Artemisinin-based combination therapy during pregnancy: outcome of pregnancy and infant mortality: a cohort study.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation of treating uncomplicated malaria during the second and third trimester of pregnancy with an artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) has already been implemented by all sub-Saharan African countries. However, there is limited knowledge on the effect of ACT on pregnancy outcomes, and on newborn and infant's health. METHODS:Pregnant women with malaria in four countries (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi and Zambia) were treated with either artemether-lumefantrine (AL), amodiaquine-artesunate (ASAQ), mefloquine-artesunate (MQAS), or dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHA-PQ); 3127 live new-borns (822 in the AL, 775 in the ASAQ, 765 in the MQAS and 765 in the DHAPQ arms) were followed-up until their first birthday. RESULTS:Prevalence of placental malaria and low birth weight were 28.0% (738/2646) and 16.0% (480/2999), respectively, with no significant differences between treatment arms. No differences in congenital malformations (p = 0.35), perinatal mortality (p = 0.77), neonatal mortality (p = 0.21), and infant mortality (p = 0.96) were found. CONCLUSIONS:Outcome of pregnancy and infant survival were similar between treatment arms indicating that any of the four artemisinin-based combinations could be safely used during the second and third trimester of pregnancy without any adverse effect on the baby. Nevertheless, smaller safety differences between artemisinin-based combinations cannot be excluded; country-wide post-marketing surveillance would be very helpful to confirm such findings. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00852423, Registered on 27 February 2009, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00852423.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In Zambia, malaria is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality, especially among under five children and pregnant women. For the latter, the World Health Organization recommends the use of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) in the second and third trimester of pregnancy. In a context of limited information on ACT, the safety and efficacy of three combinations, namely artemether-lumefantrine (AL), mefloquine-artesunate (MQAS) and dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHAPQ) were assessed in pregnant women with malaria. METHODS:The trial was carried out between July 2010 and August 2013 in Nchelenge district, Luapula Province, an area of high transmission, as part of a multi-centre trial. Women in the second or third trimester of pregnancy and with malaria were recruited and randomized to one of the three study arms. Women were actively followed up for 63 days, and then at delivery and 1 year post-delivery. RESULTS:Nine hundred pregnant women were included, 300 per arm. PCR-adjusted treatment failure was 4.7% (12/258) (95% CI 2.7-8.0) for AL, 1.3% (3/235) (95% CI 0.4-3.7) for MQAS and 0.8% (2/236) (95% CI 0.2-3.0) for DHAPQ, with significant risk difference between AL and DHAPQ (p = 0.01) and between AL and MQAS (p = 0.03) treatments. Re-infections during follow up were more frequent in the AL (HR: 4.71; 95% CI 3.10-7.2; p < 0.01) and MQAS (HR: 1.59; 95% CI 1.02-2.46; p = 0.04) arms compared to the DHAPQ arm. PCR-adjusted treatment failure was significantly associated with women under 20 years [Hazard Ratio (HR) 5.35 (95% CI 1.07-26.73; p = 0.04)] and higher malaria parasite density [3.23 (95% CI 1.03-10.10; p = 0.04)], and still women under 20 years [1.78, (95% CI 1.26-2.52; p < 0.01)] had a significantly higher risk of re-infection. The three treatments were generally well tolerated. Dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headache and asthenia as adverse events (AEs) were more common in MQAS than in AL or DHAPQ (p < 0.001). Birth outcomes were not significantly different between treatment arms. CONCLUSION:As new infections can be prevented by a long acting partner drug to the artemisinins, DHAPQ should be preferred in places as Nchelenge district where transmission is intense while in areas of low transmission intensity AL or MQAS may be used.
Project description:In 2006, Senegal adopted artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) as first-line treatment in the management of uncomplicated malaria. This study aimed to update the status of antimalarial efficacy more than ten years after their first introduction. This was a randomized, three-arm, open-label study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of artemether-lumefantrine (AL), artesunate-amodiaquine (ASAQ) and dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) in Senegal. Malaria suspected patients were screened, enrolled, treated, and followed for 28 days for AL and ASAQ arms or 42 days for DP arm. Clinical and parasitological responses were assessed following antimalarial treatment. Genotyping (msp1, msp2 and 24 SNP-based barcode) were done to differentiate recrudescence from re-infection; in case of PCR-confirmed treatment failure, Pfk13 propeller and Pfcoronin genes were sequenced. Data was entered and analyzed using the WHO Excel-based application. A total of 496 patients were enrolled. In Diourbel, PCR non-corrected/corrected adequate clinical and parasitological responses (ACPR) was 100.0% in both the AL and ASAQ arms. In Kedougou, PCR corrected ACPR values were 98.8%, 100% and 97.6% in AL, ASAQ and DP arms respectively. No Pfk13 or Pfcoronin mutations associated with artemisinin resistance were found. This study showed that AL, ASAQ and DP remain efficacious and well-tolerated in the treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in Senegal.
