Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy for Treatment of Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria in North Sumatera, Indonesia
Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) is the current recommended treatment by WHO for uncomplicated falciparum malaria. It is highly effective with few adverse effects. The artemisinin component is combined with a partner drug with a longer half-life to ensure the clearance of the remaining parasites after rapid reduction by artemisinin.
ACT is used as first-line treatment for uncomplicated P. falciparum infection in Indonesia since 2004. There are 3 combinations available in the country including artesunate-amodiaquine (AS-AQ), dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHA-PQ) and artemether-lumefantrine (AL). Studies at different sites across Indonesia have shown various efficacy. Yet, there is an increased concern of reduced susceptibility of P. falciparum to artemisinin in neighbouring countries. Therefore, there is a need to evaluate and monitor the efficacies of these combinations in Indonesia.
Molecular markers are an important tool for detecting and monitoring the presence of antimalarial resistance. Their significant implication is to geographically map the extent of resistant-parasites, thus enabling strategies for their control and elimination to be applied before the inevitably increase in the disease burden occurs. Different markers have been used to identify antimalarial resistance and recently a molecular marker for artemisinin susceptibility in P. falciparum has also been proposed. The presence of these markers in parasites from our study will also be investigated.