Approved Children’s Malaria Therapy
“P. vivax malaria is particularly dangerous for young children, where repeated relapses can lead to severe cumulative anemia and in some cases death. Today, we have a tool for non-stop relapse prevention for both adults and children – Dr David Reddy, CEO, MMV, said in a statement.
Malaria is one of the deadliest infectious diseases. In 2019, there were 229 million new infections and 558,000 deaths. But during the Covid-19 pandemic, the number rose to 627,000 deaths in 2020.
P. vivax infection is estimated to cause between 4.1 and 5.1 million clinical infections each year, and places a commensurate burden on children 2 to 6 years of age who are four times more likely to develop the disease. compared with adults.
Clinical features of P. vivax malaria include fever, chills, vomiting, malaise, headache and myalgia, and in some cases, can lead to severe malaria and death .
P. vivax can hide itself in the liver, causing relapse months and even years after preliminary disclosure. These episodes can lead to extreme anemia, long-term mental damage, and loss of life.
Most therapies, along with chloroquine, target the blood stage of the parasite, and are therefore unable to prevent recurrence of the infection and its associated markers. However, tafenoquine follows dormant colonies in the liver. Along with chloroquine, tafenoquine could create what scientists call a “radical treatment,” reported the NYT.
This approval was based on a study of 60 children aged 2 to 15 years with P. vivax malaria from three sites in Vietnam and one site in Colombia.
After being given a single dose of tafenoquine and a course of chloroquine, about 62 percent of children reported some negative effects, a rate similar to that seen in adults and adolescents, the researchers reported. . Not one of the negative effects was extreme, although the therapy resulted in vomiting in one in five young adults.
After four months, the therapy’s effectiveness in preventing relapse was 95 percent, the same as it was in older adults and adolescents, the report said.