Project description:The effects of malaria and its treatment in the first trimester of pregnancy remain an area of concern. We aimed to assess the outcome of malaria-exposed and malaria-unexposed first-trimester pregnancies of women from the Thai-Burmese border and compare outcomes after chloroquine-based, quinine-based, or artemisinin-based treatments.We analysed all antenatal records of women in the first trimester of pregnancy attending Shoklo Malaria Research Unit antenatal clinics from May 12, 1986, to Oct 31, 2010. Women without malaria in pregnancy were compared with those who had a single episode of malaria in the first trimester. The association between malaria and miscarriage was estimated using multivariable logistic regression.Of 48,426 pregnant women, 17,613 (36%) met the inclusion criteria: 16,668 (95%) had no malaria during the pregnancy and 945 (5%) had a single episode in the first trimester. The odds of miscarriage increased in women with asymptomatic malaria (adjusted odds ratio 2·70, 95% CI 2·04-3·59) and symptomatic malaria (3·99, 3·10-5·13), and were similar for Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. Other risk factors for miscarriage included smoking, maternal age, previous miscarriage, and non-malaria febrile illness. In women with malaria, additional risk factors for miscarriage included severe or hyperparasitaemic malaria (adjusted odds ratio 3·63, 95% CI 1·15-11·46) and parasitaemia (1·49, 1·25-1·78 for each ten-fold increase in parasitaemia). Higher gestational age at the time of infection was protective (adjusted odds ratio 0·86, 95% CI 0·81-0·91). The risk of miscarriage was similar for women treated with chloroquine (92 [26%] of 354), quinine (95 [27%) of 355), or artesunate (20 [31%] of 64; p=0·71). Adverse effects related to antimalarial treatment were not observed.A single episode of falciparum or vivax malaria in the first trimester of pregnancy can cause miscarriage. No additional toxic effects associated with artesunate treatment occurred in early pregnancy. Prospective studies should now be done to assess the safety and efficacy of artemisinin combination treatments in early pregnancy.
Project description:Pregnant women have a higher risk of malaria compared to non-pregnant women. This review provides an update on knowledge acquired since 2000 on P. falciparum and P.vivax infections in pregnancy. Maternal risk factors for malaria in pregnancy (MiP) include low maternal age, low parity, and low gestational age. The main effects of MIP include maternal anaemia, low birth weight (LBW), preterm delivery and increased infant and maternal mortality.P. falciparum infected erythrocytes sequester in the placenta by expressing surface antigens, mainly variant surface antigen (VAR2CSA), that bind to specific receptors, mainly chondroitin sulphate A. In stable transmission settings, the higher malaria risk in primigravidae can be explained by the non-recognition of these surface antigens by the immune system. Recently, placental sequestration has been described also for P.vivax infections. The mechanism of preterm delivery and intrauterine growth retardation is not completely understood, but fever (preterm delivery), anaemia, and high cytokines levels have been implicated.Clinical suspicion of MiP should be confirmed by parasitological diagnosis. The sensitivity of microscopy, with placenta histology as the gold standard, is 60% and 45% for peripheral and placental falciparum infections in African women, respectively. Compared to microscopy, RDTs have a lower sensitivity though when the quality of microscopy is low RDTs may be more reliable. Insecticide treated nets (ITN) and intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) are recommended for the prevention of MiP in stable transmission settings. ITNs have been shown to reduce malaria infection and adverse pregnancy outcomes by 28-47%. Although resistance is a concern, SP has been shown to be equivalent to MQ and AQ for IPTp. For the treatment of uncomplicated malaria during the first trimester, quinine plus clindamycin for 7 days is the first line treatment and artesunate plus clindamycin for 7 days is indicated if this treatment fails; in the 2(nd) and 3(rd) trimester first line treatment is an artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) known to be effective in the region or artesunate and clindamycin for 7 days or quinine and clindamycin. For severe malaria, in the second and third trimester parenteral artesunate is preferred over quinine. In the first trimester, both artesunate and quinine (parenteral) may be considered as options. Nevertheless, treatment should not be delayed and should be started immediately with the most readily available drug.