[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using a continuous in vitro culture system, the sensitivity of Plasmodium falciparum to artemether and a new antimalarial drug, benflumetol (lumefantrine), alone and in combination, was investigated with a multiresistant strain (T-996) from Thailand and a chloroquine-resistant strain (LS-21) from India. Both strains showed similar 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) levels with artemether alone or benflumetol alone, but the IC90 was higher in strain T-996 compared with strain LS-21: for artemether, 34.45 and 7.11 nmol/L (10.28 and 2.12 ng/ml of erythrocyte-medium mixture [EMM]), and for benflumetol, 293.03 and 95.61 nmol/L (154.69 and 50.47 ng/ml of EMM). When tested in association at artemether:benflumetol (mol: mol) ratios between 100:1 and 1:100, substantial synergism was seen in both strains, especially at the IC90 and IC99 levels. This phenomenon resembles the synergistic interaction of artemisinin derivatives and mefloquine, first observed in laboratory models and later confirmed in clinical experience.
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 10/1999; 61(3):439-45. · 2.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 30-h in vitro susceptibility test of Plasmodium falciparum wild isolates to artemisinin, chloroquine, sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine and mefloquine was performed in Kibaha, Tanzania. A sigmoid Emax model was fitted to all data for each isolate and drug combination. Artemisinin and mefloquine exhibited 100% growth inhibition against all isolates tested (n = 69-74). The EC30 values for artemisinin and mefloquine were 44 and 146 nM respectively. Chloroquine and sulfadoxine/ pyrimethamine resistance was 30% and 13% respectively. Susceptibility parameters (EC50,90,95 and 92 values and s) varied between compounds and isolates indicating the different sensitivity of P. falciparum isolates. No correlation between susceptibility parameters of artemisinin and the other compounds was found. The high in vitro activities of artemisinin and mefloquine indicate their potential role for the treatment of multidrug-resistant malaria in Africa.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The activity of artemisinin in combination with mefloquine was tested in vitro against a chloroquine-sensitive (F32) strain of Plasmodium falciparum. A method of repetitive dosing and extending the culture observation period to 28-30 days was used to mimic the in vivo pharmacokinetic situation. Plasmodium falciparum was exposed to artemisinin from 10(-8) to 10(-5) M, mefloquine from 3 x 10(-9) to 10(-5) M and their combinations. The exposure time for artemisinin was 3 hours twice daily and for mefloquine 24 hours. The drug-dosing duration was 3 days. Neither artemisinin nor mefloquine alone provided radical clearance of P. falciparum, even when maximum concentrations (10(-5) M) were applied. The antiparasitic activity of artemisinin and mefloquine were significantly higher when dosed alone. Effective concentrations for different degrees of inhibition (EC 50, 90 and 99) of both artemisinin and mefloquine respectively were significantly lower when used in combination. At concentrations normally reached in vivo, this effect was clearly synergistic (P = 0.016) Our in vitro model of intermittent dosing of artemisinin and mefloquine combinations for 3 days provides significant evidence of positive interaction between the two compounds. Lower combination concentrations around the MIC-values for the individual compounds showed synergistic effect, and high concentrations showed additive effect. This indicates that such drug combinations may provide radical clearance at concentrations lower than those required for single-drug treatment.
Tropical Medicine & International Health 06/1997; 2(5):461-7. · 2.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plasmodium falciparum (F32) parasites were exposed to artemisinin and quinine for 3 and 4 h, respectively, once or twice daily and for 3, 5 or 7 days. Between the peaks the parasites were exposed to trough concentrations. Continuous drug exposure was also assessed for comparison. After drug exposure, the cultures were extended for an observation period of up to 30 days to assess the viability of the parasites remaining after drug exposure. For artemisinin, a critical threshold concentration of 3 x 10(-8) M was required for growth inhibition. Dosing twice daily for at least 5 days was also critical. Prolonging the duration of drug exposure to 7 days further increased the efficacy. For quinine the results were quite different. The concentration dependency of the efficacy was more gradual. On the other hand dosing once daily appeared to be nearly as effective as twice daily and radical clearance was obtained even after 3 days of exposure at peak concentrations of 10(-5) M. A concentration of 10(-6) M provided the same effect if the duration was extended to 7 days. There was a strong similarity between estimated concentrations of free unbound drug required for radical clearance in vitro and those empirically required for clinical efficacy in vivo. This suggests that the in vitro model represents an appropriate model for estimating drug efficacy and pharmacodynamics if the in vitro system is adapted to simulate in vivo pharmacokinetics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 1. The aim of this study was to assess the pharmacokinetics, clinical efficacy and safety of artemisinin alone and in combination with mefloquine. 