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PLoS One. 2009 Nov 17;4(11):e7871. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007871.

Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine and artemether-lumefantrine for treating uncomplicated malaria in African children: a randomised, non-inferiority trial.

Author information

1
Barcelona Centre for International Health Research (CRESIB), Hospital Clínic, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) are currently the preferred option for treating uncomplicated malaria. Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHA-PQP) is a promising fixed-dose ACT with limited information on its safety and efficacy in African children.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

The non-inferiority of DHA-PQP versus artemether-lumefantrine (AL) in children 6-59 months old with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria was tested in five African countries (Burkina Faso, Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia). Patients were randomised (2:1) to receive either DHA-PQP or AL. Non-inferiority was assessed using a margin of -5% for the lower limit of the one-sided 97.5% confidence interval on the treatment difference (DHA-PQP vs. AL) of the day 28 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) corrected cure rate. Efficacy analysis was performed in several populations, and two of them are presented here: intention-to-treat (ITT) and enlarged per-protocol (ePP). 1553 children were randomised, 1039 receiving DHA-PQP and 514 AL. The PCR-corrected day 28 cure rate was 90.4% (ITT) and 94.7% (ePP) in the DHA-PQP group, and 90.0% (ITT) and 95.3% (ePP) in the AL group. The lower limits of the one-sided 97.5% CI of the difference between the two treatments were -2.80% and -2.96%, in the ITT and ePP populations, respectively. In the ITT population, the Kaplan-Meier estimate of the proportion of new infections up to Day 42 was 13.55% (95% CI: 11.35%-15.76%) for DHA-PQP vs 24.00% (95% CI: 20.11%-27.88%) for AL (p<0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

DHA-PQP is as efficacious as AL in treating uncomplicated malaria in African children from different endemicity settings, and shows a comparable safety profile. The occurrence of new infections within the 42-day follow up was significantly lower in the DHA-PQP group, indicating a longer post-treatment prophylactic effect.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

Controlled-trials.com ISRCTN16263443.

PMID:
19936217
PMCID:
PMC2776302
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0007871
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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