Sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine plus artesunate compared with chloroquine for the treatment of vivax malaria in areas co-endemic for Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax: a randomised non-inferiority trial in eastern Afghanistan.
Rowland, M., Kolaczinski, K., Durrani, N., Rahim, S.
Chloroquine (CQ) is an effective treatment of choice for vivax malaria in most settings, but with the spread of CQ-resistant Plasmodium falciparum, many countries now use artemisinin-based combination therapy for treatment of falciparum malaria. In areas co-endemic for falciparum and vivax malaria incorrect differential diagnosis is always a risk. In Afghanistan the adoption of sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine plus artesunate (SP+AS) as first-line falciparum treatment raises the prospect of a significant proportion of vivax malaria being misdiagnosed and treated with the combination. SP is considered to have limited efficacy against vivax malaria, and the efficacy of SP+AS against Plasmodium vivax has not been established in areas that are using SP+AS. A randomised, non-inferiority trial comparing SP+AS with CQ monotherapy was undertaken on 190 vivax malaria patients in eastern Afghanistan. Standard WHO procedures for in vivo evaluation of antimalarial drugs were followed. A total of 180 individuals completed the trial to day 42. Using a per protocol analysis, both regimens resulted in ≥96% treatment success at 28 d, but significantly more cases failed in the CQ arm (46%) than in the SP+AS arm (24%) by day 42. In areas where vivax infections might be misdiagnosed as falciparum infections and treated with SP+AS, patient management would be as good, or better than, with the standard CQ treatment.
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (2007) 101 (11) 1081-1087 [doi:10.1016/j.trstmh.2007.06.015]