In-vitro drug sensitivity tests were performed on Philippine isolates of Plasmodium falciparum between 1991 and 1993, using the radioisotope microdilution method. The success of the tests varied significantly with the level of parasitaemia, the source of the strains, the period that elapsed before culturing, and the detectable concentrations of antimalarials in the blood. There was a significant positive correlation between the IC50 values for chloroquine and artesunate and the level of chloroquine in the blood before testing. In the Philippines the sensitivity profiles of the standard antimalarials (chloroquine, quinine, mefloquine, and halofantrine) were less severe than those in other south-east Asian countries. Fairly low IC50 values were obtained for the qinghaosu derivatives artemisinin, artemether, arteether and artesunate. There was a positive correlation between quinine, mefloquine, halofantrine and some of the qinghaosu derivatives, and between the qinghaosu compounds themselves, raising the possibility of either cross-resistance or possible drug associations
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