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Trends Parasitol. 2002 Oct;18(10):458-64.

The assessment of antimalarial drug efficacy.

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Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, 10400, Bangkok, Thailand.


Antimalarial drug efficacy in uncomplicated malaria should be assessed parasitologically in large, community-based trials, enrolling the age groups most affected by clinical disease. For rapidly eliminated drugs, a 28-day follow-up is needed, but, for slowly eliminated drugs, up to nine weeks could be required to document all recrudescences, and, when possible, the drug levels should also be measured. The WHO 14-day assessments are neither sensitive nor specific. In tropical Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium ovale infections treated with chloroquine, the first relapse is usually suppressed by residual drug levels. A relapse cannot be distinguished confidently from a recrudescence. Host immunity is a major contributor to the therapeutic response, and can make failing drugs appear effective.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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