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PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e41123. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0041123. Epub 2012 Jul 19.

The effect of monthly sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, alone or with azithromycin, on PCR-diagnosed malaria at delivery: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Department of International Health, University of Tampere Medical School, Tampere, Finland. mari.luntamo@gmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

New regimens for intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) against malaria are needed as the effectiveness of the standard two-dose sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) regimen is under threat. Previous trials have shown that IPTp with monthly SP benefits HIV-positive primi- and secundigravidae, but there is no conclusive evidence of the possible benefits of this regimen to HIV-negative women, or to a population comprising of both HIV-positive and -negative women of different gravidities.

METHODS:

This study analyzed 484 samples collected at delivery as part of a randomized, partially placebo controlled clinical trial, conducted in rural Malawi between 2003 and 2007. The study included pregnant women regardless of their gravidity or HIV-infection status. The participants received SP twice (controls), monthly SP, or monthly SP and two doses of azithromycin (AZI-SP). The main outcome was the prevalence of peripheral Plasmodium falciparum malaria at delivery diagnosed with a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay.

FINDINGS:

Overall prevalence of PCR-diagnosed peripheral P. falciparum malaria at delivery was 10.5%. Compared with the controls, participants in the monthly SP group had a risk ratio (95% CI) of 0.33 (0.17 to 0.64, P<0.001) and those in the AZI-SP group 0.23 (0.11 to 0.48, P<0.001) for malaria at delivery. When only HIV-negative participants were analyzed, the corresponding figures were 0.26 (0.12 to 0.57, P<0.001) for women in the monthly SP group, and 0.24 (0.11 to 0.53, P<0.001) for those in the AZI-SP group.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results suggest that increasing the frequency of SP administration during pregnancy improves the efficacy against malaria at delivery among HIV-negative women, as well as a population consisting of both HIV-positive and -negative pregnant women of all gravidities, in a setting of relatively low but holoendemic malaria transmission, frequent use of bed nets and high SP resistance.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00131235.

PMID:
22829919
PMCID:
PMC3400634
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0041123
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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