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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1985;79(4):484-90.

Susceptibility of Plasmodium falciparum in The Gambia to pyrimethamine, Maloprim and chloroquine.


A five-year malaria chemoprophylaxis study has begun with Maloprim in children aged three months to five years and pregnant women in a population of 13,000 in the area of Farafenni, The Gambia. Sensitivity of Plasmodium falciparum to pyrimethamine, Maloprim and chloroquine was assessed in vivo and in vitro in rural Gambian villages before drug intervention. 569 children aged one to seven years inclusive were sampled at the end of the wet season of 1982; 46% had positive blood films. All afebrile children were treated with a single dose of one of the antimalarials under study. Febrile children were treated with chloroquine. 109 infected children were retested 7 to 10 days after treatment and none showed asexual parasitaemia. 83 micro in vitro tests were successfully performed from fingerprick blood samples and the results confirmed the in vivo study. Pyrimethamine in combination with dapsone, in the proportion present in Maloprim, i.e., 1:8, showed a synergistic effect, the mean effective dose of pyrimethamine being reduced 13 times at the 50% inhibitory level.

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