Piperaquine pharmacodynamics and parasite viability in a murine malaria model

B.R. Moore, Kenneth Ilett, M. Page-Sharp, J.D. Jago, K.T. Batty

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Piperaquine (PQ) is an important partner drug in antimalarial combination treatments, but the long half-life of PQ raises concerns about drug resistance. Our aim was to investigate the extended antimalarial effect of PQ in a study of drug efficacy, reinoculation outcomes, and parasite viability after the administration of a single dose of PQ in the murine malaria model. Initially, male Swiss mice were inoculated with Plasmodium berghei and at 64 h after parasite inoculation were given PQ phosphate at 90 mg/kg of body weight intraperitoneally. Parasite viability, drug efficacy, reinoculation responses, and parasite resistance were determined at 25, 40, 60, 90, and 130 days after drug administration. At each time point, six mice were reinoculated with 107 P. berghei parasites and blood was harvested from another four mice for viability passage into naïve mice (n = 5 for each blood sample) and from another two mice for determination of the plasma PQ concentration. The efficacy study demonstrated that the residual PQ concentrations did not suppress the infection after 25 days. Viable parasites were present up to 90 days after PQ dosing, although only 50% and 25% of the passaged parasites remained viable at 60 and 90 days postdosing, respectively. Viable parasites passaged into the naïve hosts were generally resistant to PQ when they were exposed to the drug for a second time. PQ was found to have a substantial antimalarial effect in this model, and the effect appears to be sufficient for a host immunological response to be established, resulting in the long-term survival of P. berghei-infected mice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2707-2713
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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