The effect of dose on the antimalarial efficacy of artesunate-mefloquine against Plasmodium falciparum malaria: a protocol for systematic review and individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis

Rashid Mansoor, Prabin Dahal, Georgina S Humphreys, Philippe Guerin, Elizabeth A Ashley, Kasia Stepniewska


Introduction Antimalarial posology based on weight bands leaves patients at the margins vulnerable to receiving either lower or higher weight-adjusted (mg/kg) dosages. This article aims to describe the protocol for systematic review and individual patient meta-analysis (MA) for a study of the distribution of artesunate and mefloquine dosage administered in patients with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria treated with an artesunate-mefloquine (AS-MQ) regimen. Relationship between mg/kg dose and therapeutic outcomes will be assessed through a one-stage individual participant data (IPD) MA.

Methods and analysis

Therapeutic efficacy studies with the AS-MQ regimen will be identified by searching the following databases: PUBMED, EMBASE and Web of Science. The corresponding authors of the relevant studies will be requested to share the IPD for the purpose of this MA to a secured repository. All available studies will be standardised using a common data management protocol and pooled into a single database. The relationship between mg/kg dosage and treatment failures will be assessed using a Cox regression model with study sites considered as a shared frailty term. Safety parameters will be explored where available.

Ethics and dissemination

This IPD MA met the criteria for waiver of ethical review as defined by the Oxford Tropical Research Ethics Committee as the research consisted of secondary analysis of existing anonymous data. The results of this analysis will be disseminated at conferences, WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network website and any peer-reviewed publication arising will be made open source.

PROSPERO registration number CRD42018103776

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