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The in vivo efficacies of the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos) nationally recommended antimalarial agents--chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine-were assessed in a randomized, comparative trial that involved 100 patients with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria who were followed for 42 days after starting treatment. Despite a shorter mean time to fever clearance associated with administration of chloroquine (mean time to clearance, 35.6 h; 95% confidence interval [CI], 26.3-45.0 h), compared with that associated with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (61.1 h; 95% CI, 50.9-71.3 h; P<.001), treatment failures were twice as frequent among patients receiving chloroquine therapy than among those receiving sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine therapy (36% vs. 18%; P=.02). Of 23 treatment failures, 10 (43%) were high grade. Treatment failure rates among children (age range, 5-15 years) were 4.9 times higher (95% CI, 2-12) than those among adults (P<.0001). Gametocytemia after antimalarial treatment was associated with receipt of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine therapy and with treatment failure (P=.009). The efficacy of both chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine in Laos is unsatisfactory.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin Infect Dis

Publication Date





1021 - 1028


Adolescent, Adult, Animals, Antimalarials, Chloroquine, Drug Combinations, Drug Resistance, Female, Health Planning Guidelines, Humans, Laos, Malaria, Falciparum, Male, Pyrimethamine, Sulfadoxine, Treatment Failure, Treatment Outcome