THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

Long-acting artemisinin-based combination therapy protects children from malaria

Long-acting artemisinin-based combination therapy protects children from malaria. | Courtesy of angelfire.com
Long-acting artemisinin-based combination therapy (LACT) may provide protection for children who are highly exposed to recurrent malaria attacks in sub-Saharan Africa.

Despite this significant advantage, it was unclear where this information could be best implemented. This is because the distribution and use of these treatments is not determined according to this basis.

Researchers used data taken from six cohort studies conducted in West Africa as well as an individual-based malaria transmission model. The data enabled analysts to understand the relationship between transmission intensity, seasonality and the interval between malaria episodes. The data also helped scientists to better understand where post-treatment prophylaxis for malaria would be best implemented.

The results showed that LACT provides the best protection when it is used in the most seasonal areas. To reach this conclusion, the scientists considered the level of transmission intensity and the concentration of recurrent malaria episodes within a given time, as well as the yearly incidence rates.

Healthcare workers should take into account the overall intensity of malaria transmission within a given region as well as the degree of its seasonality. Policy makers must use this information when they choose where ACT should change according to the duration of the patient’s post-treatment prophylaxis.