Malaria in pregnancy affects both the mother and the fetus. However, evidence supporting treatment guidelines for uncomplicated (including asymptomatic) falciparum malaria in pregnant women is scarce and assessed in varied ways. We did a systematic literature review and individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis to compare the efficacy and tolerability of different artemisinin-based or quinine-based treatments for malaria in pregnant women.
Genetic diversity of ABO blood, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency and haemoglobin type and their ability to protect against malaria vary geographically, ethnically and racially. No study has been carried out in populations resident in malaria regions in western Kenya.
Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine has shown excellent efficacy and tolerability in malaria treatment. However, concerns have been raised of potentially harmful cardiotoxic effects associated with piperaquine. The population pharmacokinetics and cardiac effects of piperaquine were evaluated in 1,000 patients, mostly children enrolled in a multicentre trial from 10 sites in Africa.
In the opening to WHO's World Malaria Report 2019, subtitled Leaving no one behind in the march to a malaria-free world, WHO's Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted that the scourge of malaria continues to strike hardest against pregnant women and children in Africa. The Director-General reported that “some 11 million pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa were infected with malaria and, consequently, nearly 900 000 children were born with a low birthweight”. Furthermore, he noted that “Malaria in pregnancy compromises the mother's health and puts her at greater risk of death. It impacts the health of the fetus, leading to prematurity and low birthweight, major contributors to neonatal and infant mortality.”
Approximately 6% of children hospitalised with severe falciparum malaria in Africa are also bacteremic. It is therefore recommended that all children with severe malaria should receive broad spectrum antibiotics in addition to parenteral artesunate. Empirical antibiotics are not recommended currently for adults with severe malaria.
In Tanzania, chloroquine was replaced by sulphadoxine- pyrimethamine (SP) as a first-line for treatment of uncomplicated malaria. Due to high resistance in malaria parasites, SP lasted for only 5 years and by the end of 2006 it was replaced with the current artemisinin combination therapy. We therefore, set a study to determine the current genotypic mutations associated with Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinin, partner drugs and chloroquine.
When considering malaria disease severity, estimation of parasitemia in erythrocytes is important, but sometimes misleading, since the infected erythrocytes may be sequestered in peripheral capillaries. In African children and Asian adults with falciparum malaria, parasitemia as assessed by quantitative PCR (qPCR) in plasma seems to be a valuable indicator of disease severity, but data on African adults as well as the impact of co-infection with HIV is lacking.
The WHO recommends artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria. Hence, monitoring the efficacy of antimalarial drugs is a key component of malaria control and elimination. The published randomized trials that assessed comparisons of ACTs for treating uncomplicated falciparum malaria reported conflicting results in treatment efficacy. A network meta-analysis is an extension of pairwise meta-analysis that can synthesize evidence simultaneously from both direct and indirect treatment comparisons. The objective was to synthesize evidence on the comparative efficacy of antimalarial drugs for treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Asian region.
Mefloquine shows a high capacity to bind plasma proteins, which influences the amount of drug in erythrocytes. The study investigated the association of lipids levels with plasma concentrations of mefloquine and carboxy-mefloquine in 85 Brazilian patients with uncomplicated falciparum malaria.
Severe falciparum malaria is a medical emergency characterised by potentially lethal vital organ dysfunction. Patient fatality rates even with parenteral artesunate treatment remain high. Despite considerable research into adjuvant therapies targeting organ and tissue dysfunction, none have shown efficacy apart from renal replacement therapy. Understanding the causal contributions of clinical and laboratory abnormalities to mortality is essential for the design and evaluation of novel therapeutic interventions.