• Artemether-Lumefantrine to treat Malaria in pregnancy is associated with reduced placental Haemozoin deposition compared to Quinine in a randomized controlled trial

      Muehlenbachs, Atis; Nabasumba, Carolyn; McGready, Rose; Turyakira, Eleanor; Tumwebaze, Benon; Dhorda, Mehul; Nyehangane, Dan; Nalusaji, Aisha; Nosten, Franois; Guerin, Philippe J; et al. (2012-05-03)
      Data on efficacy of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) to treat Plasmodium falciparum during pregnancy in sub-Saharan Africa is scarce. A recent open label, randomized controlled trial in Mbarara, Uganda demonstrated that artemether-lumefantrine (AL) is not inferior to quinine to treat uncomplicated malaria in pregnancy. Haemozoin can persist in the placenta following clearance of parasites, however there is no data whether ACT can influence the amount of haemozoin or the dynamics of haemozoin clearance.
    • Clinical efficacy of chloroquine or sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine in children under five from south-western Uganda with uncomplicated falciparum malaria.

      Legros, D; Johnson, K; Houpikian, P; Makanga, M; Kabakyenga, J K; Talisuna, A O; Taylor, W R J; Epicentre, P.O. Box 2362, Kampala, Uganda. (2002)
      We conducted a 14-day study (during March-May 1998) to assess the efficacy of chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) for treating uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Uganda. Overall treatment failure rates were 43 (81.1%) of 53 chloroquine recipients and 16 (25.0%) of 64 SP patients. Strategies to improve the life-span of standard and affordable anti-malarial drugs are needed.
    • Community coverage of an antimalarial combination of artesunate and amodiaquine in Makamba Province, Burundi, nine months after its introduction.

      Gerstl, S; Cohuet, S; Edoh, K; Brasher, C; Lesage, A; Guthmann, J P; Checchi, F; Epicentre, Paris, France. sibylle.gerstl@epicentre.msf.org (BioMed Central, 2007)
      BACKGROUND: In 2003, artesunate-amodiaquine (AS+AQ) was introduced as the new first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria in Burundi. After confirmed diagnosis, treatment was delivered at subsidized prices in public health centres. Nine months after its implementation a study was carried out to assess whether children below five years of age with uncomplicated malaria were actually receiving AS+AQ. METHODS: A community-based study was conducted in Makamba province. Randomly selected households containing one or more children under five with reported fever onset within fourteen days before the study date were eligible. Case-management information was collected based on caregiver recall. A case definition of symptomatic malaria from observations of children presenting a confirmed malaria episode on the day of the survey was developed. Based on this definition, those children who had probable malaria among those with fever onset in the 14 days prior to the study were identified retrospectively. Treatment coverage with AS+AQ was then estimated among these probable malaria cases. RESULTS: Out of 195 children with fever on the day of the study, 92 were confirmed as true malaria cases and 103 tested negative. The combination of 'loss of appetite', 'sweating', 'shivering' and 'intermittent fever' yielded the highest possible positive predictive value, and was chosen as the case definition of malaria. Out of 526 children who had had fever 14 days prior to the survey, 165 (31.4%) were defined as probable malaria cases using this definition. Among them, 20 (14.1%) had been treated with AS+AQ, 10 with quinine (5%), 68 (41%) received non-malaria treatments, and 67 got traditional treatment or nothing (39.9%). Most people sought treatment from public health centres (23/99) followed by private clinics (15/99, 14.1%). The median price paid for AS+AQ was 0.5 US$. CONCLUSION: AS+AQ was the most common treatment for patients with probable malaria at public health centres, but coverage was low due to low health centre utilisation and apparently inappropriate prescribing. In addition, AS+AQ was given to patients at a price ten times higher than the subsidized price. The availability and proper use of ACTs should be monitored and maximized after their introduction in order to have a significant impact on the burden of malaria.
    • Environmental risk factors for clinical malaria: a case-control study in the Grau region of Peru.

