Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHA-PQ) provides highly effective therapy and chemoprevention for malaria in pregnant African women. PQ concentrations >10.3 ng/mL have been associated with reduced maternal parasitemia, placental malaria and improved birth outcomes. We characterized the population pharmacokinetics (PK) of PQ in a post-hoc analysis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected and -uninfected pregnant women receiving DHA-PQ as chemoprevention every 4 or 8 weeks.
In December 2019, a new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) causing coronavirus diseases 2019 (COVID-19) emerged in Wuhan, China. African countries see slower dynamic of COVID-19 cases and deaths. One of the assumptions that may explain this later emergence in Africa, and more particularly in malaria endemic areas, would be the use of antimalarial drugs.
The emergence and spread of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum poses a threat to malaria eradication, including China’s plan to eliminate malaria by 2020. Piperaquine (PPQ) resistance has emerged in Cambodia, compromising an important partner drug that is widely used in China in the form of dihydroartemisinin (DHA)-PPQ. Several mutations in a P. falciparum gene encoding a kelch protein on chromosome 13 (k13) are associated with artemisinin resistance and have arisen spread in the Great Mekong subregion, including the China–Myanmar border. Multiple copies of the plasmepsin II/III (pm2/3) genes, located on chromosome 14, have been shown to be associated with PPQ resistance.
Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) partner drugs, currently used in Ghana are lumefantrine, amodiaquine and piperaquine. Plasmodium falciparum isolates with reduced susceptibility to these partner drugs may affect treatment outcome. Mutations in pfmdr1 gene is linked to reduced parasite susceptibility to amodiaquine and lumefantrine. In addition, the potency of the partner drugs in vivo depends on the metabolism by the cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme in the host. Mutations in the CYP2C8 and CYP3A4 genes are linked to reduced metabolism of amodiaquine and lumefantrine in vitro, respectively. This study investigated the host and parasite genetic factors affecting the susceptibility of the malaria parasite to ACT partner drugs.
The Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine transporter gene (pfcrt) is known to be involved in chloroquine and amodiaquine resistance, and more particularly the mutations on the loci 72 to 76 localized within the second exon. Additionally, new mutations (T93S, H97Y, C101F, F145I, M343L, C350R and G353V) were recently shown to be associated with in vitro reduced susceptibility to piperaquine in Asian or South American P. falciparum strains. However, very few data are available on the prevalence of these mutations and their effect on parasite susceptibility to anti-malarial drugs, and more particularly piperaquine in Africa.
Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine has shown excellent efficacy and tolerability in malaria treatment. However, concerns have been raised of potentially harmful cardiotoxic effects associated with piperaquine. The population pharmacokinetics and cardiac effects of piperaquine were evaluated in 1,000 patients, mostly children enrolled in a multicentre trial from 10 sites in Africa.
Resistance to piperaquine has been associated with the amplification of the plasmepsin II gene in Cambodia.
The study aimed to investigate how resistance against lumefantrine (LU) and piperaquine (PQ), anti-malarials used as partner drugs in artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), impacts parasite fitness.
Even though in vitro data indicate that atorvastatin improved the activity of lumefantrine and piperaquine, the same may not necessarily be true in vivo.
This case study describes how a public-private partnership between Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and Sigma-Tau Industrie Farmaceutiche Riunite SpA achieved international regulatory approval for use of the fixed-dose artemisinin-based combination therapy dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (Eurartesim(R)) for the treatment of malaria, enabling more widespread access to the medicine in malaria-endemic countries.