2. Thirty-eight adults with symptomatic Plasmodium falciparum malaria were randomly assigned to receive either artemisinin (500 mg single dose followed by another 500 mg on day 1 and then 250 mg twice daily for 4 days) or artemisinin (500 mg single dose followed by 750 mg on day 1 and then 250 mg three times daily for one more day) in co-administration with mefloquine (250 mg three times daily for the first day). All drug administration was by the oral route. Patients were hospitalized at the Kibaha Designated District Hospital, Kibaha, Tanzania, for 6 days and a follow up for 3 weeks was performed. 3. Treatment with the artemisinin/mefloquine combination resulted in a shorter parasite clearance time (PCT) of 24 (22, 27; 95% confidence interval) h vs 31 (27, 36) h and fever subsidence time (FST) of 14 (12, 16) h vs 20 (18, 23) h compared with artemisinin monotherapy. The 95% CI for the difference of the PCT and FST were 1.7, 12 and 3, 10, respectively. Parasites were detected in 7 out of 17 patients (41%) receiving artemisinin monotherapy at the 3rd and 4th week follow up visits. No parasites were detected after the combination therapy. 4. The maximum plasma concentrations (Cmax) were similar after artemisinin monotherapy (615.4 +/- 387.0 ng ml-1) and in combination with mefloquine (851.8 +/- 523.6 ng ml-1). Elimination half-lives (t1/2) were also identical at 2.2 +/- 0.6 h and 2.5 +/- 0.7 h, respectively. However, the AUC values were higher (P < 0.05) after combination therapy (3252 +/- 1873 ng ml-1 h) than after monotherapy (2234 +/- 1502 ng ml-1 h). The oral clearance values were lower (P < 0.05) after combination therapy (195.4 +/- 86.9 l h-1) than after monotherapy (314.3 +/- 189.4 l h-1). PCT and FST normalized to initial parasitaemia correlated with AUC(0, t) (rs = 0.56, P = 0.02, rs = 0.58, P = 0.01, respectively) and with Cmax (rs = 0.62, P = 0.01, rs = 0.68, P = 0.005, respectively) in the artemisinin monotherapy only. 5. One patient on the combination therapy developed a psychiatric condition and two patients on the monotherapy developed skin itch.
British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 07/1996; 41(6):587-92. · 3.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The study compared the clinical efficacy and safety of oral artemisinin and oral artesunate as well as artemisinin pharmacokinetics during and after resolution of falciparum malaria. Forty adults with symptomatic falciparum malaria were allocated at random to treatment with either oral artemisinin (500 mg single dose on day 1 followed by 250 mg twice daily for 4 d and then another 500 mg single dose on day 6) or with oral artesunate (100 mg single dose on day 1 followed by 50 mg twice daily for 5 d). Patients were admitted to hospital at the Kibaha Designated District Hospital, Kibaha, Tanzania for the duration of treatment. The patients were seen once weekly for 3 more weeks. The time to parasite clearance (PCT) after oral artesunate (26.4 +/- 3.6 h) was shorter (P = 0.002) than after artemisinin (31 +/- 3.6 h). The fever subsidence time (FST) after oral artesunate (18.9 +/- 4.0 h) was also shorter (P = 0.04) than after artemisinin (21.8 +/- 4.6 h). Parasites were detected in 4 (20%) and 7 (35%) patients after completing treatment with artesunate and artemisinin respectively. In these patients the parasitaemia reappeared at the 3rd or 4th week of follow-up. Standard haematology, blood biochemistry and urinalysis, performed before drug intake and again on days 6 and 14, were normal. No clinical abnormality was observed during the study period. Artemisinin plasma concentrations, determined by high performance liquid chromatography with post-column derivatization and detection by ultraviolet light, were followed up to 8 h after drug administration on days 1 and 6. Artemisinin absorption was rapid, the maximum plasma concentrations (Cmax) being attained at about 3 h. Artemisinin areas under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) and the Cmax values were about 6 times higher after the first dose on day 1 than on day 6. This decrease in artemisinin plasma concentration is suggestive of an increase in metabolic capacity due to pronounced autoinduction.
