oa South African Family Practice - Audit of efficacy of CoartemTM to clear plasmodium falciparum malaria parasitaemia at single forty-two day follow-up : original research

Volume 46, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 2078-6190
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6204



&lt;i&gt;Background:&lt;/i&gt; A follow-up study was undertaken to assess the efficacy of Coartem&lt;sup&gt;TM&lt;/sup&gt; tablets (20 mg artemether and 120 mg lumefantrine - Novartis South Africa (Pty) Ltd) to clear <i>plasmodium falciparum&lt;/i&gt; malaria parasitaemia at a single 42-day follow-up, with 42 days being chosen in order to detect early emergence of resistance. The study was performed at Ndumo Clinic and Mosvold Hospital in the Ingwavuma District of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa in January/February 2002. &lt;br&gt;&lt;i&gt;Method:&lt;/i&gt; The study included 37 patients presenting to Ndumo Clinic and two presenting to Mosvold Hospital with uncomplicated malaria diagnosed by symptoms and a positive immunochromographic test (ICT) for <i>plasmodium falciparum.&lt;/i&gt; The main outcome measures were Trophozoite counts on thick film and polymerase chain reaction parasite analysis of blood spot at day 42. &lt;br&gt;&lt;i&gt;Results:&lt;/i&gt; Only 31 of the 37 recruited patients were confirmed to be suffering from malaria by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Of the 31, 24 returned for follow-up. One patient had parasitaemia at day 33, but tested negative at day 42 after re-treatment with Coartem(tm). It was not determined whether this patient was suffering from a recrudescence or re-infection of falciparum malaria. All the other returning patients tested negative for falciparum malaria on blood film and PCR examination. &lt;br&gt;&lt;i&gt;Conclusions:&lt;/i&gt; Coartem&lt;sup&gt;TM&lt;/sup&gt; still appears to be an effective treatment for falciparum malaria. Regular assessment of its efficacy is desirable.

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