Efficacy and tolerability of quinacrine monotherapy and albendazole plus chloroquine combination therapy in nitroimidazole-refractory giardiasis: a TropNet study

Andreas Neumayr, Mirjam Schunk, Caroline Theunissen, Marjan Van Esbroeck, Matthieu Mechain, Christoph Hatz, Kristine Mørch, Manuel Jesús Soriano Pérez, Véronique Sydow, Peter Sothmann, Esther Kuenzli, Camilla Rothe, Emmanuel Bottieau

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Giardiasis failing nitroimidazole first-line treatment is an emerging problem in returning European travelers. We present data on the efficacy and tolerability of 2 second-line treatment regimens.

METHODS: This prospective, open-label, multicenter study assessed the efficacy and tolerability of quinacrine monotherapy (100 mg 3 times per day for 5 days) and albendazole plus chloroquine combination therapy (400 mg twice daily plus 155 mg twice daily for 5 days) in nitroimidazole-refractory giardiasis. The defined end points were the clinical outcome, assessed at week 5 after treatment and the parasitological outcome, assessed using microscopy of 2 stool samples, ≥2 to ≤5 weeks after treatment.

RESULTS: A total of 106 patients were included in the study. Quinacrine achieved clinical and parasitological cure in 81% (59/73) and 100% (56/56), respectively. Albendazole plus chloroquine achieved clinical and parasitological cure in 36% (12/33) and 48% (12/25), respectively. All patients (9/9) who clinically and parasitologically failed albendazole plus chloroquine treatment and opted for retreatment with quinacrine achieved clinical cure. Mild to moderate treatment-related adverse events were reported by 45% and 30% of patients treated with quinacrine and albendazole plus chloroquine, respectively. One patient treated with quinacrine developed severe neuropsychiatric side effects. The majority of nitroimidazole-refractory Giardia infections (57%) were acquired in India.

CONCLUSIONS: Quinacrine was a highly effective treatment in nitroimidazole-refractory giardiasis, but patients should be cautioned on the low risk of severe neuropsychiatric adverse event. Albendazole plus chloroquine had a low cure rate in nitroimidazole-refractory giardiasis. Nitroimidazole-refractory giardiasis was primarily seen in travelers returning from India.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume73
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1517-1523
Number of pages7
ISSN1058-4838
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Albendazole/adverse effects
  • Antiprotozoal Agents/adverse effects
  • Chloroquine/adverse effects
  • Giardia lamblia
  • Giardiasis/drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Nitroimidazoles/adverse effects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quinacrine/adverse effects

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