Keywords: malaria, pregnancy, artemisinin, embryotoxicity, teratogenicity, risk, benefit, health policy
Artemisinin-based antimalarial drug combinations are recommended for the treatment of Plasmodium falciparum malaria infections throughout all malarial endemic areas of the world and in all populations, including women of child-bearing age. Although clinical experience to date indicates the artemisinins to be safe, the area of reproductive toxicology demands special consideration.
Data from the Chinese literature and our own studies confirm that the artemisinins are embryotoxic (rat, rabbit and non-human primate) and potentially teratogenic (rat and rabbit) in animal species at drug doses within the human therapeutic range.
The studies planned in this collaborative project are aimed at understanding the basis for this toxicity. A greater understanding of the teratogenic potential of the artemisinins in humans will be gained by studying the mode of toxicity of artemisinin-based antimalarial drug combinations.
The results will be used to make evidence-based recommendations on the risks and benefits of these drugs. This constitutes a critical knowledge gap in pregnancy malaria.
Professor Steve Ward
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
|Official Address||Other Information|
|1||Prof. Kevin Park
||University of Liverpool
|2||Dr Maria de Lurdes Santos Cristiano||University of the Algarve
|3||Prof. Bob van der Water||University Leiden
|4||Prof. Michael Ashton||University of Gothenburg
|5||Prof. Piero Olliaro||WHO