Sulfadoxine-Pyrimethamine for the Treatment of Acute Malaria in Children in Papua New Guinea

II. Plasmodium vivax

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  • Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Madang General Hospital, P.O. Box 378, Madang, Papua New Guinea

In Papua New Guinea, Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax are common causes of acute malaria in children and P. malariae an uncommon cause. The increasing prevelance of chloroquine-resistant strains of P. falciparum in Papua New Guinea has prompted the search for alternatives to chloroquine as standard presumptive treatment. Sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, either alone or in combination with a single dose of chloroquine, was compared with chloroquine alone for treatment of acute vivax malaria in children in Madang. Fever resolution was slowest in the group treated with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine alone, and time to clearance of parasitemia was significantly longer in this group (P < 0.001). Where possible, species identification should be undertaken in acute malaria and cases of P. vivax treated with chloroquine.

Author Notes

Present address: Department of Paediatrics, Christchurch Hospital, Private Bag, Christchurch, New Zealand.