Therapeutic response to artemisinin combination therapies among individuals with Plasmodium falciparum single infection vs mixed Plasmodium species infections: a retrospective posthoc analysis in Kisumu County, western Kenya.

International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases(2023)

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OBJECTIVES:This study examined the treatment response of mixed vs single-species Plasmodium falciparum infections to artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). METHODS:A total of 1211 blood samples collected on days 0, 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, and 42 from 173 individuals enrolled in two randomized ACT efficacy studies were tested for malaria using 18s ribosomal RNA-based real-time polymerase chain reaction. All recurrent parasitemia were characterized for Plasmodium species composition and time to reinfection during 42-day follow-up compared across ACTs. RESULTS:Day 0 samples had 71.1% (116/163) single P. falciparum infections and 28.2% (46/163) coinfections. A total of 54.0% (88/163) of individuals tested positive for Plasmodium at least once between days 7-42. A total of 19.3% (17/88) of individuals with recurrent infections were infected with a different Plasmodium species than observed at day 0, with 76.5% (13/17) of these "hidden" infections appearing after clearing P. falciparum present at day 0. Artesunate-mefloquine (16.4 hours) and dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (17.6 hours) had increased clearance rates over artemether-lumefantrine (21.0 hours). Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine exhibited the longest duration of reinfection prophylaxis. Cure rates were comparable across each species composition. CONCLUSION:No differences in clearance rates were found depending on whether the infection contained species other than P. falciparum. Significantly longer durations of protection were observed for individuals treated with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine.
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