Testing for Drug Resistance in Health Care Settings

At a glance

  • CDC strives to track antimalarial drug resistance among imported malaria cases diagnosed in the United States. Doing so requires receipt of a patient specimen for laboratory analysis.
  • Send specimens from all malaria cases diagnosed in the U.S. to CDC's Malaria Laboratory for drug-resistance testing.

Test for Drug Resistance

CDC conducts surveillance for molecular markers of antimalarial resistance. Whole blood specimens from all malaria cases diagnosed in the U.S. should be sent to the CDC Malaria Laboratory for this testing. Please contact malarialab@cdc.gov for information on specimen submission.

Molecular characterization: For some drugs (chloroquine, sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine and similar drugs, atovaquone, artemisinins), molecular markers have been identified that confer resistance. Molecular techniques, such as PCR or gene sequencing can identify these markers in blood taken from malaria-infected patients.