      Guthmann, J P; Hall, A J; Jaffar, S; Palacios, A; Lines, J; Llanos-Cuentas, A; Department of Infectious and Tropical Disease, Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK. jguthmann@epicentre.msf.org (2001)
      The role of environmental risk factors in clinical malaria has been studied mainly in Africa and Asia, few investigations have been carried out in Latin America. Field observations in northern coastal Peru, where the prevalence of malaria is high during the agricultural season, suggested that the risk of disease varied according to the characteristics of the house and the house environment. Environmental determinants of the risk of clinical malaria were therefore investigated through a case-control study: 323 clinical cases of malaria, recruited through community-based active case-finding, and 969 age-, sex- and village-matched controls were recruited into the study over a period of 12 months ending June 1997. Residual spraying of houses in the previous 6 months, living more than 100 m from a canal, a level of education equal to primary school or above and working in agriculture conferred significant protection from the risk of developing clinical malaria. The presence of spaces between the wall and roof in the subject's bedroom (eaves) and a house aged > 4 years statistically significantly increased the risk of disease. Based on these results we discuss possible control measures for malaria in this area of the country.
    • Evaluation of three parasite lactate dehydrogenase-based rapid diagnostic tests for the diagnosis of falciparum and vivax malaria

      Ashley, Elizabeth A; Touabi, Malek; Ahrer, Margareta; Hutagalung, Robert; Htun, Khayae; Luchavez, Jennifer; Dureza, Christine; Proux, Stephane; Leimanis, Mara; Lwin, Myo Min; et al. (2009-10-27)
      BACKGROUND: In areas where non-falciparum malaria is common rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) capable of distinguishing malaria species reliably are needed. Such tests are often based on the detection of parasite lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH). METHODS: In Dawei, southern Myanmar, three pLDH based RDTs (CareStart Malaria pLDH (Pan), CareStart Malaria pLDH (Pan, Pf) and OptiMAL-IT)were evaluated in patients presenting with clinically suspected malaria. Each RDT was read independently by two readers. A subset of patients with microscopically confirmed malaria had their RDTs repeated on days 2, 7 and then weekly until negative. At the end of the study, samples of study batches were sent for heat stability testing. RESULTS: Between August and November 2007, 1004 patients aged between 1 and 93 years were enrolled in the study. Slide microscopy (the reference standard) diagnosed 213 Plasmodium vivax (Pv) monoinfections, 98 Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) mono-infections and no malaria in 650 cases. The sensitivities (sens) and specificities (spec), of the RDTs for the detection of malaria were- CareStart Malaria pLDH (Pan) test: sens 89.1% [CI95 84.2-92.6], spec 97.6% [CI95 96.5-98.4]. OptiMal-IT: Pf+/- other species detection: sens 95.2% [CI95 87.5-98.2], spec 94.7% [CI95 93.3-95.8]; non-Pf detection alone: sens 89.6% [CI95 83.6-93.6], spec 96.5% [CI95 94.8-97.7]. CareStart Malaria pLDH (Pan, Pf): Pf+/- other species: sens 93.5% [CI95 85.4-97.3], spec 97.4% [95.9-98.3]; non-Pf: sens 78.5% [CI95 71.1-84.4], spec 97.8% [CI95 96.3-98.7]. Inter-observer agreement was excellent for all tests (kappa > 0.9). The median time for the RDTs to become negative was two days for the CareStart Malaria tests and seven days for OptiMAL-IT. Tests were heat stable up to 90 days except for OptiMAL-IT (Pf specific pLDH stable to day 20 at 35 degrees C). CONCLUSION: None of the pLDH-based RDTs evaluated was able to detect non-falciparum malaria with high sensitivity, particularly at low parasitaemias. OptiMAL-IT performed best overall and would perform best in an area of high malaria prevalence among screened fever cases. However, heat stability was unacceptable and the number of steps to perform this test is a significant drawback in the field. A reliable, heat-stable, highly sensitive RDT, capable of diagnosing all Plasmodium species has yet to be identified.
    • Validity, reliability and ease of use in the field of five rapid tests for the diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Uganda.

      Guthmann, J P; Ruiz, A; Priotto, G; Kiguli, J; Bonte, L; Legros, D; Epicentre, 4 rue Saint Sabin, 75011 Paris, France. jguthmann@epicentre.msf.org (Elsevier, 2008-02-14)
      A study was conducted to measure the overall performance of several rapid diagnostic tests for Plasmodium falciparum infection, in order to select the most appropriate test to be used in the field. A total of 742 patients attending the out-patient department of Mbarara Hospital with a clinical suspicion of malaria were included in the study. For each patient, a thick/thin film and 5 rapid tests based on the detection of histidine-rich protein II (HRP-II) (Paracheck Pf dipstick and device, ParaHIT f, Malaria Rapid and BIO P.F.) were performed. Outcomes were validity, inter-reader reliability and 'ease of use in the field', measured by both the general characteristics of the test and by the opinion of the readers. About half (57%) of the patients were positive for P. falciparum. The Paracheck Pf (dipstick and device) was considered as the most appropriate for the use in the field, being sensitive (97%), moderately specific (88%), reliable (kappa coefficient = 0.97), easy to use and cheap (about US$ 0.5/test). The ParaHIT f represented a good alternative.