Author(s): Djimde AA, Maiga AW, Ouologuem D, Fofana B, Sagara I,
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Abstract Artemisinin-based combination therapies decrease Plasmodium gametocyte carriage. However, the role of artesunate in monotherapy in vivo, the mechanisms involved, and the utility of gametocyte carriage as a potential tool for the surveillance of antimalarial resistance are poorly understood. In 2010-2011, we conducted an open-label, prospective efficacy study of artesunate as monotherapy in children 1-10 years of age with uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Bougoula-Hameau, Mali. Standard oral doses of artesunate were administered for 7 days and patients were followed up for 28 days. The data were compared to a similar study conducted in 2002-2004. Of 100 children enrolled in the 2010-2011 study, 92 were analyzed and compared to 217 children enrolled in the 2002-2004 study. The proportion of gametocyte carriers was unchanged at the end of treatment (23\% at baseline vs. 24\% on day 7, p = 1.0) and did not significantly decline until day 21 of follow-up (23\% vs. 6\%, p = 0.003). The mean gametocyte density at inclusion remained unchanged at the end of treatment (12 gametocytes/μL vs. 16 gametocytes/μL, p = 0.6). Overall, 46\% of the 71 initial non-carriers had gametocytes detected by day 7. Similar results were found in the 2002-2004 study. In both studies, although gametocyte carriage significantly decreased by the end of the 28-day follow-up, artesunate did not clear mature gametocytes during treatment and did not prevent the appearance of new stage V gametocytes as assessed by light microscopy. Baseline gametocyte carriage was significantly higher 6 years after the deployment of artemisinin-based combination therapies in this setting. © A.A. Djimde et al., published by EDP Sciences, 2016.
This article was published in Parasite
and referenced in Malaria Control & Elimination