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A large clinical trial in Africa and Asia has shown that a 7 day course of high dose primaquine, a drug used to treat P. vivax malaria, is well tolerated and just as effective as the current standard 14 day regimen, according to a study published this week in The Lancet. These findings have important implications for the treatment and elimination of vivax malaria in the Asia Pacific.

Dr Bob Taylor, right, in a lab with colleagues at a South Sumatra, Indonesia IMPROV study site. © © 2019 MORU. Photographer: Prayoon Yuentrakul.
Dr Bob Taylor, right, in a lab with colleagues at a South Sumatra, Indonesia IMPROV study site.

Coordinated by the Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies, Darwin, Australia), the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU, Bangkok, Thailand) and the Eijkman Institute of Molecular Biology (Jakarta, Indonesia), the IMPROV (Improving the Radical Cure of Vivax Malaria) trial involved > 2,000 patients in Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Indonesia and Vietnam and tested the treatment effectiveness of a high-dose 7 day course of primaquine.

Its findings challenge the standard treatment regimen that has been widely used for the last 60 years.

Read more (Centre for Tropical Medicine & Global Health, Nuffield Department of Medicine)