Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine failure in Cambodia

July 2014
David L Saunders, Pattaraporn Vanachayangkul, Chanthap Lon, U.S. Army Military Malaria Research Program; National Center for Parasitology, Entomology, and Malaria Control (CNM); Royal Cambodian Armed Forces

Dihydroartemisinin–piperaquine, one of the last remaining medications effective against multidrug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum, was adopted as the first-line antimalarial agent in Cambodia in 2010.1 We are conducting a trial (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01849640) evaluating the efficacy of dihydroartemisinin–piperaquine for the treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in Oddar Meancheay Province, Cambodia. Up to 150 adult volunteers with parasite loads of 1000 to 200,000 parasites per cubic millimeter will be administered 3 days of directly observed, open-label dihydroartemisinin–piperaquine treatment (cumulative doses, 360 mg of dihydroartemisinin and 2880 mg of piperaquine), with 42 days of follow-up. Written informed consent was obtained from all volunteers. The dihydroartemisinin–piperaquine tablets (Holley Pharmaceuticals) met U.S. Pharmacopeia weight and content uniformity standards before and midway through the trial. We report here the results for the first 50 volunteers.