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Combination of eflornithine and melarsoprol for melarsoprol-resistant Gambian trypanosomiasis

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Summary Objective 

To evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of a combination of eflornithine and melarsoprol among relapsing cases of Gambian trypanosomiasis. Methods 

Forty-two late-stage Trypanosoma brucei gambiense trypanosomiasis patients relapsing after initial treatment with melarsoprol were treated with a sequential combination of intravenous eflornithine (100 mg/kg every 6 h for 4 days) followed by three daily injections of melarsoprol (3.6 mg/kg, up to 180 mg). They were then followed-up for 24 months. Results 

Two (4.8%) patients died during treatment. Of the 40 surviving patients, two had a treatment failure, 13 and 19 months after having received the combination therapy. By Kaplan–Meier analysis, the 2-year probability of cure was 93.3% (95% confidence interval: 84.3–100%). Conclusion 

This sequential combination has an efficacy and a toxicity similar to a 7-day course of eflornithine monotherapy, but is easier to administer. Whether such therapeutic success corresponds tosynergism between eflornithine and melarsoprol, or merely means that 4 days of eflornithine monotherapy suffices for such patients, will need to be determined in a comparative trial.
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Keywords: African trypanosomiasis; Democratic Republic of Congo; Trypanosoma brucei gambiense; eflornithine; melarsoprol

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Hôpital de Nioki, Nioki, Democratic Republic of Congo 2: Centre for International Health, University of Sherbrooke, Canada

Publication date: September 1, 2002

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