Current trends in malarial chemotherapy

  • EC Ibezim
  • U Odo
Keywords: malaria, chemotherapy, combination therapy, artemisinine, resistance

Abstract

Malaria is a tropical disease caused by the genus Plasmodium. The sexual stage of the plasmodium is carried by mosquito while the asexual stage is carried by man. Transmission from the mosquito to man is through mosquito bite. Commonly presented symptoms of malarial attack include fever, weakness, anorexia, and anaemia. Some complications such as convulsion (in children) and acute pulmonary
edema are common. The conventional drugs used in malarial chemotherapy include, chloroquin, sulfadoxine/pyramethamine, quinine and primaquine. Newer drugs in use include artemisine and its
derivatives (such as dihydroartemisinine, artesunate, artemether), halofantrine, atovaquine, malaria vaccines, and artemisinine combinations (such as artemether/lumenfantrine,  artesunate/mefloquine). These newer drugs were developed based on some shortcomings of the conventional drugs such as
drug resistance and unbearable side effects. Of all the drugs available for the first line treatment of malaria, the artemisinine combinations are the drugs of choice as they possess reduced recrudescence
and relapse when given for 3 days. Some new combinations are still on trial and include fosmidomycin/clindamycin. Malaria vaccines which show some promising features are also still undergoing more trials.
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eISSN: 1684-5315