Abstract: Antimalarial drugs will be essential tools at all stages of malaria elimination along the path towards eradication, including the early control or “attack” phase to drive down transmission and the later stages of maintaining interruption of transmission, preventing reintroduction of malaria, and eliminating the last residual foci of infection.Drugs will continue to be used to treat acute malaria illness and prevent complications in vulnerable groups, but better drugs are needed for elimination-specific indications such as mass treatment, curing asymptomatic infections, curing relapsing liver stages, and preventing transmission. The ideal malaria eradication drug is a coformulated drug combination suitable for mass administration that can be administered in a single encounter at infrequent intervals and that results in radical cure of all life cycle stages of all five malaria species infecting humans. Short of this optimal goal, highly desirable drugs might have limitations such as targeting only one or two parasite species, the priorities being Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax.
The malaria research agenda for eradication should include research aimed at developing such drugs and research to develop situation-specific strategies for using both current and future drugs to interrupt malaria transmission.
Citation: The malERA Consultative Group on Drugs (2011) A Research Agenda for Malaria Eradication: Drugs. PLoS Med 8(1): e1000402. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000402
Published: January 25, 2011
Funding: malERA received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing interests: No competing interests: PA, AD, AM, JM, JN, CP, RR, SY, PK. TW works for the Medicines for Malaria Venture, who are sponsoring or cosponsoring some of the projects discussed in the meetings.
Abbreviations: ACT, artemisinin-based combination therapy; IPT, intermittent preventive treatment; MDA, mass drug administration; TPP, target product profile
Provenance: Submitted as part of a Supplement; externally peer reviewed.
Copyright: © 2011 The malERA Consultative Group on Drugs. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Full Report: A Research Agenda for Malaria Eradication: Drugs (PDF)