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:Prior small-scale clinical trials showed that Artemisia annua and Artemisia afra infusions, decoctions, capsules, or tablets were low cost, easy to use, and efficient in curing malaria infections. In a larger-scale trial in Kalima district, Democratic Republic of Congo, we aimed to show A. annua and/or A. afra infusions were superior or at least equivalent to artesunate-amodiaquine (ASAQ) against malaria. METHODS:A double blind, randomized clinical trial with 957 malaria-infected patients had two treatment arms: 472 patients for ASAQ and 471 for Artemisia (248 A. annua, 223 A. afra) remained at end of the trial. ASAQ-treated patients were treated per manufacturer posology, and Artemisia-treated patients received 1?l/d of dry leaf/twig infusions for 7 d; both arms had 28 d follow-up. Parasitemia and gametocytes were measured microscopically with results statistically compared among arms for age and gender. RESULTS:Artemisinin content of A. afra was negligible, but therapeutic responses of patients were similar to A. annua-treated patients; trophozoites cleared after 24? h, but took up to 14 d to clear in ASAQ-treated patients. D28 cure rates defined as absence of parasitemia were for pediatrics 82, 91, and 50% for A. afra, A. annua and ASAQ; while for adults cure rates were 91, 100, and 30%, respectively. Fever clearance took 48 ?h for ASAQ, but 24 ?h for Artemisia. From D14-28 no Artemisia-treated patients had microscopically detectable gametocytes, while 10 ASAQ-treated patients remained gametocyte carriers at D28. More females than males were gametocyte carriers in the ASAQ arm but were unaffected in the Artemisia arms. Hemoglobin remained constant at 11?g/dl for A. afra after D1, while for A. annua and ASAQ it decreased to 9-9.5? g/dl. Only 5.0% of Artemisia-treated patients reported adverse effects, vs. 42.8% for ASAQ. CONCLUSION:A. annua and A. afra infusions are polytherapies with better outcomes than ASAQ against malaria. In contrast to ASAQ, both Artemisias appeared to break the cycle of malaria by eliminating gametocytes. This study merits further investigation for possible inclusion of Artemisia tea infusions as an alternative for fighting and eradicating malaria.
Project description:UNLABELLED:The safety and efficacy of the two most widely used fixed-dose artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACT), artesunate-amodiaquine (ASAQ) and artemether-lumefantrine (AL) are well established for single episodes of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria, but the effects of repeated, long-term use are not well documented. We conducted a 2-year randomized, open-label, longitudinal, phase IV clinical trial comparing the efficacy and safety of fixed-dose ASAQ and AL for repeated treatment of uncomplicated malaria in children under 5 years at Nagongera Health Centre, Uganda. Participants were randomized to ASAQ or AL and all subsequent malaria episodes were treated with the same regimen. 413 children were enrolled and experienced a total of 6027 malaria episodes (mean 15; range, 1-26). For the first malaria episode, the PCR-corrected-cure rate for ASAQ (97.5%) was non-inferior to that for AL (97.0%; 95% CI [-0.028; 0.037]). PCR-corrected cure rates for subsequent malaria episodes that had over 100 cases (episodes 2-18), ranged from 88.1% to 98.9% per episode, with no clear difference between the treatment arms. Parasites were completely cleared by day 3 for all malaria episodes and gametocyte carriage was less than 1% by day 21. Fever clearance was faster in the ASAQ group for the first episode. Treatment compliance for subsequent episodes (only first dose administration observed) was close to 100%. Adverse events though common were similar between treatment arms and mostly related to the disease. Serious adverse events were uncommon, comparable between treatment arms and resolved spontaneously. Anemia and neutropenia occurred in <0.5% of cases per episode, abnormal liver function tests occurred in 0.3% to 1.4% of cases. Both regimens were safe and effective for repeated treatment of malaria. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Current Controlled Trials NCT00699920.
