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PLoS Med. 2011 Jan 25;8(1):e1000402. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000402.

A research agenda for malaria eradication: drugs.


Antimalarial drugs will be essential tools at all stages of malaria elimination along the path towards eradication, including the early control or "attack" phase to drive down transmission and the later stages of maintaining interruption of transmission, preventing reintroduction of malaria, and eliminating the last residual foci of infection. Drugs will continue to be used to treat acute malaria illness and prevent complications in vulnerable groups, but better drugs are needed for elimination-specific indications such as mass treatment, curing asymptomatic infections, curing relapsing liver stages, and preventing transmission. The ideal malaria eradication drug is a coformulated drug combination suitable for mass administration that can be administered in a single encounter at infrequent intervals and that results in radical cure of all life cycle stages of all five malaria species infecting humans. Short of this optimal goal, highly desirable drugs might have limitations such as targeting only one or two parasite species, the priorities being Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. The malaria research agenda for eradication should include research aimed at developing such drugs and research to develop situation-specific strategies for using both current and future drugs to interrupt malaria transmission.

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