New drug combo tackles malaria in HIV+ mums

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[NAIROBI]Researchers have tested new combinations of medications that can thwart the resistance to common medications. malariaDrugs can reduce the risk of infection in HIV-positive pregnant women.

The WHO estimatesOne million women are living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. HIVIn sub-Saharan Africa, malaria is also transmitted to pregnant women every year. Moreover, the drugs that are currently available are becoming less effective due to the resistance of malaria parasites.

Researchers from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Kenya Medical Research Institute along with Kamuzu University of Health Sciences and Malawi University of Science and Technology unveiled this treatment as part of a collaborative effort. StudyingPublished earlier this month (12th January) You can also find out more about the following: Lancet.

“The findings are applicable to not only areas with high malaria transmission, but also most importantly applies to areas with reported malaria-drug-resistance to cotrimozazole and fansidar.”

Simon Kariuki is Chief research officer at the Kenya Medical Research Institute.

The researchers found that a course of antimalarial combination drugs taken monthly was effective. dihydroartemisinin–piperaquineAdditions to a daily antibiotic regimen co-trimoxazoleReduces the risk for malaria in pregnancy by 68%

Hellen Barsosio, assistant principal clinical research scientist at Kenya Medical Research Institute and lead author, said the drug combination is safe and well tolerated by pregnant women—which is important when a drug is given for prevention.

“These findings are very encouraging and could lead to a much-needed policy change that could make a real difference in improving maternal and newborn health in Africa,” she told SciDev.Net.

Drug resistance

In October 2017, the WHOMalaria Policy Advisory Committee emphasized the need for alternative medications to prevent malaria in pregnant woman living with HIV due to increasing drug resistant to medicines Useful for the prevention of malaria.

International malaria guidelines recommend daily treatment co-trimoxazolePrevent malaria in pregnant women with HIV living in areas where malaria transmission is high.

Co-trimoxazoleThe antimalarial properties of an antibiotic used by HIV positive people to prevent opportunistic diseases are similar to that of sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine, sold under the brand name FAnsidarIt is recommended for women who are HIV-negative to take.

Fansidar’s ability to prevent malaria among HIV-negative women is also affected by the challenges of drug resistance. co-trimoxazole, Barsosio explains.

“Co-trimoxazole only provides partial protection against malaria for pregnant women living with HIV in areas of malaria-drug-resistance,” she told SciDev.Net.

The WHO has therefore called for more research into drugs which could be used in conjunction with co-trimoxazole to prevent malaria in pregnant women living with HIV.

A nurse attends to a young girl at a clinic in Sierra Leone. Researchers have found that taking a monthly dose of the antimalarial drug combination can reduce the risk of malaria. dihydroartemisinin–piperaquineAddition of co-trimoxazole to a daily antibiotic regimen reduces the risk for malaria in pregnancy by 68%. Copyright: Rawpixel, (CC0 1.0 Deed).

“Our study found dihydroartemisinin-Piperaquine to be the most promising drug that can be safely combined with co-trimoxazole without side effects,” Barsosio said.

“It clears any existing malaria infections when taken and provides long-term protection.

“Our health care providers are also familiar with dihydroartemisininpiperaquine and use it as second-line treatment for malaria.”

Researchers conducted a randomised, controlled trial on pregnant women with HIV in Kenya and Malawi where there has been high malaria transmission. Parasites in these areas have also shown resistance to malaria drugs like co-trimoxazole and FAnsidar.

“This means the findings are applicable to not only areas with high malaria transmission, but also most importantly applies to areas with reported malaria-drug-resistance to co-trimozazole and Fansidar,” Simon Kariuki, Chief Research Officer, Kenya Medical Research Institute,You can also find out more about the following: co-author, explains.

Joachim Osur is the vice-chancellor of Amref International University, Nairobi. He said that the findings offer additional options for fighting the twin tragedies on the continent, malaria and HIV.

“We in the medical fraternity appreciate these findings because malaria is a killer, and HIV is also a killer,” Osur told SciDev.Net.

“We need more options in the fight against these diseases, and that is what the findings provide.”

However, he added that pregnant mothers who are HIV positive still need to treat their infections—and other malaria prevention and treatment strategies must be maintained despite these findings.

“We only need to improve our medical treatment guidelines to co-opt these options,” he said.

This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk.

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