Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 32179526
Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 2020 Mar;
Since 2012, single low dose of primaquine (SLDPQ, 0.25mg/kg) has been recommended with artemisinin-based combination therapies, as first-line treatment of acute uncomplicated malaria, to interrupt its transmission, especially in low transmission settings of multidrug, including artemisinin, resistance. Policy makers in Cambodia have been reluctant to implement this recommendation due to primaquine safety concerns and lack of data on its efficacy.In this randomized controlled trial, 109 Cambodians with acute uncomplicated malaria received dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) alone or combined with SLDPQ on the first treatment day. Transmission-blocking efficacy of SLDPQ was evaluated on Days 0, 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 21, 28 and recrudescence by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) (gametocyte prevalence) and membrane-feeding assays with mosquitoes (gametocyte infectivity). Without the influence of recrudescent infections, DP+SLDPQ reduced gametocyte carriage 3 fold compared to DP. Of 48 patients tested on Day 0, only three patients were infectious to mosquitoes (∼6%). Post-treatment, three patients were infectious: on D14 (3.5%, 1/29), and on the first and seventh day of recrudescence (8.3%, 1/12 for each); this overall low infectivity precluded our ability to assess its transmission blocking efficacy.Our study confirms effective gametocyte clearance of SLDPQ when combined with DP in multidrug resistant and the negative impact of recrudescent infections due to poor DP efficacy. Artesunate-mefloquine (ASMQ) has replaced DP and ASMQ-SLDPQ has been deployed to treat all symptomatic patients to further support the elimination of multidrug resistant in Cambodia.