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J Vector Borne Dis. 2003 Sep-Dec;40(3-4):65-72.

Drug resistant falciparum malaria and the use of artesunate-based combinations: focus on clinical trials sponsored by TDR.

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  • 1UNDP/World Bank/World Health Organization Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), Geneva, Switzerland.


Antimalarial drug resistance has now become a serious global challenge and is the principal reason for the decline in antimalarial drug efficacy. Malaria endemic countries need inexpensive and efficacious drugs. Preserving the life spans of antimalarial drugs is a key part of the strategy for rolling back malaria. Artemisinin-based combinations offer a new and potentially highly effective way to counter drug resistance. Clinical trials conducted in African children have attested to the good tolerability of oral artesunate when combined with standard antimalarial drugs. The cure rates of the different combinations were generally dependent on the degree of resistance to the companion drug. They were high for amodiaquine-artesunate, variable for sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine-artesunate, and poor for chloroquine-artesunate.

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