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Chloroquine (CQ) has been used for malaria treatment in Haiti for several decades, but reports of CQ resistance are scarce. The efficacy of CQ in patients with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum undergoing treatment in Haiti was evaluated. Malaria patients were enrolled, treated with CQ, and monitored over a 42-day period. The treatment outcomes were evaluated on day 28 by microscopy. The P. falciparum slide-confirmed rate was 9.5% (121 of 1,277). Malaria infection was seasonal, with peak observations between October and January; 88% (107 of 121) of patients consented to participate. Sixty patients successfully completed the 42-day follow-up, whereas 47 patients withdrew consent or were lost to follow-up. The mean parasite density declined rapidly within the first few days after treatment. Seven patients did not clear their malaria infections and were clinically asymptomatic; therefore, they were considered late parasitological failures. About 90% (95% confidence interval = 84.20–97.90) of patients had no detectable parasitemia by day 28 and remained malaria-free to day 42. Testing for recrudescence, reinfection, and CQ serum levels was not done in the seven patients, and therefore, their CQ resistance status is unresolved. CQ resistance surveillance by patient follow-up, in vitro drug sensitivity studies, and molecular markers is urgently needed in Haiti.
Financial support: This material is based on work supported by Department of Defense Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System Grant C0607_12_UN (to B.A.O.).
Authors' addresses: Bernard A. Okech, Department of Environmental and Global Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Alexandre Existe, National Public Health Laboratory, Ministry of Health and Population, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, E-mail: Alexandre.email@example.com. Jean R. Romain and Gladys Memnon, Hospital Saint Croix, Leogane, Haiti, E-mails: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Yves Saint Victor, Blanchard Clinic, Terre Noire, Haiti, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Madsen Beau de Rochars, Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, E-mail: email@example.com. Mark Fukuda, Division of Global Emerging Infections Surveillance, Armed Forces Health Sciences Surveillance Center, Silver Spring, MD, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.