Malaria: an update on current chemotherapy

Benjamin J. Visser, Michele van Vugt, Martin P. Grobusch

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewpeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Chemotherapy of malaria has become a rapidly changing field. Less than two decades ago, treatment regimens were increasingly bound to fail due to emerging drug resistance against 4-aminoquinolines and sulfa compounds. By now, artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) constitute the standard of care for uncomplicated falciparum malaria and are increasingly also taken into consideration for the treatment of non-falciparum malaria.

Areas covered: This narrative review provides an overview of the state-of-art antimalarial drug therapy, highlights the global portfolio of current Phase III/IV clinical trials and summarizes current developments.

Expert opinion: Malaria chemotherapy remains a dynamic field, with novel drugs and drug combinations continuing to emerge in order to outpace the development of large-scale drug resistance against the currently most important drug class, the artemisinin derivatives. More randomized controlled studies are urgently needed especially for the treatment of malaria in first trimester pregnant women. ACTs should be used for the treatment of imported malaria more consequently. Gaining sufficient efficacy and safety information on ACT use for non-falciparum species including Plasmodium ovale and malariae should be a research priority. Continuous investment into malaria drug development is a vital factor to combat artemisinin resistance and successfully improve malaria control toward the ultimate goal of elimination.

Original languageEnglish
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Volume15
Issue number15
Pages (from-to)2219-2254
Number of pages36
ISSN1465-6566
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2014

Keywords

  • artemisinin combination treatment
  • malaria
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Plasmodium knowlesi
  • Plasmodium malariae
  • Plasmodium ovale
  • Plasmodium vivax
  • pregnancy
  • PLASMODIUM-FALCIPARUM MALARIA
  • PLUS SULFADOXINE-PYRIMETHAMINE
  • ARTEMISININ-NAPHTHOQUINE COMBINATION
  • OPEN-LABEL TRIAL
  • INTERMITTENT PREVENTIVE TREATMENT
  • ARTESUNATE-ATOVAQUONE-PROGUANIL
  • DRUG DIHYDROARTEMISININ DHA
  • RANDOMIZED CLINICAL-TRIAL
  • FIXED-DOSE COMBINATION
  • TREAT VIVAX MALARIA

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