A randomized comparison of artesunate-atovaquone-proguanil versus quinine in treatment for uncomplicated falciparum malaria during pregnancy.
Author(s): McGready R, Ashley EA, Moo E, Cho T, Barends M, Hutagalung R, Looareesuwan S, White NJ, Nosten F
Affiliation(s): Shoklo Malaria Research Unit, Mae Sot, Tak, Thailand.
Publication date & source: 2005-09-01, J Infect Dis., 192(5):846-53. Epub 2005 Jul 27.
Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial
BACKGROUND: There is no safe, practical, and effective treatment for pregnant women infected with multidrug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum. METHODS: We recruited pregnant Karen women in the second or third trimesters of pregnancy who had uncomplicated falciparum malaria for a randomized, open-label trial with a restricted sequential trial design of 7 days of supervised quinine (SQ7) versus 3 days of artesunate-atovaquone-proguanil (AAP). RESULTS: Eight-one pregnant women entered the study between December 2001 and July 2003; 42 were treated with SQ7 and 39 were treated with AAP. Fever, parasite clearance, and duration of anemia were significantly better with AAP; the treatment failure rate was 7 times lower (5% [2/39] vs. 37% [15/41]; relative risk, 7.1 [95% confidence interval, 1.7-29.2]; P = .001). There were no significant differences in birth weight, duration of gestation, or congenital abnormality rates in newborns or in growth and developmental parameters of infants monitored for 1 year. CONCLUSION: AAP is a well-tolerated, effective, practical, but expensive treatment for multidrug-resistant falciparum malaria during the second or third trimesters of pregnancy. Despite the small number of subjects, our results add to the growing body of evidence that AAP is safe for the mother and the fetus.