• Assessment of three new parasite lactate dehydrogenase (pan-pLDH) tests for diagnosis of uncomplicated malaria.

      Fogg, C; Twesigye, R; Batwala, V; Piola, P; Nabasumba, C; Kiguli, J; Mutebi, F; Hook, C; Guillerm, M; Moody, A; et al. (Elsevier, 2008-01)
      A study to assess the diagnostic capabilities of three parasite lactate dehydrogenase (pan-pLDH) tests, Vistapan), Carestart and Parabank), was conducted in Uganda. An HRP2 test, Paracheck-Pf), and a Giemsa-stained blood film were performed with the pLDH tests for outpatients with suspected malaria. In total, 460 subjects were recruited: 248 with positive blood films and 212 with negative blood films. Plasmodium falciparum was present in 95% of infections. Sensitivity above 90% was shown by two pLDH tests, Carestart (95.6%) and Vistapan (91.9%), and specificity above 90% by Parabank (94.3%) and Carestart (91.5%). Sensitivity decreased with low parasitaemia (chi(2) trend, P<0.001); however, all tests achieved sensitivity >90% with parasitaemia > or =100/microl. All tests had good inter-reader reliability (kappa>0.95). Two weeks after diagnosis, 4-10% of pLDH tests were still positive compared with 69.7% of the HRP2 tests. All tests had similar ease of use. In conclusion, two pLDH tests performed well in diagnosing P. falciparum malaria, and all pLDH tests became negative after treatment more quickly than the HRP2. Therefore the rapid test of choice for use with artemisinin-combination therapies in this area would be one of these new pLDH tests.
    • Malaria in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan: baseline genotypic resistance and efficacy of the artesunate plus sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine and artesunate plus amodiaquine combinations.

      Hamour, S; Melaku, Y; Keus, K; Wambugu, J; Atkin, S; Montgomery, J; Ford, N; Hook, C; Checchi, F; Médecins Sans Frontières, Plantage Middenlaan 14, 1018 DD Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (Elsevier, 2005-07)
      Both northern and southern Sudan are deploying artemisinin-based combinations against uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria (artesunate+sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine [AS+SP] in the north, artesunate+amodiaquine [AS+AQ] in the south). In 2003, we tested the efficacy of 3 day AS+SP and AS+AQ regimens in vivo in the isolated, seasonally endemic Nuba Mountains region (the first study of AS combinations in southern Sudan). We also analysed pre-treatment blood samples for mutations at the P. falciparum chloroquine transporter (Pfcrt) gene (associated with CQ resistance), and at the dihydrofolate reductase (Dhfr) gene (associated with pyrimethamine resistance). Among 161 randomized children under 5 years, PCR-corrected cure rates after 28 days were 91.2% (52/57, 95% CI 80.7-97.1) for AS+SP and 92.7% (51/55, 95% CI 82.4-98.0) for AS+AQ, with equally rapid parasite and fever clearance. The Pfcrt K76T mutation occurred in 90.0% (144/160) of infections, suggesting CQ would work poorly in this region. Overall, 82.5% (132/160) carried mutations at Dhfr (N51I, C59R or S108N, but not I164L), but triple mutants (more predictive of in vivo SP failure) were rare (3.1%). CQ use should be rapidly discontinued in this region. SP resistance may propagate rapidly, and AS+AQ is likely to be a better long-term option, provided AQ use is limited to the combination.