Project description:The Angolan government recommends three artemisinin-based combinations for the treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria: artemether-lumefantrine (AL), artesunate-amodiaquine (ASAQ), and dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP). Due to the threat of emerging anti-malarial drug resistance, it is important to periodically monitor the efficacy of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). This study evaluated these medications' therapeutic efficacy in Benguela, Lunda Sul, and Zaire Provinces.Enrollment occurred between March and July 2017. Study participants were children with P. falciparum monoinfection from each provincial capital. Participants received a 3-day course of a quality-assured artemisinin-based combination and were monitored for 28 (AL and ASAQ arms) or 42 days (DP arm). Each ACT was assessed in two provinces. The primary study endpoints were: (1) follow-up without complications and (2) failure to respond to treatment or development of recurrent P. falciparum infection. Parasites from each patient experiencing recurrent infection were genotyped to differentiate new infection from recrudescence of persistent parasitaemia. These parasites were also analysed for molecular markers associated with ACT resistance.Of 608 children enrolled in the study, 540 (89%) reached a primary study endpoint. Parasitaemia was cleared within 3 days of medication administration in all participants, and no early treatment failures were observed. After exclusion of reinfections, the corrected efficacy of AL was 96% (91-100%, 95% confidence interval) in Zaire and 97% (93-100%) in Lunda Sul. The corrected efficacy of ASAQ was 100% (97-100%) in Benguela and 93% (88-99%) in Zaire. The corrected efficacy of DP was 100% (96-100%) in Benguela and 100% in Lunda Sul. No mutations associated with artemisinin resistance were identified in the pfk13 gene in the 38 cases of recurrent P. falciparum infection. All 33 treatment failures in the AL and ASAQ arms carried pfmdr1 or pfcrt mutations associated with lumefantrine and amodiaquine resistance, respectively, on day of failure.AL, ASAQ, and DP continue to be efficacious against P. falciparum malaria in these provinces of Angola. Rapid parasite clearance and the absence of genetic evidence of artemisinin resistance are consistent with full susceptibility to artemisinin derivatives. Periodic monitoring of in vivo drug efficacy remains a priority routine activity for Angola.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) is recommended to improve malaria treatment efficacy and limit drug-resistant parasites selection in malaria endemic areas. 5 years after they were adopted, the efficacy and safety of artemether-lumefantrine (AL) and artesunate-amodiaquine (ASAQ), the first-line treatments for uncomplicated malaria were assessed in Burkina Faso. METHODS:In total, 440 children with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria were randomized to receive either AL or ASAQ for 3 days and were followed up weekly for 42 days. Blood samples were collected to investigate the ex vivo susceptibility of P. falciparum isolates to lumefantrine, dihydroartemisinin (the active metabolite of artemisinin derivatives) and monodesethylamodiaquine (the active metabolite of amodiaquine). The modified isotopic micro test technique was used to determine the 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) values. Primary endpoints were the risks of treatment failure at days 42. RESULTS:Out of the 440 patients enrolled, 420 (95.5%) completed the 42 days follow up. The results showed a significantly higher PCR unadjusted cure rate in ASAQ arm (71.0%) than that in the AL arm (49.8%) on day 42, and this trend was similar after correction by PCR, with ASAQ performing better (98.1%) than AL (91.1%). Overall adverse events incidence was low and not significantly different between the two treatment arms. Ex vivo results showed that 6.4% P. falciparum isolates were resistant to monodesthylamodiaquine. The coupled in vivo/ex vivo analysis showed increased IC50 values for lumefantrine and monodesethylamodiaquine at day of recurrent parasitaemia compared to baseline values while for artesunate, IC50 values remained stable at baseline and after treatment failure (p?>?0.05). CONCLUSION:These findings provide substantial evidence that AL and ASAQ are highly efficacious for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria in children in Burkina Faso. However, the result of P. falciparum susceptibility to the partner drugs advocates the need to regularly replicate such surveillance studies. This would be particularly indicated when amodiaquine is associated in seasonal malaria chemoprophylaxis (SMC) mass drug administration in children under 5 years in Burkina Faso. Trial registration clinicaltrials, NCT00808951. Registered 05 December 2008,https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00808951?cond=NCT00808951&rank=1.
