What is it about?
This proof of concept clinical study evaluated the effects on schistosomiasis of antimalarial drugs given to treat malaria in adults and children. Urogenital schistosomiasis is prevalent in many malaria endemic regions of sub-Saharan Africa and can lead to long-term health consequences if untreated. Antimalarial drugs used to treat uncomplicated malaria have shown to exert some activity against Schistosoma haematobium. Here, we explore the efficacy on concomitant urogenital schistosomiasis of first-line recommended artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) and investigational second-generation ACTs when administered for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria in Gabon. Antimalarial treatments with artesunate-pyronaridine and artemether-lumefantrine reduced the excretion of S. haematobium eggs, comforting the hypothesis that antimalarial drugs could play a role in the control of schistosomiasis.
Photo by Taylor Flowe on Unsplash
Why is it important?
The question is relevant as malaria and schistosomiasis co-infect patients in endemic areas. There is no systematic screening of schistosomiasis and some patients may hide it because of stigmatisation. On the other hand, malaria treatment is very frequently given in these areas sometimes even without any biological confirmation.
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This page is a summary of: Effectiveness of antimalarial drug combinations in treating concomitant urogenital schistosomiasis in malaria patients in Lambaréné, Gabon: A non-randomised event-monitoring study, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, October 2022, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0010899.
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