope it remains that way, but history has taught us otherwise.




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