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Combination Drug Treatment Can Cut Malaria By 30 Per Cent

Posted Mar 28 2012 8:23pm

Professor Ivo Mueller led a three-year clinical trial that cut malaria infections in infants by up to 30 per cent, using a combination of antimalarial drugs.
Malaria infections among infants can be cut by up to 30 per cent when antimalarial drugs are given intermittently over a 12 month period, a three-year clinical trial in Papua New Guinea has shown.

The trial showed the drug regime was effective against both Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria, the first time antimalarial drugs have been shown to prevent infections by both species of malaria. The treatment regime, called intermittent preventive treatment (IPT), protected the infants against malaria for at least six weeks after the end of treatment, showing that it had an ongoing protective effect and did not hinder the development of natural immunity.

The study was led by Professor Ivo Mueller from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and Barcelona Centre for International Health Research (CRESIB) with Dr Patricia Rarau and Dr Nicolas Senn from the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research (PNGIMR). Professor Peter Siba from PNGIMR, Associate Professor Louis Schofield from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Professor John Reeder and Dr James Beeson from the Burnet Institute and Professor Stephen Rogerson from the University of Melbourne also collaborated on the project.

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