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Efficacy of sulphadoxine–pyrimethamine alone or combined with amodiaquine or chloroquine for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Ugandan children

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The rapid development of falciparum resistance to sulphadoxine–pyrimethamine (SP) in East and Central Africa has raised concerns as to the efficacy of combining it with another drug. In 2002, we assessed the efficacy of SP alone and combined with amodiaquine (AQ/SP) or chloroquine (CQ/SP) in Ugandan children with uncomplicated falciparum malaria. At day 14, adequate clinical response was 100% (84/84) for AQ/SP, 93% (92/101) for CQ/SP and 91% (73/80) for SP. At day 28, parasitological failure (RI–RIII) occurred in 16% (13/80) of children treated with AQ/SP, in 48% (48/100) of those treated with CQ/SP and in 61% (48/79) of those treated with SP alone. Compared with the AQ/SP arm, the odds for parasitological failure at day 28 were five times higher (95% CI, 2–10) in the CQ/SP group and sevenfold higher (95% CI, 3–17) in that of SP alone. CQ/SP does not offer any significant added benefit over SP alone while AQ/SP is an efficacious low-cost combination. These findings have important policy implications for Uganda and other resource-constrained African countries faced with the problematic choice of a new first-line antimalarial treatment in a context of high CQ resistance.
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Keywords: Uganda; amodiaquine; chloroquine; combination therapy; falciparum malaria; in vivo efficacy; sulphadoxine–pyrimethamine

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1:  Department of Parasitology, Med Biotech Laboratories, Kampala, Uganda 2:  Ministry of Health, Kampala, Uganda 3:  Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK 4:  Faculty of Medicine, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium 5:  Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium

Publication date: February 1, 2004

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