Therapeutic Efficacy of Artemether-Lumefantrine in Subclinical Malaria in Southeastern Nigeria

Precious Okechukwu Eteike, MBBS, Evangeline Tochi Oparaocha, PhD


Introduction: To combat the growing resistance to antimalarial drugs, assessment of antimalarial drug efficacy is necessary for monitoring and containment. The objective of the study was to assess the therapeutic efficacy of antimalarial drug, Artemether-Lumefantrine (AL) in subclinical malaria.

Method: This was a community--based interventional (therapeutic) study conducted in two communities: Naze and Ikenegbu, both in Imo State of South Eastern Nigeria. The study population consisted of two groups (subclinical and clinical), males and females aged 18 years and above, who fulfilled the inclusion criteria. A systematic house-to-house sampling technique was employed to select a total of 117 and 66 participants for the subclinical and clinical groups respectively. Ninety-three of the 117 and 65 of the 66 participants in the subclinical and clinical groups respectively were successfully followed up to Days 3 and 7 of the treatment.

Results: On days 3 and 7, the Parasite Clearance Rates were 86% and 87.1% for the subclinical group and 67.7% and 78.5% for the clinical group. When the parasite clearance rates of the two groups were compared, and analyzed for the two treatment days, the result showed a significant (P<0.05) higher parasite clearance rate among the subclinical group on the Day 3, over the clinical, but a relative difference (P>0.05) between the two groups on Day7.

Conclusion and Implications for Translation: Treatment of malaria with Artemether-Lumefantrine provides a better outcome at the subclinical stage than at the clinical stage. Further studies are needed to rule out imminent Artemether-Lumefantrine resistance in the study areas.

Key words: MalariaTherapeutic EfficacyArtemether-LumefantrineSubclinical MalariaSoutheast Nigeria

Copyright © 2017 Eteike and Oparaocha, This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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