Project description:The use of artemisinin derivative-based combination therapy (ACT) such as artesunate plus amodiaquine is currently recommended for the treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Fixed-dose combinations are more adapted to patients than regimens involving multiple tablets and improve treatment compliance. A fixed-dose combination of artesunate + amodiaquine (ASAQ) was recently developed. To assess the efficacy and safety of this new combination and to define its optimum dosage regimen (once or twice daily) in the treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria, a multicentre clinical study was conducted.A multicentre, randomized, controlled, investigator-blinded, parallel-group study was conducted in five African centers in Cameroon, Madagascar, Mali and Senegal from March to December 2006. Efficacy and safety of ASAQ were assessed compared to those of artemether + lumefantrine (AL). The WHO protocol with a 28-day follow-up for assessing the drug therapeutic efficacy was used. Patients suffering from uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria were randomized to receive ASAQ orally once daily (ASAQ1), ASAQ twice daily (ASAQ2) or AL twice daily (AL) for three days. The primary outcome was PCR-corrected parasitological cure rate and clinical response.Of 941 patients initially randomized and stratified into two age groups (<5 years, and >or=5 years), 936 (99.5%) were retained for the intent to treat (ITT) analysis, and 859 (91.3%) patients for the per protocol (PP) analysis. Among ITT population, up to D28, PCR-corrected adequate parasitological and clinical response rates were 95.2% in the ASAQ1 group, 94.9% in the ASAQ2 group and 95.5% in the AL group. Moreover, the cure rate evaluated among PP population was >or=98.5% in both ASAQ therapeutic arms. Therapeutic response rates did not display any significant differences between age groups or between one geographical site and another. Altogether, this demonstrates the non-inferiority of ASAQ1 regimen compared to both ASAQ2 and AL regimens. During follow-up mild and moderate adverse events including gastrointestinal and/or nervous disorders were reported in 29.3% of patients, with no difference between groups in the nature, frequency or intensity of adverse events.The non-inferiority of ASAQ compared with AL was demonstrated. The fixed-dose combination artesunate + amodiaquine (ASAQ) is safe and efficacious even in young children under 5 years of age. Whilst administration on a twice-a-day basis does not improve the efficacy of ASAQ significantly, a once-a-day intake of this new combination clearly appears as an effective and safe therapy in the treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria both in adults and children. Implications of such findings are of primary importance in terms of public health especially in African countries. As most national policies plan to strengthen malaria control to reach the elimination of this disease, anti-malarial drugs such as the artesunate + amodiaquine fixed-dose ACT will play a pivotal role in this process.The protocol was registered with the www.clinicaltrials.gov open clinical trial registry under the identifier number NCT00316329.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Malaria in pregnancy, including asymptomatic infection, has a detrimental impact on foetal development. Individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis was conducted to compare the association between antimalarial treatments and adverse pregnancy outcomes, including placental malaria, accompanied with the gestational age at diagnosis of uncomplicated falciparum malaria infection. METHODS:A systematic review and one-stage IPD meta-analysis of studies assessing the efficacy of artemisinin-based and quinine-based treatments for patent microscopic uncomplicated falciparum malaria infection (hereinafter uncomplicated falciparum malaria) in pregnancy was conducted. The risks of stillbirth (pregnancy loss at ??28.0?weeks of gestation), moderate to late preterm birth (PTB, live birth between 32.0 and <?37.0?weeks), small for gestational age (SGA, birthweight of <?10th percentile), and placental malaria (defined as deposition of malaria pigment in the placenta with or without parasites) after different treatments of uncomplicated falciparum malaria were assessed by mixed-effects logistic regression, using artemether-lumefantrine, the most used antimalarial, as the reference standard. Registration PROSPERO: CRD42018104013. RESULTS:Of the 22 eligible studies (n?=?5015), IPD from16 studies were shared, representing 95.0% (n?=?4765) of the women enrolled in literature. Malaria treatment in this pooled analysis mostly occurred in the second (68.4%, 3064/4501) or third trimester (31.6%, 1421/4501), with gestational age confirmed by ultrasound in 91.5% (4120/4503). Quinine (n?=?184) and five commonly used artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) were included: artemether-lumefantrine (n?=?1087), artesunate-amodiaquine (n?=?775), artesunate-mefloquine (n?=?965), and dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (n?=?837). The overall pooled proportion of stillbirth was 1.1% (84/4361), PTB 10.0% (619/4131), SGA 32.3% (1007/3707), and placental malaria 80.1% (2543/3035), and there were no significant differences of considered outcomes by ACT. Higher parasitaemia before treatment was associated with a higher risk of SGA (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.14 per 10-fold increase, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.03 to 1.26, p?=?0.009) and deposition of malaria pigment in the placenta (aOR 1.67 per 10-fold increase, 95% CI 1.42 to 1.96, p?<?0.001). CONCLUSIONS:The risks of stillbirth, PTB, SGA, and placental malaria were not different between the commonly used ACTs. The risk of SGA was high among pregnant women infected with falciparum malaria despite treatment with highly effective drugs. Reduction of malaria-associated adverse birth outcomes requires effective prevention in pregnant women.