Randomised Trial of Chloroquine/Sulphadoxine-Pyrimethamine in Gambian Children with Malaria: Impact against Multidrug-Resistant P. falciparum.
Dunyo, S; Ord, R; Hallett, R; Jawara, M; Walraven, G; Mesa, E; Coleman, R; Sowe, M; Alexander, N; Targett, GA; Pinder, M; Sutherland, CJ; (2006) Randomised Trial of Chloroquine/Sulphadoxine-Pyrimethamine in Gambian Children with Malaria: Impact against Multidrug-Resistant P. falciparum. PLoS Clin Trials, 1 (3). e14. ISSN 1555-5887 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pctr.0010014
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OBJECTIVES: In the Gambia, the combination of chloroquine (CQ) and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) has replaced CQ monotherapy for treatment of malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum. We measured the efficacy of the combination CQ/SP, and the prevalence of parasites carrying alleles associated with resistance to CQ or SP. DESIGN: We conducted a single-blind, randomised, controlled trial to compare the efficacy of CQ/SP to that of SP or CQ alone. SETTING: The study took place in the town of Farafenni and surrounding villages in the Gambia. PARTICIPANTS: Participants were children aged 12 mo to 10 y presenting as outpatients with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria. INTERVENTIONS: 500 children were randomised to receive CQ, SP, or CQ/SP as supervised treatment and actively followed over 28 d. OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcome was parasitaemia at any time during follow-up. Secondary outcomes were PCR-confirmed recrudescent infections among treatment failures, and clinical failure requiring rescue medication by day 28. Pretreatment parasite isolates from 161 patients were tested for the presence of resistance-associated genetic markers. RESULTS: The prevalence of parasitological failure by day 28 for the CQ group was 60.3%, compared to 17.6% for SP (odds ratio [OR], 0.106; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.057-0.194; p < 0.001) and 13.9% for CQ/SP (OR versus CQ, 0.140; 95% CI, 0.078-0.250; p < 0.001). There was no difference between the SP and CQ/SP groups (OR, 1.324; 95% CI, 0.705-2.50). The projected prevalence of PCR-corrected treatment failure was 30.2, 6.06, and 3.94% in the CQ, SP, and CQ/SP groups, respectively. The pfdhfr-triple mutant and pfdhps-437G mutation were common, with prevalences of 67.4 and 51.2%, respectively. Pretreatment carriage of pfdhps-437G and of multidrug-resistant parasite genotypes was associated with treatment failure in the SP group, but not in the CQ or CQ/SP groups. CONCLUSIONS: The combination of CQ/SP was an efficacious treatment for uncomplicated malaria in Gambian children in this study, but the frequent occurrence of multidrug-resistant parasites suggests that this observed efficacy is not sustainable.
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