Mini-primaquine does help stop people infecting mosquitoes with malaria

February 2, 2018, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
This photomicrograph of a blood smear contains a macro- and microgametocyte of the Plasmodium falciparum parasite. Credit: Wikipedia.

A single dose of primaquine is thought to stop people with P. falciparum malaria infecting mosquitoes, which could help bring down malaria transmission. In this Cochrane Review update prepared by an international team of researchers and co-ordinated through the Cochrane infectious Diseases Group (CIDG) based at LSTM, the researchers added recent data to examine this question. Their findings are relevant to the global recommendation by the World Health Organization that mini-primaquine be given to all people unwell with malaria in areas where transmission is low to reduce transmission further.

In these new trials, researchers test infectivity of people by getting mosquitoes to feed on people or their blood and then measuring whether the mosquitoes become infected with malaria. For the currently recommended dose of 0.25 mg/kg, the calculations across 3 trials with 105 participants show the percentage of people infectious 2 to 3 days after treatment is reduced from 14% of people in the control group to 2% in the group. A little later, a week after the treatment had been started, the absolute effect was smaller- with 4% infectious in the and 1% in the primaquine group. This shows that primaquine does reduce transmission-but it may not be to the extent that people had hoped for.

Many potentially infectious people with malaria are asymptomatic, so few would seek treatment. The question of whether a partial reduction in infectiousness for a few days would materially affect the community malaria burden is still unanswered, although modelers have generally concluded that the increased impact would be marginal.

Dr Patricia Graves from James Cook University in Cairns, Australia is first author on the review. She said: "The trials show infectiousness is reduced with low dose primaquine, but the effects were relatively modest and short lived. We also do not know if this then would have any effect on at community level. Given the current evidence, it might be better for policy makers to concentrate on other approaches to help reduce transmission".

Explore further: Cochrane Review on primaquine to prevent malaria transmission

More information: Patricia M Graves et al, Primaquine or other 8-aminoquinolines for reducing Plasmodium falciparum transmission, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2018). DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008152.pub5

Related Stories

Cochrane Review on primaquine to prevent malaria transmission

July 3, 2014
Researchers from the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group, hosted at LSTM, conducted an independent review of the effects of adding a single dose of primaquine (PQ) to malaria treatment to prevent the transmission of the disease.

Low-dose treatment may block malaria transmission

November 14, 2013
Lower doses of the antimalarial drug primaquine are as effective as higher doses in reducing malaria transmission, according to a study published today in Lancet Infectious Diseases by London School of Hygiene & Tropical ...

Discovery of key molecules involved in severe malaria – new target for malaria vaccine

December 4, 2017
Malaria is one of three major infectious diseases affecting approximately 300 million people every year, accounting for about 500,000 deaths, but effective vaccine development has not been successful. Among malaria parasites ...

First in-human vaccine study for malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax

February 26, 2016
Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) researchers recently published the results of testing a Plasmodium vivax malaria vaccine candidate in a human challenge model.

Recommended for you

Dengue: Investigating antibodies to identify at-risk individuals

May 23, 2018
Using an original mathematical and statistical analysis method, a team of scientists from the Institut Pasteur partnered with researchers from the United States and Thailand to analyze a Thai cohort that has long been a focus ...

Fatty liver disease research set to benefit from stem cell advance

May 23, 2018
Scientists have developed a lab-based system for studying the most common type of liver disease, paving the way for research into new therapies.

More frequent checks control MRSA in newborns, but can hospitals afford them?

May 22, 2018
The more often a hospital can check its newborns for deadly MRSA germs, the more likely it will be that they are contained, according to a new study.

Could we predict the next Ebola outbreak by tracking the migratory patterns of bats?

May 22, 2018
Javier Buceta, associate professor of bioengineering, Paolo Bocchini, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and postdoctoral student Graziano Fiorillo of Lehigh University have created a modeling framework ...

Helping preterm infants grow bigger kidneys would prevent kidney disease later in life

May 21, 2018
Nephrons are the microscopic blood-filtering units inside our kidneys that convert waste products into urine, regulate our electrolyte levels and our blood pressure.

Kidney docs worry over no dialysis for undocumented immigrants

May 21, 2018
(HealthDay)—Undocumented immigrants in the United States are often denied treatment for kidney failure until they have a life-threatening emergency. Now a new study finds that the doctors and nurses who treat them are frustrated ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.