Volume 56, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Atovaquone (dihydroxynaphthoquinone 566C80) is a broad-spectrum antiprotozoal compound demonstrating potent antimalarial activity against multidrug-resistant malaria. We present the results of in vitro drug sensitivity tests of 142 isolates, 108 from 14 countries of West and Central Africa, 32 from the Philippines, and one each from Laos and Myanmar. These were tested in vitro against nine drugs: the classic antimalarials chloroquine, quinine, mefloquine and halofantrine, the four qinghaosu derivatives, artemisinin, artemether, artesunate, and arteether, and the new compound atovaquone. Results showed the Asian strains have a higher median 50% inhibitory concentration (IC) to almost all drugs compared with those from Africa. This was significantly different for chloroquine, halofantrine, and artemisinin. We used three different approaches to estimate the threshold for resistance of atovaquone to be approximately 5–7 nmol/L. The global median of 96 pooled strains is 1.4 nmol/L and the 90th percentile is 5.5 nmol/L for atovaquone. There were no correlations of atovaquone with the eight other antimalarials among African strains, but significant correlations, except for halofantrine, were observed among Asian strains. The absence of a correlation between atovaquone and the other available drugs indicates the potential of atovaquone as an alternative antimalarial in Africa. The correlation observed among Asian strains, however, suggests that atovaquone has to be used cautiously in Asia. Nevertheless, the association with proguanil in recently concluded clinical trials in Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa has demonstrated its antimalarial efficacy.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error