Tracking antimalarial drug use and efficacy is essential for monitoring the current spread of antimalarial drug resistance. However, available methods for determining tablet quality and patient drug use are often inaccessible, requiring well-equipped laboratories capable of performing liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Here, we report the development of aptamer-based fluorescent sensors for the rapid, specific detection of the antimalarial compounds piperaquine and mefloquine-two slow-clearing partner drugs in current first-line artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs).
Plasmodium falciparum from the Greater Mekong subregion has evolved resistance to the artemisinin-based combination therapy dihydroartemisinin and the partner drug piperaquine. To monitor the potential westward spread or independent evolution of piperaquine resistance, we evaluated the in vitro susceptibility of 120 P. falciparum isolates collected at the China-Myanmar border during 2007-2016.
As a partner antimalarial with an extremely long elimination half-life (~30 days), piperaquine (PQ) is mainly metabolized into a pharmacologically active N-oxide metabolite (PN1) in humans. In the present work, the metabolic retroversion of PQ and PN1, potentially associated with decreased clearance of PQ, was studied. The results showed that interconversion existed for PQ and its metabolite PN1. The N-oxidation of PQ to PN1 was mainly mediated by CYP3A4, and PN1 can rapidly reduce back to PQ via CYP/FMO enzymes. In accordance with these findings, the CYP non-selective inhibitor (1-ABT) or CYP3A4 inhibitor (ketoconazole) inhibited the N-oxidation pathway in liver microsomes (>90%), and the reduction metabolism was inhibited by 1-ABT (>90%) or methimazole (~50%).
Newly emerged mutations within the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT) can confer piperaquine resistance in the absence of amplified plasmepsin II (pfpm2). In this study, we estimated the prevalence of co-circulating piperaquine resistance mutations in P. falciparum isolates collected in northern Cambodia from 2009-2017.
Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine is a recommended first-line artemisinin combination therapy for falciparum malaria. Piperaquine is also under consideration for other antimalarial combination therapies. The aim of this study was to develop a pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic model that could be used to optimize the use of piperaquine in new antimalarial combination therapies. The pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic model was developed using data from a previously reported dose-ranging study where 24 healthy volunteers were inoculated 1,800 blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum parasites.
Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) is a long-acting artemisinin combination treatment that provides effective chemoprevention and has been proposed as an alternative antimalarial drug for intermittent-preventive therapy in pregnancy (IPTp). Several pharmacokinetic studies have shown that dose adjustment may not be needed for the treatment of malaria in pregnancy with DP. However, there are limited data on the optimal dosing for IPTp.
With a decline in malaria burden, innovative interventions and tools are required to reduce malaria transmission further. Mass drug administration (MDA) of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) has been identified as a potential tool to further reduce malaria transmission, where coverage of vector control interventions is already high. However, the impact is limited in time. Combining an ACT with an endectocide treatment that is able to reduce vector survival, such as ivermectin (IVM), could increase the impact of MDA and offer a new tool to reduce malaria transmission.
The spiroindolone cipargamin, a new antimalarial compound that inhibits Plasmodium ATP4, is currently in clinical development. This study aimed to characterize the antimalarial activity of cipargamin in healthy volunteers experimentally infected with blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum Eight subjects were intravenously inoculated with parasite-infected erythrocytes and received a single oral dose of 10 mg cipargamin 7 days later. Blood samples were collected to monitor the development and clearance of parasitemia, and plasma cipargamin concentrations.
Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHA-PQ) provides highly effective therapy and chemoprevention for malaria in pregnant African women. PQ concentrations >10.3 ng/mL have been associated with reduced maternal parasitemia, placental malaria and improved birth outcomes. We characterized the population pharmacokinetics (PK) of PQ in a post-hoc analysis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected and -uninfected pregnant women receiving DHA-PQ as chemoprevention every 4 or 8 weeks.
In December 2019, a new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) causing coronavirus diseases 2019 (COVID-19) emerged in Wuhan, China. African countries see slower dynamic of COVID-19 cases and deaths. One of the assumptions that may explain this later emergence in Africa, and more particularly in malaria endemic areas, would be the use of antimalarial drugs.