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ANTIPYRETIC, PARASITOLOGIC, AND IMMUNOLOGIC EFFECTS OF COMBINING SULFADOXINE/PYRIMETHAMINE WITH CHLOROQUINE OR PARACETAMOL FOR TREATING UNCOMPLICATED PLASMODIUM FALCIPARUM MALARIA

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  • 1 Malaria Research Unit, Division of Infectious Diseases, and Clincial Epidemiology Unit, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Immunology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Parasitology/Medical Entomology, Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (SP) is increasingly used against malaria in sub-Saharan Africa because of chloroquine resistance. However, chloroquine may have a beneficial antipyretic effect. We therefore compared the combination of SP plus chloroquine, chloroquine alone, SP alone, and SP plus paracetamol in the treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in 175 Tanzanian children (1–4 years old) in a randomized trial. Outcome variables were axillary temperatures every six hours, daily parasitemias, and serum levels of IgG antibodies to P. falciparum. Lower mean temperatures (6–48 hours) were achieved with SP plus chloroquine or paracetamol than with SP alone (P < 0.001) or chloroquine alone (P < 0.05). All three SP-treated groups showed high and similar parasite reduction (0–48 hours), whereas treatment with chloroquine alone was much less effective. Levels of IgG antibodies to P. falciparum increased significantly (P < 0.001) and similarly in the four treatment groups between days 0, 2. and 3. Thus, the addition of chloroquine or paracetamol to SP improved the clinical outcome, but did not affect the parasitologic response or antibody production.

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