METHODS: We did this open-label, randomised controlled trial at three district hospitals in Sabah, Malaysia. Patients aged 1 year or older with uncomplicated P knowlesi malaria were randomly assigned, via computer-generated block randomisation (block sizes of 20), to receive oral artesunate-mefloquine (target dose 12 mg/kg artesunate and 25 mg/kg mefloquine) or chloroquine (target dose 25 mg/kg). Research nursing staff were aware of group allocation, but allocation was concealed from the microscopists responsible for determination of the primary endpoint, and study participants were not aware of drug allocation. The primary endpoint was parasite clearance at 24 h. Analysis was by modified intention to treat. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01708876.
FINDINGS: Between Oct 16, 2012, and Dec 13, 2014, we randomly assigned 252 patients to receive either artesunate-mefloquine (n=127) or chloroquine (n=125); 226 (90%) patients comprised the modified intention-to-treat population. 24 h after treatment, we recorded parasite clearance in 97 (84% [95% CI 76-91]) of 115 patients in the artesunate-mefloquine group versus 61 (55% [45-64]) of 111 patients in the chloroquine group (difference in proportion 29% [95% CI 18·0-40·8]; p<0·0001). Parasite clearance was faster in patients given artesunate-mefloquine than in those given chloroquine (18·0 h [range 6·0-48·0] vs 24·0 h [6·0-60·0]; p<0·0001), with faster clearance of ring stages in the artesunate-mefloquine group (mean time to 50% clearance of baseline parasites 8·6 h [95% CI 7·9-9·4] vs 13·8 h [12·1-15·4]; p<0·0001). Risk of anaemia within 28 days was lower in patients in the artesunate-mefloquine group (71 [62%; 95% CI 52·2-70·6]) than in those in the chloroquine group (83 [75%; 65·6-82·5]; p=0·035). Gametocytaemia as detected by PCR for pks25 was present in 44 (86%) of 51 patients in the artesunate-mefloquine group and 41 (84%) of 49 patients in the chloroquine group at baseline, and in three (6%) of 49 patients and two (4%) of 48 patients, respectively, at day 7. Fever clearance was faster in the artesunate-mefloquine group (mean 11·5 h [95% CI 8·3-14·6]) than in the chloroquine group (14·8 h [11·7-17·8]; p=0·034). Bed occupancy was 2426 days per 1000 patients in the artesunate-mefloquine group versus 2828 days per 1000 patients in the chloroquine group (incidence rate ratio 0·858 [95% CI 0·812-0·906]; p<0·0001). One (<1%) patient in the artesunate-mefloquine group had a serious neuropsychiatric event regarded as probably related to study drug.
INTERPRETATION: Artesunate-mefloquine is highly efficacious for treatment of uncomplicated P knowlesi malaria. The rapid therapeutic response of the drug offers significant advantages compared with chloroquine monotherapy and supports a unified treatment policy for artemisinin-based combination therapy for all Plasmodium species in co-endemic areas.
FUNDING: Malaysian Ministry of Health, Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, and Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network.
METHODS: Five graph models were fit using data from 1574 people who inject drugs in Hartford, CT, USA. We used a degree-corrected stochastic block model, based on goodness-of-fit, to model networks of injection drug users. We simulated transmission of HCV and HIV through this network with varying levels of HCV treatment coverage (0%, 3%, 6%, 12%, or 24%) and varying baseline HCV prevalence in people who inject drugs (30%, 60%, 75%, or 85%). We compared the effectiveness of seven treatment-as-prevention strategies on reducing HCV prevalence over 10 years and 20 years versus no treatment. The strategies consisted of treatment assigned to either a randomly chosen individual who injects drugs or to an individual with the highest number of injection partners. Additional strategies explored the effects of treating either none, half, or all of the injection partners of the selected individual, as well as a strategy based on respondent-driven recruitment into treatment.
