An international team of researchers have prepared an update of Cochrane Review and have found that Even a single dose of primaquine helps bring down malaria transmission as it stops people with P. falciparum malaria infecting mosquitoes.The findings should prompt World Health Organization for a global recommendation that mini-primaquine be given to all people suffering from malaria in areas where transmission is low to reduce transmission further.
In these new trials, researchers test infectivity of people by getting mosquitoes to feed on people or their blood and then measuring whether the mosquitoes become infected with malaria. For the currently recommended dose of 0.25 mg/kg, the calculations across 3 trials with 105 participants show the percentage of people infectious 2 to 3 days after treatment is reduced from 14% of people in the control group to 2% in the primaquine group. A little later, a week after the treatment had been started, the absolute effect was smaller- with 4% infectious in the control group and 1% in the primaquine group. This shows that primaquine does reduce transmission-but it may not be to the extent that people had hoped for.
Many potentially infectious people with malaria are asymptomatic, so few would seek treatment. The question of whether a partial reduction in infectiousness for a few days would materially affect the community malaria burden is still unanswered, although malaria modelers have generally concluded that the increased impact would be marginal.
Dr Patricia Graves from James Cook University in Cairns, Australia is first author on the review. She said: “The trials show infectiousness is reduced with low dose primaquine, but the effects were relatively modest and short lived. We also do not know if this then would have any effect on malaria transmission at community level. Given the current evidence, it might be better for policy makers to concentrate on other approaches to help reduce transmission.”
For more details click on the link: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2018; DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008152.pub5