Volume 48, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



To examine the effect of iron chelation against human malaria, 37 Zambians with asymptomatic infections were randomly assigned to 72-hr infusions of desferrioxamine B or placebo. Mean concentrations of ring forms decreased significantly with desferoxamine B ( < 0.001) but not with a placebo. Over seven days of observation, mean parasite concentrations remained at the initial levels in six individuals originally given placebo, but decreased promptly with administration of desferrioxamine B ( = 0.001). Mean parasitemia was significantly lower for up to four weeks in 16 subjects treated with desferrioxamine B when compared with the eight who had received placebo only ( = 0.027). We conclude that iron chelation has antiplasmodial activity and may offer a new therapeutic strategy for falciparum malaria.


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