Usha Arora

National Institute of Malaria Research, Old Delhi, NCT, India

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Publications (4)27.28 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The use of antimalarial drugs in India has evolved since the introduction of quinine in the 17 th century. Since the formal establishment of a malaria control programme in 1953, shortly after independence, treatments provided by the public sector ranged from chloroquine, the mainstay drug for many decades, to the newer, recently introduced artemisinin based combination therapy. The complexity of considerations in antimalarial treatment led to the formulation of a National Antimalarial Drug Policy to guide procurement as well as communicate best practices to both public and private healthcare providers. Challenges addressed in the policy include the use of presumptive treatment, the introduction of alternate treatments for drug-resistant malaria, the duration of primaquine therapy to prevent relapses of vivax malaria, the treatment of malaria in pregnancy, and the choice of drugs for chemoprophylaxis. While data on antimalarial drug resistance and both public and private sector treatment practices have been recently reviewed, the policy process of setting national standards has not. In this perspective on antimalarial drug policy, this review highlights its relevant history, analyzes the current policy, and examines future directions.
    The Indian Journal of Medical Research 02/2014; 139(2):205-15. · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To describe India’s National Antimalarial Drug Resistance Monitoring System, measure the efficacy of first-line malaria treatments, and determine risk factors for treatment failure. Methods: In 2009–2010, prospective studies with 28 days of follow-up were conducted at 25 sentinel sites. Patients infected with Plasmodium falciparum were given artesunate plus sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (AS+SP); those infected with P. vivax were given chloroquine. Polymerase chain reaction was used to distinguish post-treatment reinfection from treatment failure. Isolates of P. falciparum were checked for dhfr and dhps mutations. Findings: Overall, 1664 patients were enrolled. Kaplan–Meier survival analysis showed an efficacy of 98.8% for AS+SP. Most patients with P. falciparum parasitaemia cleared their parasitaemias within 24 hours of treatment initiation, but six, including four with treatment failure, remained parasitaemic after 72 hours. Double mutants in dhfr were found in 68.4% of the genotyped isolates. Triple or quadruple mutants in dhfr and mutations in dhps were rare. A daily dose of artesunate of < 3 mg per kg of body weight, age of less than 5 years, and fever at enrolment were associated with an increased risk of treatment failure. Chloroquine remained 100% efficacious and generally cleared P. vivax parasitaemias within 48 hours. Vomiting (seen in 47 patients) was the most common adverse event. Conclusion: India’s National Antimalarial Drug Resistance Monitoring System provides wide coverage. The first-line antimalarials used in the country remain safe and efficacious. The treatment of malaria in young children and the relative benefits of age- and weight-based dosing need further exploration.
    Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 12/2012; 90:895-904. · 5.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: After the launch of the National Malaria Control Programme in 1953, the number of malaria cases reported in India fell to an all-time low of 0·1 million in 1965. However, the initial success could not be maintained and a resurgence of malaria began in the late 1960s. Resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to chloroquine was first reported in 1973 and increases in antimalarial resistance, along with rapid urbanisation and labour migration, complicated the challenge that India's large geographical area and population size already pose for malaria control. Although several institutions have done drug-resistance monitoring in India, a complete analysis of countrywide data across institutions does not exist. We did a systematic review of P falciparum malaria drug-efficacy studies in India to summarise drug-resistance data and describe changes over the past 30 years to inform future policy. Continued use of chloroquine for treatment of P falciparum malaria in India will likely be ineffective. Resistance to sulfa-pyrimethamine should be closely monitored to protect the effectiveness of treatment with artesunate plus sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, which is the new first-line treatment for P falciparum malaria. Strategies to reduce the emergence and spread of future drug resistance need to be proactive and supported by intensive monitoring.
    The Lancet Infectious Diseases 01/2011; 11(1):57-64. · 19.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium malaria is an emerging problem globally. In India resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to choloroquine, the cheapest and the most used drug was first reported in the year 1973 from Diphu of Karbi-Anglong district in Assam state. Systematic monitoring of drug resistance is being undertaken in the country from 1978 by the Directorate of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) through its 13 Pf monitoring teams. The findings of these drug resistance studies has helped the programme for the revision of the drug policy and update it from time to time thereby facilitating appropriate measures for not only individual cases but also to contain and prevent further spread of resistant foci. This article summarises therapeutic efficacy studies conducted by the Pf monitoring teams in the country between 2001 and 2007 related to efficacy of chloroquine and other antimalarials drugs. As per the results available, the efficacy of chloroquine for treating uncomplicated falciparum at most of the study sites is much lower than the desired cut off levels of 10% (83% studies have shown treatment failure more than 10%). Total of 4273, 168 and 137 P. falciparum cases have been tested against chloroquine, sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine and ACT(AS+SP) combination. During the period under report, 85 new chloroquine resistant PHCs/foci from 64 districts were qualified warranting change of drug policy as per the national guidelines. These studies show that chloroquine resistance in P. falciparum is widespread in the country. To combat the drug resistant in malaria, the use of combination therapy ie, artesunate plus sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine has been recommended for treatment of all confirmed P. falciparum cases in all the qualified areas as per the criteria laid down in National Drug Policy on malaria.
    Journal of the Indian Medical Association 11/2008; 106(10):678-81, 683.

Publication Stats

41 Citations
27.28 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2012
    • National Institute of Malaria Research
      Old Delhi, NCT, India
  • 2008–2012
    • National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme
      Old Delhi, NCT, India
  • 2011
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      • Department of Epidemiology
      Chapel Hill, NC, United States