1921
Volume 95, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645

Abstract

Abstract

We evaluated the clinical efficacy of artesunate–mefloquine (ASMQ) fixed-dose combination to treat uncomplicated malaria in Juruá Valley, the main transmission hotspot in Brazil. Between November 2010 and February 2013, we enrolled 162 patients aged 4–73 years, with fever or a history of fever, and a single-species infection confirmed by microscopy and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). All 154 patients who completed the 42-day follow-up presented an adequate clinical and parasitologic response. ASMQ was well tolerated and no adverse event caused treatment interruption. Gametocytes were detected in 46.3% patients; 35.2% had gametocytes at enrollment, whereas others developed patent gametocytemia 1–14 days after starting ASMQ. By day 3 of treatment, all subjects had cleared asexual parasitemia, but parasite DNA remained PCR detectable in 37.6% of them. Day-3 PCR positivity was associated with prolonged gametocyte carriage. We found no molecular evidence of resistance to either MQ ( gene amplification) or AS (mutations in selected gene domains known to be associated with AS resistance) in the local population. These results strongly support the use of ASMQ as a first-line regimen to treat uncomplicated malaria in northwestern Brazil, but underscore the need for gametocytocidal drugs to reduce the transmission potential of ASMQ-treated patients (ClinicalTrials.gov number NCT01144702).

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  • Received : 06 Jan 2016
  • Accepted : 12 Feb 2016

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