Low efficacy of the combination artesunate plus amodiaquine for uncomplicated falciparum malaria among children under 5 years in Kailahun, Sierra Leone
In 2004, Sierra Leone adopted artesunate plus amodiaquine as first-line antimalarial treatment. We evaluated the efficacy of this combination in Kailahun, where a previous study had shown 70.2% efficacy of amodiaquine in monotherapy. Methods
Method and outcome classification of the study complied with WHO guidelines. Children 6–59 months with uncomplicated malaria were followed-up for 28 days. PCR genotyping was used to distinguish recrudescence from reinfection. Reinfections were reclassified as cured. Results
Of 172 children who were referred to the study clinic, 126 satisfied inclusion criteria and were enrolled. No early treatment failures were reported. The day 14, efficacy was 98.2% (95% CI: 93.8–99.8). Of 65 recurrent parasitaemias analysed by PCR, 17 were recrudescences. The PCR-adjusted day 28 efficacy was 84.5% (95% CI: 76.4–90.7). All true failures occurred in the last 8 days of follow-up. Of 110 children who completed the 28-day follow-up, 54 (49.1%) experienced a novel infection. Conclusion
The efficacy of this combination was disappointing. The high reinfection rate suggested little prophylactic effect. In Kailahun a more efficacious combination might be necessary in the future. The efficacy of AS + AQ needs to be monitored in Kailahun and in the other regions of Sierra Leone.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Epicentre, Paris, France 2: Médecins Sans Frontières, Paris, France 3: Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Freetown, Sierra Leone 4: Laboratoire de Parasitologie, Avicenne Hospital, Bobigny, France
Publication date: July 1, 2006