G6PD Deficiency and Antimalarial Efficacy for Uncomplicated Malaria in Bangladesh: A Prospective Observational Study.
Ley B., Alam MS., Thriemer K., Hossain MS., Kibria MG., Auburn S., Poirot E., Price RN., Khan WA.
BACKGROUND: The Bangladeshi national treatment guidelines for uncomplicated malaria follow WHO recommendations but without G6PD testing prior to primaquine administration. A prospective observational study was conducted to assess the efficacy of the current antimalarial policy. METHODS: Patients with uncomplicated malaria, confirmed by microscopy, attending a health care facility in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh, were treated with artemether-lumefantrine (days 0-2) plus single dose primaquine (0.75mg/kg on day2) for P. falciparum infections, or with chloroquine (days 0-2) plus 14 days primaquine (3.5mg/kg total over 14 days) for P. vivax infections. Hb was measured on days 0, 2 and 9 in all patients and also on days 16 and 30 in patients with P. vivax infection. Participants were followed for 30 days. The study was registered with the clinical trials website (NCT02389374). RESULTS: Between September 2014 and February 2015 a total of 181 patients were enrolled (64% P. falciparum, 30% P. vivax and 6% mixed infections). Median parasite clearance times were 22.0 (Interquartile Range, IQR: 15.2-27.3) hours for P. falciparum, 20.0 (IQR: 9.5-22.7) hours for P. vivax and 16.6 (IQR: 10.0-46.0) hours for mixed infections. All participants were afebrile within 48 hours, two patients with P. falciparum infection remained parasitemic at 48 hours. No patient had recurrent parasitaemia within 30 days. Adjusted male median G6PD activity was 7.82U/gHb. One male participant (1/174) had severe G6PD deficiency (<10% activity), five participants (5/174) had mild G6PD deficiency (10-60% activity). The Hb nadir occurred on day 2 prior to primaquine treatment in P. falciparum and P. vivax infected patients; mean fractional fall in Hb was -8.8% (95%CI -6.7% to -11.0%) and -7.4% (95%CI: -4.5 to -10.4%) respectively. CONCLUSION: The current antimalarial policy remains effective. The prevalence of G6PD deficiency was low. Main contribution to haemolysis in G6PD normal individuals was attributable to acute malaria rather than primaquine administration. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02389374.