FINDINGS: Our model estimates show that at the highest baseline HCV prevalence in people who inject drugs (85%), expansion of treatment coverage does not substantially reduce HCV prevalence for any treatment-as-prevention strategy. However, when baseline HCV prevalence is 60% or lower, treating more than 120 (12%) individuals per 1000 people who inject drugs per year would probably eliminate HCV within 10 years. On average, assigning treatment randomly to individuals who inject drugs is better than targeting individuals with the most injection partners. Treatment-as-prevention strategies that treat additional network members are among the best performing strategies and can enhance less effective strategies that target the degree (ie, the highest number of injection partners) within the network.
INTERPRETATION: Successful HCV treatment as prevention should incorporate the baseline HCV prevalence and will achieve the greatest benefit when coverage is sufficiently expanded.
FUNDING: National Institute on Drug Abuse.
METHODS: This WHO-coordinated, prospective, observational cohort study was done at 279 clusters (villages or groups of villages in which phenotypic resistance was measurable) in Benin, Cameroon, India, Kenya, and Sudan. Pyrethroid long-lasting insecticidal nets were the principal form of malaria vector control in all study areas; in Sudan this approach was supplemented by indoor residual spraying. Cohorts of children from randomly selected households in each cluster were recruited and followed up by community health workers to measure incidence of clinical malaria and prevalence of infection. Mosquitoes were assessed for susceptibility to pyrethroids using the standard WHO bioassay test. Country-specific results were combined using meta-analysis.
FINDINGS: Between June 2, 2012, and Nov 4, 2016, 40 000 children were enrolled and assessed for clinical incidence during 1·4 million follow-up visits. 80 000 mosquitoes were assessed for insecticide resistance. Long-lasting insecticidal net users had lower infection prevalence (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 0·63, 95% CI 0·51-0·78) and disease incidence (adjusted rate ratio [RR] 0·62, 0·41-0·94) than did non-users across a range of resistance levels. We found no evidence of an association between insecticide resistance and infection prevalence (adjusted OR 0·86, 0·70-1·06) or incidence (adjusted RR 0·89, 0·72-1·10). Users of nets, although significantly better protected than non-users, were nevertheless subject to high malaria infection risk (ranging from an average incidence in net users of 0·023, [95% CI 0·016-0·033] per person-year in India, to 0·80 [0·65-0·97] per person year in Kenya; and an average infection prevalence in net users of 0·8% [0·5-1·3] in India to an average infection prevalence of 50·8% [43·4-58·2] in Benin).
INTERPRETATION: Irrespective of resistance, populations in malaria endemic areas should continue to use long-lasting insecticidal nets to reduce their risk of infection. As nets provide only partial protection, the development of additional vector control tools should be prioritised to reduce the unacceptably high malaria burden.
FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UK Medical Research Council, and UK Department for International Development.
METHODS: A systematic review done in MEDLINE, Web of Science, Embase, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews identified P vivax clinical trials published between Jan 1, 2000, and March 22, 2017. Principal investigators were invited to share individual patient data, which were pooled using standardised methods. Cox regression analyses with random effects for study site were used to investigate the roles of chloroquine dose and primaquine use on rate of recurrence between day 7 and day 42 (primary outcome). The review protocol is registered in PROSPERO, number CRD42016053310.
FINDINGS: Of 134 identified chloroquine studies, 37 studies (from 17 countries) and 5240 patients were included. 2990 patients were treated with chloroquine alone, of whom 1041 (34·8%) received a dose below the target 25 mg/kg. The risk of recurrence was 32·4% (95% CI 29·8-35·1) by day 42. After controlling for confounders, a 5 mg/kg higher chloroquine dose reduced the rate of recurrence overall (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR] 0·82, 95% CI 0·69-0·97; p=0·021) and in children younger than 5 years (0·59, 0·41-0·86; p=0·0058). Adding primaquine reduced the risk of recurrence to 4·9% (95% CI 3·1-7·7) by day 42, which is lower than with chloroquine alone (AHR 0·10, 0·05-0·17; p<0·0001).
INTERPRETATION: Chloroquine is commonly under-dosed in the treatment of vivax malaria. Increasing the recommended dose to 30 mg/kg in children younger than 5 years could reduce substantially the risk of early recurrence when primaquine is not given. Radical cure with primaquine was highly effective in preventing early recurrence and may also improve blood schizontocidal efficacy against chloroquine-resistant P vivax.
FUNDING: Wellcome Trust, Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.