New medicine for treatment of severe malaria

Severe malaria typically occurs due to delayed treatment of uncomplicated malaria. This stage of the disease is defined by clinical or laboratory evidence of vital organ dysfunction. Although Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium knowlesi can cause severe disease, nearly all mortality from severe malaria results from infections with the Plasmodium falciparum parasite. 

The WHO recommends injectable artesunate for the management of severe malaria. However, given evidence of prolonged parasite clearance times with artemisinin-derivatives in the Greater Mekong region, an alternative non-artemisinin-based therapy is vital, should this current standard of care be further compromised by resistance. Hence, a new intravenous (i.v.) formulation of the fast-acting compound cipargamin  has been developed to treat severe, artemisinin-resistant P. falciparum malaria. The PAMAfrica consortium will assess the efficacy, safety and tolerability of up to three different dosing regimens of IV cipargamin in patients hospitalized with severe malaria at clinical centres in several African countries. 

Visit the Severe Malaria Observatory to learn more about severe malaria.