Long-acting injectable atovaquone nanomedicines for malaria prophylaxis

Rahul Bakshi, Lee M. Tatham, Alison C. Savage, Abhai Tripathi, Godfree Mlambo, Matthew Ippolito, Elizabeth Nenortas, Steve P. Rannard, Andrew Owen, Theresa A Shapiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Chemoprophylaxis is currently the best available prevention from malaria, but its efficacy is compromised by non-adherence to medication. Here we develop a long-acting injectable formulation of atovaquone solid drug nanoparticles that confers long-lived prophylaxis against Plasmodium berghei ANKA malaria in C57BL/6 mice. Protection is obtained at plasma concentrations above 200 ng ml-1 and is causal, attributable to drug activity against liver stage parasites. Parasites that appear after subtherapeutic doses remain atovaquone-sensitive. Pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic analysis indicates protection can translate to humans at clinically achievable and safe drug concentrations, potentially offering protection for at least 1 month after a single administration. These findings support the use of long-acting injectable formulations as a new approach for malaria prophylaxis in travellers and for malaria control in the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number315
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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