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Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2015 Jun;13(6):715-30. doi: 10.1586/14787210.2015.1031744. Epub 2015 Apr 1.

Fighting fire with fire: mass antimalarial drug administrations in an era of antimalarial resistance.

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Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) - Faculty of Tropical Medicine, 420/6 Rajvithi Road Bangkok 10400, Thailand.


The emergence and spread of antimalarial resistance has been a major liability for malaria control. The spread of chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum strains had catastrophic consequences for people in malaria-endemic regions, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. The recent emergence of artemisinin-resistant P. falciparum strains is of highest concern. Current efforts to contain artemisinin resistance have yet to show success. In the absence of more promising plans, it has been suggested to eliminate falciparum malaria from foci of artemisinin resistance using a multipronged approach, including mass drug administrations. The use of mass drug administrations is controversial as it increases drug pressure. Based on current knowledge it is difficult to conceptualize how targeted malaria elimination could contribute to artemisinin resistance, provided a full treatment course is ensured.


Plasmodium falciparum; artemisinins; chloroquine; drug resistance; elimination; malaria; mass drug administrations; pyrimethamine; sulfadoxine

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