Navigation Links
Low-dose treatment may block malaria transmission

Lower doses of the antimalarial drug primaquine are as effective as higher doses in reducing malaria transmission, according to a study published today in Lancet Infectious Diseases by London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine researchers.

Primaquine is one of the few antimalarial drugs that targets the transmission stages of the malaria parasite, the gametocytes, and is therefore considered to be an important tool for malaria elimination.

However, standard doses of the drug cause reduced blood count in individuals with a deficiency in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) enzyme. This red blood cell disorder is common in malaria endemic areas, and has therefore limited the use of primaquine in malaria programmes, and prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to advise a reduction in dosage from 0.75 mg/kg to 0.25mg/kg. But until now, the efficacy of lower doses of primaquine had not been formally evaluated.

The study, carried out in Jinja, Uganda, treated G6PD-normal children with a conventional anti-malarial drug either on its own or with one of three different doses of primaquine. The subsequent carriage of malaria gametocytes was monitored for two weeks and safety outcomes were monitored for four weeks. Results showed that a dose of 0.4 mg/kg, approximately half of the previously recommended dose (0.75 mg/kg), was as effective at reducing the transmission potential of individuals with malaria.

These results establish that low dose primaquine is still effective and safe in a G6PD-normal population, and paves the way for using low-dose primaquine as a component of strategies to reduce malaria transmission and to stop the spread of drug-resistant malaria parasites.

The next step is to include the current WHO-recommended 0.25 mg/kg dose of primaquine in efficacy studies, and to test the safety of low dose primaquine in G6PD-deficient individuals.

Lead author Dr Chi Eziefula, Wellcome Trust clinical research fellow, said: "Until now, the use of primaquine was limited because of safety concerns, but lower doses had never been tested formally. These findings, that efficacy is retained at a lower dose, imply that primaquine could play an important role in malaria elimination programmes. We now need to evaluate the safety of low-dose primaquine in G6PD-deficient individuals. More questions remain to be answered regarding the best operational strategy for the deployment of primaquine to block malaria transmission."

Co-author Professor Chris Drakeley, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine's Malaria Centre, said: "This work is a crucial step in the evaluation of primaquine as a malaria transmission blocking intervention. Further work is needed to show reduced infectivity to mosquitoes and to confirm the improved safety of these lower doses."

Professor Moses Kamya of the Infectious Disease Research Collaboration in Kampala, Uganda noted: "This study provides important contemporary information that allows malaria control programmes in endemic countries in Africa to consider the use of primaquine as part of their efforts to deal with this killer disease."


Contact: Katie Steels
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Related biology news :

1. Northeastern researchers have discovered a new treatment to cure MRSA infection
2. Wayne State researchers discover specific inhibitor for rheumatoid arthritis treatment
3. Discovery may lead to new treatments for allergic diseases
4. Research reveals new understanding, warning signs, and potential treatments for multiple sclerosis
5. Genetic aberration paves the way for new treatment of cancer disease
6. Breakthrough by Temple researchers could lead to new treatment for heart attack
7. Queens University in €6m bid to find new Cystic Fibrosis treatments
8. BUSM researchers identify molecule that could aid lung cancer detection, treatment
9. Salvianolate for treatment of cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injuries
10. UAlberta medical researchers discover potential new treatment for colitis
11. New eye treatment effective in laboratory tests
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/12/2015)... 11, 2015   Growing need for low-cost, ... has been paving the way for use of ... discrete analytes in clinical, agricultural, environmental, food and ... used in medical applications, however, their adoption is ... to continuous emphasis on improving product quality and ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... 2015 ... "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" ... ) has announced the addition ... Market 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... ) has announced the addition of ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... --  MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical technology ... is pleased to announce that it has been selected ... of only three finalists for a 2015 Tekne ... category. The Tekne Awards honor Minnesota ... and leadership. iMedNet™ eClinical  technology ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  PharmAthene, Inc. (NYSE MKT: ... adopted a stockholder rights plan (Rights Plan) in an ... loss carryforwards (NOLs) under Section 382 of the Internal ... --> PharmAthene,s use of its NOLs could be ... as defined in Section 382 of the Code. In ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... BRUSSELS , November 25, 2015 ... in cat and human plaque and pave the way for ... health problems in cats     ... the most commonly diagnosed health problems in cats, yet relatively ... until now. Two collaborative studies have been conducted by researchers ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. ... Gorman , President and CEO of Neurocrine Biosciences, will ... Conference in New York . ... visit the website approximately 5 minutes prior to the ... replay of the presentation will be available on the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... and the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OPBAP) has been formalized with the ... other AMA team leaders met with OPBAP leaders Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: