The therapeutic efficacy of sulfadoxine-pynmethamine (SP) alone, SP plus amodiaquine (AQ), and SP plus artesunate (AS) was assessed in a randamized, placebo-controlled, and double-blind trial among 438 children with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in northern Ghana. Clinical and parasitological responses were monitored for 28 days following treatment; 86%, 98% and 97% of SP-, SP + AQ-, and SP + AS-treated patients achieved adequate clinical and parasitological response (ACPR) within 2 weeks, respectively. Parasite clearance was better with SP + AS than with SP or SP + AQ treatment but re-infections were more common. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-corrected rates of ACPR at day 28 were 72.2% for SP, 94.1% for SP + AQ (P < 0.0001), and 94.5% for SP + AS (P < 0.0001). Gametocyte prevalence and density 1 week after treatment were highest in children treated with SP, and lowest in patients receiving SP + AS. No severe adverse events attributable to study medication were observed. In northern Ghana, more than one of four children suffered SP treatment failure within 4 weeks. Both SP + AQ and SP + AS are efficacious alternative therapeutic options in this region. Although SP + AS and SP + AQ treatments have virtually identical cure rates, rapid parasite clearance and pronounced gametocidal effects are the advantages of the former, whereas cost and a lower rate of late re-infections are those of the latter.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases