• Efficacy and safety of artemether-lumefantrine compared with quinine in pregnant women with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria: an open-label, randomised, non-inferiority trial

      Piola, Patrice; Nabasumba, Carolyn; Turyakira, Eleanor; Dhorda, Mehul; Lindegardh, Niklas; Nyehangane, Dan; Snounou, Georges; Ashley, Elizabeth A; McGready, Rose; Nosten, Francois; Guerin, Philippe J; Epicentre, Paris, France; Epicentre, Mbarara, Uganda; Mbarara University of Science & Technology, Mbarara, Uganda; Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK; INSERM UMR S945, Paris, France; Université Pierre & Marie Curie, Faculté de Médecine Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France; Department of Microbiology, Imperial College NHS Trust, London, UK; Shoklo Malaria Research Unit, Mae Sot, Tak, Thailand (2010-10-05)
      BACKGROUND: Malaria in pregnancy is associated with maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. In 2006, WHO recommended use of artemisinin-based combination treatments during the second or third trimesters, but data on efficacy and safety in Africa were scarce. We aimed to assess whether artemether-lumefantrine was at least as efficacious as oral quinine for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy in Mbarara, Uganda. METHODS: We did an open-label, randomised, non-inferiority trial between October, 2006, and May, 2009, at the antenatal clinics of the Mbarara University of Science and Technology Hospital in Uganda. Pregnant women were randomly assigned (1:1) by computer generated sequence to receive either quinine hydrochloride or artemether-lumefantrine, and were followed up weekly until delivery. Our primary endpoint was cure rate at day 42, confirmed by PCR. The non-inferiority margin was a difference in cure rate of 5%. Analysis of efficacy was for all randomised patients without study deviations that could have affected the efficacy outcome. This study was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00495508. FINDINGS: 304 women were randomly assigned, 152 to each treatment group. By day 42, 16 patients were lost to follow-up and 25 were excluded from the analysis. At day 42, 137 (99·3%) of 138 patients taking artemether-lumefantrine and 122 (97·6%) of 125 taking quinine were cured-difference 1·7% (lower limit of 95% CI -0·9). There were 290 adverse events in the quinine group and 141 in the artemether-lumefantrine group. INTERPRETATION: Artemisinin derivatives are not inferior to oral quinine for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria in pregnancy and might be preferable on the basis of safety and efficacy. FUNDING: Médecins Sans Frontières and the European Commission.