malERA: An updated research agenda for insecticide and drug resistance in malaria elimination and eradication
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The malERA Refresh Collection Review: An updated research agenda for insecticide and drug resistance in malaria elimination and eradication.
Resistance to first-line treatments for Plasmodium falciparum malaria and the insecticides used for Anopheles vector control are threatening malaria elimination efforts. Suboptimal responses to drugs and insecticides are both spreading geographically and emerging independently and are being seen at increasing intensities. Whilst resistance is unavoidable, its effects can be mitigated through resistance management practices, such as exposing the parasite or vector to more than one selective agent. Resistance contributed to the failure of the 20th century Global Malaria Eradication Programme, and yet the global response to this issue continues to be slow and poorly coordinated—too often, too little, too late. The Malaria Eradication Research Agenda (malERA) Refresh process convened a panel on resistance of both insecticides and antimalarial drugs. This paper outlines developments in the field over the past 5 years, highlights gaps in knowledge, and proposes a research agenda focused on managing resistance. A deeper understanding of the complex biological processes involved and how resistance is selected is needed, together with evidence of its public health impact. Resistance management will require improved use of entomological and parasitological data in decision making, and optimisation of the useful life of new and existing products through careful implementation, combination, and evaluation. A proactive, collaborative approach is needed from basic science and the development of new tools to programme and policy interventions that will ensure that the armamentarium of drugs and insecticides is sufficient to deal with the challenges of malaria control and its elimination.