World Malaria Day seminar 2019

World Malaria Day seminar 2019 – antimalarial treatments for vulnerable groups

17 April 2019

To mark World Malaria Day on 25 April WWARN’s Dr Makoto Saito and Professor Joel Tarning from the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit and Head of WWARN Pharmacometrics presented their work on prevention and treatment of malaria in vulnerable groups at a seminar hosted by the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health.

Since the turn of the millennium, deaths from malaria globally have halved. Despite this, nearly half of the world’s population is still at risk with roughly 212 million cases in 2015. A major global challenge in the coming years will be to further reduce deaths and improve the outcomes of those affected by malaria.

Vulnerable groups such as young children and pregnant women are most severely affected by malaria, but there is limited data about treatment and prevention due to small numbers of patients in clinical trials and differing study designs. Often antimalarial drugs are introduced at the wrong dose.

Joel Tarning presented his research using pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) modelling to assess the efficacy of antimalarial drug combinations in vulnerable groups, focusing on young children. The research has successfully described the population PK/PD properties of piperaquine and has been used to propose optimal drug regimens for young children, this research contributed to the update of WHO Guidelines in 2015.

Makoto Saito discussed research as part of his PhD thesis aggregating global data on the efficacy and tolerability of ACT and quinine treatments for falciparum malaria in pregnant women. Makoto has carried out an Individual Patient Data Meta-analyses assessing 10 different treatments as part of the WWARN Malaria in Pregnancy Treatment Efficacy Study Group. This research will help inform new recommendations for WHO treatment guidelines.

Watch highlights of the seminar.