• Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine and artemether-lumefantrine for treating uncomplicated malaria in African children: a randomised, non-inferiority trial

      Bassat, Quique; Mulenga, Modest; Tinto, Halidou; Piola, Patrice; Borrmann, Steffen; Menéndez, Clara; Nambozi, Michael; Valéa, Innocent; Nabasumba, Carolyn; Sasi, Philip; Bacchieri, Antonella; Corsi, Marco; Ubben, David; Talisuna, Ambrose; D'Alessandro, Umberto; Barcelona Centre for International Health Research (CRESIB), Hospital Clínic, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; Manhiça Health Research Centre (CISM), Manhiça, Mozambique; Tropical Disease Research Centre, Ndola, Zambia; Centre Muraz, Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, IRSS/DRO, Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso; Epicentre/MSF, Mbarara, Uganda; Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kilifi, Kenya; University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany; Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Sigma Tau Industrie Farmaceutiche Riunite, Pomezia, Rome, Italy; Medicines for Malaria Venture, Geneva, Switzerland; Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium (2009-11-17)
      BACKGROUND: Artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) are currently the preferred option for treating uncomplicated malaria. Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHA-PQP) is a promising fixed-dose ACT with limited information on its safety and efficacy in African children. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The non-inferiority of DHA-PQP versus artemether-lumefantrine (AL) in children 6-59 months old with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria was tested in five African countries (Burkina Faso, Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia). Patients were randomised (2:1) to receive either DHA-PQP or AL. Non-inferiority was assessed using a margin of -5% for the lower limit of the one-sided 97.5% confidence interval on the treatment difference (DHA-PQP vs. AL) of the day 28 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) corrected cure rate. Efficacy analysis was performed in several populations, and two of them are presented here: intention-to-treat (ITT) and enlarged per-protocol (ePP). 1553 children were randomised, 1039 receiving DHA-PQP and 514 AL. The PCR-corrected day 28 cure rate was 90.4% (ITT) and 94.7% (ePP) in the DHA-PQP group, and 90.0% (ITT) and 95.3% (ePP) in the AL group. The lower limits of the one-sided 97.5% CI of the difference between the two treatments were -2.80% and -2.96%, in the ITT and ePP populations, respectively. In the ITT population, the Kaplan-Meier estimate of the proportion of new infections up to Day 42 was 13.55% (95% CI: 11.35%-15.76%) for DHA-PQP vs 24.00% (95% CI: 20.11%-27.88%) for AL (p<0.0001). CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: DHA-PQP is as efficacious as AL in treating uncomplicated malaria in African children from different endemicity settings, and shows a comparable safety profile. The occurrence of new infections within the 42-day follow up was significantly lower in the DHA-PQP group, indicating a longer post-treatment prophylactic effect. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Controlled-trials.com ISRCTN16263443.
    • Methodological Issues in the Assessment of Antimalarial Drug Treatment: Analysis of 13 Studies in Eight African Countries from 2001 to 2004.

      Guthmann, J P; Pinoges, L; Checchi, F; Cousens, S; Balkan, S; Van Herp, M; Legros, D; Olliaro, P; Epicentre, 8 rue Saint Sabin, 75011 Paris, France. jguthmann@epicentre.msf.org (Published by American Society for Microbiology, 2006-11)
      The objectives of these analyses were to assess the feasibility of the latest WHO recommendations (28-day follow-up with PCR genotyping) for the assessment of antimalarial drug efficacy in vivo and to examine how different statistical approaches affect results. We used individual-patient data from 13 studies of uncomplicated pediatric falciparum malaria conducted in sub-Saharan Africa, using chloroquine (CQ), sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (SP), or amodiaquine (AQ). We assessed the use effectiveness and test performance of PCR genotyping in distinguishing recurrent infections. In analyzing data, we compared (i) the risk of failure on target days (days 14 and 28) by using Kaplan-Meier and per-protocol evaluable patient analyses, (ii) PCR-corrected results allowing (method 1) or excluding (method 2) new infections, (iii) and day 14 versus day 28 results. Of the 2,576 patients treated, 2,287 (89%) were evaluable on day 28. Of the 695 recurrences occurring post-day 14, 650 could be processed and 584 were resolved (PCR use effectiveness, 84%; test performance, 90%). The risks of failure on day 28 with Kaplan-Meier and evaluable-patient analyses tended to be generally close (except in smaller studies) because the numbers of dropouts were minimal, but attrition rates on day 28 were higher with the latter method. Method 2 yielded higher risks of failure than method 1. Extending observation to 28 days produced higher estimated risks of failure for SP and AQ but not for CQ (high failure rates by day 14). Results support the implementation of the current WHO protocol and favor analyzing PCR-corrected outcomes by Kaplan-Meier analysis (which allows for dropouts) and retaining new infections (which minimizes losses).
    • Multiple origins and regional dispersal of resistant dhps in African Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

      Pearce, Richard J; Pota, Hirva; Evehe, Marie-Solange B; Bâ, El-Hadj; Mombo-Ngoma, Ghyslain; Malisa, Allen L; Ord, Rosalynn; Inojosa, Walter; Matondo, Alexandre; Diallo, Diadier A; Mbacham, Wilfred; van den Broek, Ingrid V; Swarthout, Todd D; Getachew, Asefaw; Dejene, Seyoum; Grobusch, Martin P; Njie, Fanta; Dunyo, Samuel; Kweku, Margaret; Owusu-Agyei, Seth; Chandramohan, Daniel; Bonnet, Maryline; Guthmann, Jean-Paul; Clarke, Sian; Barnes, Karen I; Streat, Elizabeth; Katokele, Stark T; Uusiku, Petrina; Agboghoroma, Chris O; Elegba, Olufunmilayo Y; Cissé, Badara; A-Elbasit, Ishraga E; Giha, Hayder A; Kachur, S Patrick; Lynch, Caroline; Rwakimari, John B; Chanda, Pascalina; Hawela, Moonga; Sharp, Brian; Naidoo, Inbarani; Roper, Cally; London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Department of Infectious Tropical Diseases, London, UK. (2009-04-14)
      BACKGROUND: Although the molecular basis of resistance to a number of common antimalarial drugs is well known, a geographic description of the emergence and dispersal of resistance mutations across Africa has not been attempted. To that end we have characterised the evolutionary origins of antifolate resistance mutations in the dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) gene and mapped their contemporary distribution. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We used microsatellite polymorphism flanking the dhps gene to determine which resistance alleles shared common ancestry and found five major lineages each of which had a unique geographical distribution. The extent to which allelic lineages were shared among 20 African Plasmodium falciparum populations revealed five major geographical groupings. Resistance lineages were common to all sites within these regions. The most marked differentiation was between east and west African P. falciparum, in which resistance alleles were not only of different ancestry but also carried different resistance mutations. CONCLUSIONS: Resistant dhps has emerged independently in multiple sites in Africa during the past 10-20 years. Our data show the molecular basis of resistance differs between east and west Africa, which is likely to translate into differing antifolate sensitivity. We have also demonstrated that the dispersal patterns of resistance lineages give unique insights into recent parasite migration patterns.