Efficacy of artesunate with sulfalene plus pyrimethamine versus praziquantel for treatment of Schistosoma mansoni in Kenyan children: an open-label randomised controlled trial.
Author(s): Obonyo CO, Muok EM, Mwinzi PN
Affiliation(s): Centre for Global Health Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kisumu, Kenya.
Publication date & source: 2010-09, Lancet Infect Dis., 10(9):603-11. Epub 2010 Aug 10.
Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
BACKGROUND: Schistosomiasis is an important parasitic disease in Kenya. Decreasing susceptibility of schistosomes to praziquantel, the major drug used to reduce disease morbidity, has made assessment of new antischistosomal drugs a priority. We aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of an artesunate-based combination drug in the treatment of schistosomiasis. METHODS: In this open-label randomised trial in Rarieda district of western Kenya, we enrolled school children (aged 6-15 years) who had Schistosoma mansoni infection according to duplicate Kato-Katz thick smears from a stool sample. Computer-generated block randomisation was used to assign children (1:1) to receive artesunate (100 mg) with sulfalene (also known as sulfamethoxypyrazine; 250 mg) plus pyrimethamine (12.5 mg) as one dose every 24 h for 3 days or one dose of praziquantel (40 mg/kg per day). The primary efficacy endpoint was the number of participants cured 28 days after treatment. Analysis was by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01054651. RESULTS: Between October and December, 2009, 212 children were enrolled and assigned to receive artesunate with sulfalene plus pyrimethamine (n=106) or praziquantel (n=106). 69 patients (65%) were cured in the praziquantel treatment group compared with 15 (14%) in the artesunate with sulfalene plus pyrimethamine treatment group (p<0.0001). Adverse events were less common in patients taking artesunate with sulfalene plus pyrimethamine than in those taking praziquantel (22% [n=23] vs 49% [n=52], p<0.0001), and no drug-related serious adverse events occurred. INTERPRETATION: The standard treatment with praziquantel is more effective than artesunate with sulfalene plus pyrimethamine in the treatment of children with S mansoni infection in western Kenya. Whether artemisinin-based combination therapy has a role in the treatment of schistosomiasis is unclear. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.