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BackgroundTreatment for severe malaria must be prompt with effective parenteral antimalarial drugs for at least 24 h to achieve fast parasite clearance, and when the patient can tolerate oral therapy, treatment should be completed with effective artemisinin based combination therapy (ACT) for complete parasite clearance and to prevent recrudescence. We evaluated piperaquine concentration and malaria treatment outcomes among Ugandan children treated for severe malaria with intravenous artesunate (AS) or quinine (QN) plus dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP), in Tororo District Hospital in Eastern Uganda.MethodsCapillary blood piperaquine concentration data were obtained from a randomized clinical trial whose objective was to evaluate parasite clearance, 42-day parasitological treatment outcomes and safety, following treatment of severe malaria with intravenous AS or QN, plus artemether-lumefantrine or DP among children in Tororo District Hospital, in Eastern Uganda.ResultsPiperaquine concentration data from 150 participants who received DP were analyzed. Participants with unadjusted treatment failure had lower median day 7 capillary piperaquine concentration than those with treatment success (34.7 (IQR) (17.9-49.1) vs 66.7 (IQR) (41.8-81.9), p  57 ng/mL).ConclusionConsidering the low day 7 concentrations of piperaquine reported in the patients studied here, we suggest to adopt the recently recommended higher dose of DP in young children or a prolonged 5-day dosing in children living in malaria endemic areas who have suffered an initial episode of severe malaria in order to achieve adequate drug exposures for effective post-treatment prophylactic effects.Trial registrationThe study was registered with the Pan African Clinical Trial Registry (PACTR201110000321348). Registered 7th October 2011.

Original publication

DOI

10.1186/s12879-019-4647-2

Type

Journal

BMC infectious diseases

Publication Date

03/12/2019

Volume

19

Addresses

Department of Medicine, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda. pbyakika@gmail.com.

Keywords

Humans, Plasmodium falciparum, Malaria, Falciparum, Recurrence, Artemisinins, Quinine, Quinolines, Antimalarials, Treatment Outcome, Follow-Up Studies, Osmolar Concentration, Child, Preschool, Infant, Uganda, Female, Male, Administration, Intravenous, Artesunate