Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 37612601
Link to DOI – 10.1186/s12936-023-04644-w
Malar J 2023 Aug; 22(1): 240
Artesunate-amodiaquine (AS-AQ) and artemether-lumefantrine (AL) are the currently recommended first-and second-line therapies for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum infections in Chad. This study assessed the efficacy of these artemisinin-based combinations, proportion of day 3 positive patients, proportions of molecular markers associated with P. falciparum resistance to anti-malarial drugs and variable performance of HRP2-based malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs).A single-arm prospective study assessing the efficacy of AS-AQ and AL at three sites (Doba, Kelo and Koyom) was conducted between November 2020 to January 2021. Febrile children aged 6 to 59 months with confirmed uncomplicated P. falciparum infection were enrolled sequentially first to AS-AQ and then AL at each site and followed up for 28 days. The primary endpoint was PCR-adjusted adequate clinical and parasitological response (ACPR). Samples collected on day 0 were analysed for mutations in pfkelch13, pfcrt, pfmdr-1, pfdhfr, pfdhps genes and deletions in pfhrp2/pfhrp3 genes.By the end of 28-day follow-up, per-protocol PCR corrected ACPR of 97.8% (CI 95% 88.2-100) in Kelo and 100% in Doba and Kayoma were observed among AL treated patients. For ASAQ, 100% ACPR was found in all sites. All, but one patient, did not have parasites detected on day 3. Out of the 215 day 0 samples, 96.7% showed pfkelch13 wild type allele. Seven isolates carried nonsynonymous mutations not known to be associated artemisinin partial resistance (ART-R). Most of samples had a pfcrt wild type allele (79% to 89%). The most prevalent pfmdr-1 allele detected was the single mutant 184F (51.2%). For pfdhfr and pfdhps mutations, the quintuple mutant allele N51I/C59R/S108N + G437A/540E responsible for SP treatment failures in adults and children was not detected. Single deletion in the pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 gene were detected in 10/215 (4.7%) and 2/215 (0.9%), respectively. Dual pfhrp2/pfhrp3 deletions, potentially threatening the efficacy of HRP2-based RDTs, were observed in 5/215 (2.3%) isolates.The results of this study confirm that AS-AQ and AL treatments are highly efficacious in study areas in Chad. The absence of known pfkelch13 mutations in the study sites and the high parasite clearance rate at day 3 suggest the absence of ART-R. The absence of pfdhfr/pfdhps quintuple or sextuple (quintuple + 581G) mutant supports the continued use of SP for IPTp during pregnancy. The presence of parasites with dual pfhrp2/pfhrp3 deletions, potentially threatening the efficacy of HRP2-based RDTs, warrants the continued surveillance. Trial registration ACTRN12622001476729.