Biology ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-15-2018


Malaria has had an unspeakable toll on human economy and wellbeing. Every year, there are approximately 212 million malaria infections caused by Plasmodium falciparum leading to 429,000 deaths, the vast majority of which occur in sub-Saharan Africa where the parasite is endemic. Decades of widespread use, and probable misuse, of antimalarial drugs has created extraordinary selective pressure on the parasite and made many formerly effective drugs ineffective. Currently, artemisinin and artemisinin derivatives are the most effective treatment available but resistance to dihydroartemisinin (DHA), the active ingredient, is emerging. Continued monitoring for genetic mutations linked with resistance is vital to global health. My project tested for the prevalence of artemisinin resistant SNPs using a simple and inexpensive TaqMan Assay™. Of the five SNPs examined, I found evidence of only one mutant, the Y630F SNP, within the pfkelch13 gene. Though this information is valuable, there were limitations to the study. Samples should be genotyped to identify other mutations and monoclonal vs. polyclonal infections. Samples collected at other time points, particularly prior to 2006, should also be run.




Malaria, single nucleotide polymorphisms, artemisinin, resistance

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

UNM Biology Department

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Eric Toolson

Second Committee Member

Dr. Douglas Perkins

Third Committee Member

Dr. Dorothy Scholl

Included in

Biology Commons