[In Vivo Drug Sensitivity of Plasmodium Falciparum in the Tabou Region of Ivory Coast]
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AbstractMalaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum is one of the major health problems in West-Africa, mainly affecting young children. This situation is further complicated by the emergence and rapid progression of resistance to chloroquine, the recommended first line treatment. In order to document the level of resistance of P. falciparum to chloroquine, pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine (Fansidar) and quinine, we performed a survey in Tabou district, Côre d'Ivoire, from June to August 1995. This area has been hosting some 100,000 Liberian refugees since September 1994. Children aged 1 to 15 years old attending the dispensary with a complain of fever or suspected malaria, were included into the study, diagnosed and followed for 7 days according to the WHO Standard Field (in vivo) Tests. Overall proportion of P. falciparum resistant to chloroquine reached 45.1% and was made of 34.3% type II and 10.8% type III resistance. Being less than 5 years of age and having received a lower dose of drug were 2 factors associated with the risk of resistance to chloroquine. Levels of R II resistance to pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine and quinine (3-day treatment) were respectively 5.4% and 4.2%. No R III resistance was found in neither pyrimethaminelsulfadoxine or quinine treatment groups. These results challenge the current chloroquine-based first line malaria treatment in Côre d'Ivoire. Alternative based on pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine could be considered, especially in high risk populations during transient situation (refugees). However, elaborating new treatment policy must take into consideration cost, side-effects, compliance and acceptability. Further studies are needed to evaluate the cost-benefit of alternative strategies.
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