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Prevalence of malaria among febrile patients and assessment of efficacy of artemether-lumefantrine and artesunate-amodiaquine for uncomplicated malaria in Dolisie, Republic of the Congo

Abstract : Abstract Background In the Republic of the Congo, malaria represents a major public health problem affecting all age groups. A regular surveillance of the current efficacy of first-line anti-malarial drugs is required in the face of possible emergence and spread of artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum strains in Africa. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of malaria among febrile patients of all ages and assess the efficacy of artemether-lumefantrine (AL) and artesunate-amodiaquine (ASAQ) in Congolese children. Methods Febrile patients of all ages were initially screened for malaria by both rapid diagnostic test (RDT) and microscopy. Patients less than 12 years of age, with parasitaemia ≥ 1000 asexual parasites of P. falciparum /µL of blood, without any signs of severity, were enrolled in a therapeutic efficacy study and treated after obtaining their parents' (or legal guardian’s) informed consent in two health centres in Dolisie. The patients were followed for 28 days in accordance with the 2009 World Health Organization standard protocol. If parasitaemia reappeared on or after day 7, the genetic profiles (genes expressing merozoite surface protein-1 [ msp1 ], merozoite surface protein-2 [ msp2 ], and glutamine-rich protein [ glurp ]) of pre-treatment and post-treatment isolates were compared by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) followed by capillary electrophoresis to make a distinction between recrudescence and re-infection. The clinical and parasitological outcome was analysed by the per-protocol method and Kaplan–Meier survival curves. Results A total of 994 febrile patients of all ages were screened by RDT and microscopy. Of 994 patients, 323 (32.5%) presented a positive RDT, and 266 (26.8%) were microscopy-positive. Based on microscopy as the reference diagnostic method, the sensitivity and the specificity of the RDT were 98.9 and 91.8%, respectively. The Cohen’s kappa coefficient was 0.86. A total of 121 children aged less than 12 years (61 in AL treatment group and 60 in ASAQ treatment group) were included in therapeutic efficacy study. Before PCR correction, the proportions of adequate clinical and parasitological response were 96.6% for AL and 86.0% for ASAQ in the per-protocol population ( P < 0.05). The PCR-corrected efficacy rates were 98.2% and 94.2% for AL and ASAQ, respectively ( P > 0.05). Both treatments were well tolerated. Conclusions AL and ASAQ remain highly effective for the first-line treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in Dolisie. Despite high efficacy of first- and second-line treatment, there is a continuing need to scale up effective malaria preventive interventions and vector control strategies in the country. Trial Registration Number: ACTRN12616001422415.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - 2:14:37 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 26, 2022 - 3:11:55 AM

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Brice Pembet Singana, Prisca Nadine Casimiro, Brunelle Matondo Diassivi, Simon Charles Kobawila, Jean-Mermoz youndouka, et al.. Prevalence of malaria among febrile patients and assessment of efficacy of artemether-lumefantrine and artesunate-amodiaquine for uncomplicated malaria in Dolisie, Republic of the Congo. Malaria Journal, BioMed Central, 2022, 21 (1), pp.137. ⟨10.1186/s12936-022-04143-4⟩. ⟨hal-03678562⟩

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