Melbourne: A drug combination of artemisinin-naphthoquine should be considered for the treatment of children with malaria, suggests a study.
The researchers studied malaria cases in Papua New Guinea.
“This regimen should be considered together with other currently available effective (artemisinin combination therapies) for treatment of uncomplicated malaria in Papua New Guinea and similar epidemiologic settings with transmission of multiple Plasmodium species,” said Tim Davis from University of Western Australia.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne parasitic disease that kills approximately 600,000 people every year.
Several different parasite species cause malaria and in some settings, such as Papua New Guinea, two species, Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, are responsible for the majority of malaria infections.
However, the two species respond differently to currently available anti-malarial drugs.
The authors compared the current recommended therapy for malaria in children in Papua New Guinea, artemether-lumefantrine, with a different combination therapy, artemisinin-naphthoquine.
The trial study included 186 children with Plasmodium falciparum infections and 47 children with Plasmodium vivax infections.
The researchers found that artemisinin-naphthoquine was no worse than artemether-lumefantrine for treating Plasmodium falciparum, but was more effective for treating Plasmodium vivax.
The study appeared in the journal PLOS Medicine.