Treatment of malaria during pregnancy requires balancing the need for radical cure while avoiding teratogenic exposure. In The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Makoto Saito and colleagues report the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis that used individual patient data on antimalarial efficacy and tolerability in pregnancy.
artemisinin-based combination therapy
Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) is the first-line antimalarial regimen in Indonesia. Susceptibility of Plasmodium falciparum to artemisinin is falling in the Greater Mekong subregion, but it is not known whether the efficacy of current combinations is also threatened in nearby Sumatera. We evaluated the genetic loci pfcrt, pfmdr1, and pfk13, considered to be under selection by artemisinin combination therapy, among 404 P. falciparum infections identified by PCR detection in a cross-sectional survey of 3,731 residents of three regencies.
Extended artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) for treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria with already existing drug regimens, such as artemether-lumefantrine, might be effective in tackling the emerging ACT resistance. However, given the history of cardiotoxicity among anti-malarial drugs structurally similar to lumefantrine, the potential effect of extended artemether-lumefantrine treatment on the electrocardiographic (ECG) QTc interval is of high concern.
The spread of artemisinin resistance in the Greater Mekong Subregion of Southeast Asia poses a significant threat for current anti-malarial treatment guidelines globally. The aim of this study was to assess the current prevalence of molecular markers of drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum in the four provinces with the highest malaria burden in Pakistan, after introducing artemether–lumefantrine as first-line treatment in 2017.
In 2006, Senegal adopted artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) as first-line treatment in the management of uncomplicated malaria. This study aimed to update the status of antimalarial efficacy more than ten years after their first introduction. This was a randomized, three-arm, open-label study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of artemether-lumefantrine (AL), artesunate-amodiaquine (ASAQ) and dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) in Senegal.
Genetic epidemiology can provide important insights into parasite transmission that can inform public health interventions. The current study compared long-term changes in the genetic diversity and structure of co-endemic Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax populations. The study was conducted in Papua Indonesia, where high-grade chloroquine resistance in P. falciparum and P. vivax led to a universal policy of Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT) in 2006.
Naturally acquired immunity (NAI), which is characterized by protection against overt clinical disease and high parasitaemia, is acquired with age and transmission intensity. The role of NAI on the efficacy of anti-malarial drugs, including artemisinin-based combinations used as the first-line treatment for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum, has not been fully demonstrated. This study investigated the role of NAI in response to artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), in symptomatic patients living in western Kenya, a high malaria transmission area.
Plasmodium falciparum resistance against artemisinin has not emerged in Africa; however, there are reports of the presence of polymerase chain reaction-determined residual submicroscopic parasitaemia detected on day 3 after artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). These residual submicroscopic parasites are thought to represent tolerant/resistant parasites against artemisinin, the fast-acting component of the combination.
While there is increasing evidence on the safety of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) for the case management of malaria in early pregnancy, little is known about the association between exposure to ACT during the first trimester and the effect on fetal growth.
Efficient testing to identify poor quality artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) is important to optimize efforts to control and eliminate malaria. Healthcare professionals interact with both ACT and malaria patients they treat and hence could observe, first-hand, suspect poor quality artemisinin-based combinations linked to poor malaria treatment outcomes and the factors associated with inappropriate use or treatment failure.