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      Tafenoquine and its potential in the treatment and relapse prevention of Plasmodium vivax malaria: the evidence to date

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          Abstract

          Despite declining global malaria incidence, the disease continues to be a threat to people living in endemic regions. In 2015, an estimated 214 million new malaria cases and 438,000 deaths due to malaria were recorded. Plasmodium vivax is the second most common cause of malaria next to Plasmodium falciparum. Vivax malaria is prevalent especially in Southeast Asia and the Horn of Africa, with enormous challenges in controlling the disease. Some of the challenges faced by vivax malaria-endemic countries include limited access to effective drugs treating liver stages of the parasite (schizonts and hypnozoites), emergence/spread of drug resistance, and misperception of vivax malaria as nonlethal. Primaquine, the only 8-aminoquinoline derivative approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, is intended to clear intrahepatic hypnozoites of P. vivax (radical cure). However, poor adherence to a prolonged treatment course, drug-induced hemolysis in patients with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, and the emergence of resistance make it imperative to look for alternative drugs. Therefore, this review focuses on data accrued to date on tafenoquine and gives insight on the potential role of the drug in preventing relapse and radical cure of patients with vivax malaria.

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          Comparative genomics of the neglected human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax.

          The human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax is responsible for 25-40% of the approximately 515 million annual cases of malaria worldwide. Although seldom fatal, the parasite elicits severe and incapacitating clinical symptoms and often causes relapses months after a primary infection has cleared. Despite its importance as a major human pathogen, P. vivax is little studied because it cannot be propagated continuously in the laboratory except in non-human primates. We sequenced the genome of P. vivax to shed light on its distinctive biological features, and as a means to drive development of new drugs and vaccines. Here we describe the synteny and isochore structure of P. vivax chromosomes, and show that the parasite resembles other malaria parasites in gene content and metabolic potential, but possesses novel gene families and potential alternative invasion pathways not recognized previously. Completion of the P. vivax genome provides the scientific community with a valuable resource that can be used to advance investigation into this neglected species.
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            Vivax malaria: neglected and not benign.

            Plasmodium vivax threatens almost 40% of the world's population, resulting in 132-391 million clinical infections each year. Most of these cases originate from Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific, although a significant number also occurs in Africa and South America. Although often regarded as causing a benign and self-limiting infection, there is increasing evidence that the overall burden, economic impact, and severity of disease from P. vivax have been underestimated. Malaria control strategies have had limited success and are confounded by the lack of access to reliable diagnosis, emergence of multidrug resistant isolates, the parasite's ability to transmit early in the course of disease and relapse from dormant liver stages at varying time intervals after the initial infection. Progress in reducing the burden of disease will require improved access to reliable diagnosis and effective treatment of both blood-stage and latent parasites, and more detailed characterization of the epidemiology, morbidity, and economic impact of vivax malaria. Without these, vivax malaria will continue to be neglected by ministries of health, policy makers, researchers, and funding bodies.
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              Determinants of relapse periodicity in Plasmodium vivax malaria

              Plasmodium vivax is a major cause of febrile illness in endemic areas of Asia, Central and South America, and the horn of Africa. Plasmodium vivax infections are characterized by relapses of malaria arising from persistent liver stages of the parasite (hypnozoites) which can be prevented only by 8-aminoquinoline anti-malarials. Tropical P. vivax relapses at three week intervals if rapidly eliminated anti-malarials are given for treatment, whereas in temperate regions and parts of the sub-tropics P. vivax infections are characterized either by a long incubation or a long-latency period between illness and relapse - in both cases approximating 8-10 months. The epidemiology of the different relapse phenotypes has not been defined adequately despite obvious relevance to malaria control and elimination. The number of sporozoites inoculated by the anopheline mosquito is an important determinant of both the timing and the number of relapses. The intervals between relapses display a remarkable periodicity which has not been explained. Evidence is presented that the proportion of patients who have successive relapses is relatively constant and that the factor which activates hypnozoites and leads to regular interval relapse in vivax malaria is the systemic febrile illness itself. It is proposed that in endemic areas a large proportion of the population harbours latent hypnozoites which can be activated by a systemic illness such as vivax or falciparum malaria. This explains the high rates of vivax following falciparum malaria, the high proportion of heterologous genotypes in relapses, the higher rates of relapse in people living in endemic areas compared with artificial infection studies, and, by facilitating recombination between different genotypes, contributes to P. vivax genetic diversity particularly in low transmission settings. Long-latency P. vivax phenotypes may be more widespread and more prevalent than currently thought. These observations have important implications for the assessment of radical treatment efficacy and for malaria control and elimination.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                1177-8881
                2016
                26 July 2016
                : 10
                : 2387-2399
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology
                [2 ]Department of Pharmacology
                [3 ]Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacy, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University
                [4 ]Department of Pharmacology, St Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Yehenew A Ebstie, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University, Zambia Street, PO Box 9086, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Tel +251 9 1304 9270, Email yeh_kiam@ 123456yahoo.com
                [*]

                These authors contributed equally to this work

                Article
                dddt-10-2387
                10.2147/DDDT.S61443
                4970641
                27528800
                © 2016 Ebstie et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Categories
                Review

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine

                primaquine, hypnozoite, schizonts, radical cure, vivax malaria

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