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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2019, Article ID 9783986, 26 pages
Research Article

Multiple-Strain Malaria Infection and Its Impacts on Plasmodium falciparum Resistance to Antimalarial Therapy: A Mathematical Modelling Perspective

Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Strathmore University, P.O. Box 59857-00200, Nairobi, Kenya

Correspondence should be addressed to Titus Okello Orwa; ude.eromhtarts@awrot

Received 14 February 2019; Accepted 15 May 2019; Published 11 June 2019

Academic Editor: Konstantin Blyuss

Copyright © 2019 Titus Okello Orwa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The emergence of parasite resistance to antimalarial drugs has contributed significantly to global human mortality and morbidity due to malaria infection. The impacts of multiple-strain malarial parasite infection have further generated a lot of scientific interest. In this paper, we demonstrate, using the epidemiological model, the effects of parasite resistance and competition between the strains on the dynamics and control of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. The analysed model has a trivial equilibrium point which is locally asymptotically stable when the parasite’s effective reproduction number is less than unity. Using contour plots, we observed that the efficacy of antimalarial drugs used, the rate of development of resistance, and the rate of infection by merozoites are the most important parameters in the multiple-strain P. falciparum infection and control model. Although the drug-resistant strain is shown to be less fit, the presence of both strains in the human host has a huge impact on the cost and success of antimalarial treatment. To reduce the emergence of resistant strains, it is vital that only effective antimalarial drugs are administered to patients in hospitals, especially in malaria-endemic regions. Our results emphasize the call for regular and strict surveillance on the use and distribution of antimalarial drugs in health facilities in malaria-endemic countries.