Feeding female Anopheles merus mosquito

New library to support global malaria research

8 June 2020

A first of its kind collaborative open access library to support the global malaria research effort is now available.

It has been released in conjunction with a new paper, The WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network Clinical Trials Publication Library: A Live, Open-Access Database of Plasmodium Treatment Efficacy Trials, published by The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. The paper describes the work of the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN) to create a comprehensive compilation of all antimalarial clinical efficacy trials conducted and published since 1946.

Between 1946 to 2018, a total of 1,221 published clinical efficacy studies were identified from over 45,000 screened articles, representing 2,339 treatment arms and 323,819 patients. The paper summarises the antimalarial efficacy trial landscape and provides a detailed resource for further analyses.

The WWARN clinical trials publication library highlights a novel approach to synthesising evidence for systematic review of antimalarial drugs that can also be adapted to other infectious diseases.

The highlights include:

  • Overall 787 (76%) of studies assessed P. falciparum, 177 (17%) P. vivax, 72 (7%) both, and 4 (0.4%) other Plasmodium species.
  • Of the 1,022 studies where age was described, 585 (57%) enrolled children under five years and 55 (5%) enrolled pregnant women.
  • Of 1,039 studies with information on study design, 568 (55%) of studies were randomised and 95 (17%) were blinded.

Professor Ric Price, Head of the Clinical Group in WWARN, said: “The WWARN antimalarial trials library is a comprehensive, open access resource that provides a great starting point for researchers and policy makers gathering data to map antimalarial drug resistance and design clinical trials.”

First author Junko Takata said: “Databases such as this have potential to greatly facilitate the synthesis of evidence and help researchers to rapidly explore existing knowledge.”

The library is currently available as a downloadable spreadsheet, but in the future data will be available in a comprehensive, open-access tool for the malaria community to explore the collective knowledge on antimalarial efficacy. View more here.

If you have any questions about the library, please contact us at info [at] wwarn [dot] org.