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 01/1996; 90(1):61-5. · 1.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The clinical efficacy of oral and intravenous (iv) artesunate was compared in an open randomized trial in 50 male adult patients with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Kibaha, Tanzania. Oral artesunate treatment was started with 2 x 50 mg initially followed by 50 mg 12 hr later and then 50 mg twice a day for four days (total dose = 550 mg or 9.6 mg/kg). Intravenous artesunate administration began with 2 x 0.8 mg/kg initially followed by 0.8 mg/kg 12 hr later and then 0.8 mg/kg twice a day for four days (total dose = 8.8 mg/kg). The mean +/- SD parasite clearance times (PCTs) were nearly identical at 23.4 +/- 5.9 hr and 24.2 +/- 7.2 hr after oral and iv administration, respectively. Mean +/- SD fever subsidence times (FSTs) were also similar at 18.7 +/- 8.3 hr and 21.0 +/- 4.8 hr, respectively. All patients remained negative for P. falciparum for at least 14 days. Recrudescence/reinfection occurred between days 21 and 28 in five of 25 patients (20%) after oral treatment and in four of 25 patients (16%) after iv treatment. The mean erythrocyte count and hemoglobin concentration were slightly reduced after iv treatment but remained in the normal range. Otherwise, there was no change in blood biochemistry, hematology, and electrocardiograms monitored prior to and during the last dose. It is concluded that treatment with oral and iv artesunate was equally efficacious and well tolerated. A 24-hr in vitro susceptibility test of P. falciparum to artemisinin, chloroquine, and mefloquine was performed in samples from all patients. The three compounds exhibited 100% inhibition with the exception of three isolates, which showed chloroquine resistance. Parameter estimates of a sigmoid Emax model (drug concentration at which 50% of the growth inhibition occurs [EC50]), the sigmoidicity factor s and EC95 fitted to the growth inhibition data differed between compounds and isolates, indicating different sensitivity of P. falciparum isolates. There was no correlation between artemisinin and mefloquine EC50 values, while artemisinin and chloroquine EC50 values showed weak correlation (r2 = 0.223, P = 0.006). There was no correlation between parameters describing clinical outcome (the PCT, the time needed for reduction of the parasite density to 50% and 95% of the initial parasitemia, and the FST) and those describing in vitro susceptibility.
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 01/1996; 53(6):639-45. · 2.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A chloroquine-sensitive strain of Plasmodium falciparum, F32, from Tanzania was exposed during continuous culture to concentrations of artemisinin, 10(-8)-10(-5) M, with exposure times ranging from 1 to 96 hr. After drug exposure, the cultures were washed and the incubation was continued for one or two parasite cycles to assess the remaining viability of the parasites. Artemisinin at a concentration of 10(-6) M inhibited parasite growth by 63% within 3 hr of drug exposure. The parasitemia then continued to decrease after removing the drug by washing the cultures. A 95% inhibition was thus observed 48 hr later. For 100% inhibition, at least 12 hr of exposure to 10(-6) M artemisinin was required. The compound at a concentration of 10(-7) M inhibited growth by 86% within 24 hr of drug exposure and by 98% 48 hours after removing the drug. A concentration of 3 x 10(-8) M exhibited 97-100% inhibition only after 72 or 96 hr of drug exposure, while 10(-8) M did not have any appreciable effect on the growth of the parasites even after 96 hr. It is concluded that artemisinin at high concentrations has a significant rapid in vitro effect that appears to be highly parasitocidal. The compound appears to have a broad spectrum of action, not only schizontocidal as reported earlier, but also against the asexual blood stages of P. falciparum.
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 07/1994; 50(6):771-6. · 2.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 48 h in vitro test of the efficacy of artemisinine, dihydroartemisinine, artemether, mefloquine and chloroquine was carried out against 3 chloroquine-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum, strains K1 and T996 from Thailand and LS21 from India. A sigmoid Emax model was fitted to all in vitro inhibition data for each combination of drug and strain. Strains K1 and LS21 were strongly resistant to chloroquine, whereas T996 was partially resistant. Artemisinine, dihydroartemisinine and artemether were active against all strains, with complete growth inhibition at 10(-7) M. Artemether and dihydroartemisinine were both more potent than artemisinine, with 50% effective (EC50) values of 0.57-1.6 nM and 0.36-3.1 nM respectively; the EC50 of artemisinine was 1.5-6.1 nM for the 3 strains. The EC50 values for mefloquine were 46-185 nM. At higher concentrations, strains K1 and LS21 were fully inhibited, while with strain T996 mefloquine did not fully inhibit even at the highest concentration, 1.28 x 10(-6) M. It is concluded that artemisinine and its derivatives were highly effective against the 3 chloroquine-resistant strains, one of which showed borderline resistance to mefloquine.
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 07/1992; 86(4):365-7. · 1.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The activities of artemisinin (qinghaosu), dihydroartemisinin (dihydroqinghaosu), artemether and pyronaridine were tested in a 48 h in vitro assay against 3 chloroquine-sensitive and one chloroquine-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum. Growth inhibition was modelled with a sigmoid Emax model. All compounds markedly inhibited the growth of all strains although, for the chloroquine-resistant strain, merozoites were detected at concentrations as high as 10(-4) M of artemisinin, dihydroartemisinin and artemether. Dihydroartemisinin, artemether and pyronaridine appeared to be more potent than artemisinin, with EC50 values of 4.7-23 nM, 0.98-6.1 nM and 4.4-18 nM respectively, while the EC50 value of artemisinin was 3-108 nM against all 4 strains.
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 09/1990; 84(5):635-7. · 1.93 Impact Factor