Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Malaria treatment could improve in children

Date:
December 3, 2013
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Antimalarial drug resistance has hampered malaria control programs for almost 60 years. A key factor in combatting this threat is to ensure that all antimalarial drugs are deployed in a way that ensures that the maximum number of patients are completely cured.

An analysis of patients from across the malaria endemic world suggests that a key antimalarial treatment could be improved by better dosing in young children

Antimalarial drug resistance has hampered malaria control programs for almost 60 years. A key factor in combating this threat is to ensure that all antimalarial drugs are deployed in a way that ensures that the maximum number of patients are completely cured.

A study published this week in PLOS Medicine explores this issue by presenting the results of a large pooled analysis of more than 7,000 patients with malaria from Africa, Asia and South America. It presents a convincing argument for public health policy-makers to pay careful attention to dosing recommendations for artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) when reviewing current drug treatment protocols, particularly for young children.

The paper examines the combination of piperaquine and dihydroartemisinin, an increasingly common choice of treatment for patients suffering from malaria caused by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

The results of the study, coordinated by the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN), show that while treatment of malaria with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine generally results in excellent patient recovery, young children are at higher risk of treatment failure and this may be due to their receiving an insufficient dose of the drug.

WWARN brought together 76 researchers worldwide who contributed individual patient data from 26 clinical studies. These data are being used to analyze the implications of different drug dosing levels of ACTs, for treatment efficacy. The results, which combine almost 70% of all available published data on this treatment, confirm that dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine is highly efficacious curing more than 97% of patients.

However, the study also highlights that one third of children aged 1-5 years received a dose of piperaquine below that recommended by the World Health Organization. Furthermore, patients receiving a lower dose were slower to respond to treatment and had a greater risk of getting malaria again.

Dr Corine Karema, from the Rwandan National Malaria Control Program and a co-author of the paper, emphasizes that "It is very important that treatment guidelines recommend optimal drug dosing levels to maximize their impact and ensure all patients are rapidly and completely cured."

The results suggest that further drug dose optimization of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine may be warranted in young children.

Professor Ric Price, one of the lead investigators working with WWARN, concludes "This study highlights the ability of researchers from around the world to come together and pool their data for collective gain. The power of such research collaborations will help to support the optimization of current antimalarial treatments, reduce the spread of antimalarial drug resistance and ultimately save lives"

In a linked Perspective, Paul Garner, from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK, discusses some of the issues associated with optimizing ACT dosing.

He says: "There is a balancing act between under-dosing, which increases the risk of resistance developing, and increasing dosing such that toxicity and adverse events increase."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. The WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN) DP Study Group. The Effect of Dosing Regimens on the Antimalarial Efficacy of Dihydroartemisinin-Piperaquine: A Pooled Analysis of Individual Patient Data. PLOS Medicine, December 2013

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Malaria treatment could improve in children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131203191151.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2013, December 3). Malaria treatment could improve in children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131203191151.htm
Public Library of Science. "Malaria treatment could improve in children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131203191151.htm (accessed April 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins