Research ArticleMalaria

Characterization of an in vivo concentration-effect relationship for piperaquine in malaria chemoprevention

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Science Translational Medicine  29 Oct 2014:
Vol. 6, Issue 260, pp. 260ra147
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3005311

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Guiding Malaria Chemoprevention

Piperaquine (PQ) is a long-acting antimalarial drug used in combination with short-acting dihydroartemisinin (DHA) to treat and prevent malaria infections. PQ blood measurement and malaria infection data were collected after monthly or bimonthly standard 3-day treatment regimens of DHA-PQ. Bergstrand et al. then used these data to develop a mathematical model to characterize the relationship between PQ blood concentrations and the risk of acquiring a malaria infection. PQ concentrations of 6.7 and 20 ng/ml were found to reduce the risk of acquiring a malaria infection by 50 and 95%, respectively. The model was used to predict the expected outcome in vulnerable populations such as children and pregnant women living in malaria endemic areas.