Plasmodium vivax radical cure requires the administration of a blood schizonticide for killing blood-stage parasites and the addition of a drug able to kill hypnozoites, the dormant parasite stages residing in the liver of infected patients.
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is a common enzyme deficiency, prevalent in many malaria-endemic countries. G6PD-deficient individuals are susceptible to hemolysis during oxidative stress, which can occur from exposure to certain medications, including 8-aminoquinolines used to treat Plasmodium vivax malaria. Accordingly, access to point-of-care (POC) G6PD testing in Brazil is critical for safe treatment of P. vivax malaria.
Relapses of Plasmodium vivax malaria are prevented by 8-aminoquinolines. If hypnozoites survive, then the subsequent blood stage infections in early relapses (< 2 months) are suppressed by the slowly eliminated anti-malarial drugs used to treat the blood stage infection (chloroquine, artemisinin combination treatments), but they are not usually eliminated.