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COMPARISON OF SULFADOXINE-PYRIMETHAMINE WITH AND WITHOUT CHLOROQUINE FOR UNCOMPLICATED MALARIA IN NIGERIA

SIMON L. PITMANGDepartment of Family Medicine, Jos University Teaching Hospital Jos, Nigeria; Department of Microbiology University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria; Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

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TOM D. THACHERDepartment of Family Medicine, Jos University Teaching Hospital Jos, Nigeria; Department of Microbiology University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria; Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

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J. K. A. MADAKIDepartment of Family Medicine, Jos University Teaching Hospital Jos, Nigeria; Department of Microbiology University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria; Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

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DANIEL Z. EGAHDepartment of Family Medicine, Jos University Teaching Hospital Jos, Nigeria; Department of Microbiology University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria; Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

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PHILIP R. FISCHERDepartment of Family Medicine, Jos University Teaching Hospital Jos, Nigeria; Department of Microbiology University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria; Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

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While resistance to older antimalarials is increasingly common, newer antimalarials are still not widely available or affordable in much of Africa. Older antimalarials used in combination might be adequately effective in treating uncomplicated malaria. The objective of this study was to determine whether the combination of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) and chloroquine (CQ) is superior to SP alone in the treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Nigerian patients. We recruited subjects with malaria, defined as the presence of fever and parasitemia > 2,000/μL, from the outpatient department of a Nigerian teaching hospital. We alternately assigned 280 subjects to receive SP with or without CQ. We assessed clinical and parasitologic responses on days 1, 2, 3, 7, and 14. A total of 114 in the SP + CQ group and 116 in the SP group completed the study. By day 3, 97 (75%) in the SP + CQ group and 52 (42%) in the SP group had cleared their parasitemia (P < 0.001); by day 14, 112 (98%) and 67 (58%), respectively, had cleared their parasitemia (P < 0.001). By day 3, 82 (63%) in the SP + CQ group and 20 (16%) in the SP group were symptom free (P < 0.001). When a modified World Health Organization clinical classification system was used, adequate clinical response occurred in 99 (87%) and 61 (53%) of those in the SP + CQ and SP groups, respectively. RI, RII, and RIII resistance to SP + CQ was 7.9%, 3.5%, and 1.8%, respectively, whereas resistance to SP was 23%, 17%, and 5%, respectively. Combined SP + CQ is superior to SP alone for treatment of uncomplicated malaria in Nigerian patients and may prolong the usefulness of these readily available and affordable drugs.

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