Artemisinin-Naphthoquine versus Artemether-Lumefantrine for Uncomplicated Malaria in Papua New Guinean Children: An Open-Label Randomized Trial

Moses Laman, Brioni Moore, J.M. Benjamin, G. Yadi, C. Bona, J. Warrel, J.H. Kattenberg, T. Koleala, Laurens Manning, B. Kasian, L.J. Robinson, N. Sambale, L. Lorry, Stephan Karl, Wendy Davis, A. Rosanas-Urgell, I. Müeller, P.M. Siba, I. Betuela, Timothy Davis

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26 Citations (Scopus)


© 2014 Laman et al. Artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) with broad efficacy are needed where multiple Plasmodium species are transmitted, especially in children, who bear the brunt of infection in endemic areas. In Papua New Guinea (PNG), artemether-lumefantrine is the first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria, but it has limited efficacy against P. vivax. Artemisinin-naphthoquine should have greater activity in vivax malaria because the elimination of naphthoquine is slower than that of lumefantrine. In this study, the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of these ACTs were assessed in PNG children aged 0.5–5 y. An open-label, randomized, parallel-group trial of artemether-lumefantrine (six doses over 3 d) and artemisinin-naphthoquine (three daily doses) was conducted between 28 March 2011 and 22 April 2013. Parasitologic outcomes were assessed without knowledge of treatment allocation. Primary endpoints were the 42-d P. falciparum PCR-corrected adequate clinical and parasitologic response (ACPR) and the P. vivax PCR-uncorrected 42-d ACPR. Non-inferiority and superiority designs were used for falciparum and vivax malaria, respectively. Because the artemisinin-naphthoquine regimen involved three doses rather than the manufacturer-specified single dose, the first 188 children underwent detailed safety monitoring. Of 2,542 febrile children screened, 267 were randomized, and 186 with falciparum and 47 with vivax malaria completed the 42-d follow-up. Both ACTs were safe and well tolerated. P. falciparum ACPRs were 97.8% and 100.0% in artemether-lumefantrine and artemisinin-naphthoquine-treated patients, respectively (difference 2.2% [95% CI −3.0% to 8.4%] versus −5.0% non-inferiority margin, p = 0.24), and P. vivax ACPRs were 30.0% and 100.0%, respectively (difference 70.0% [95% CI 40.9%–87.2%], p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
JournalPLoS Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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