Intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in infancy and premunition

Antimalarial interventions in infancy may impair the development of immunity to malaria and of premunition as reflected by multiplicity of infection (MOI) with Plasmodium falciparum. Within the network Intermittent treatment with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) in African children as a mean of malaria control , 3000 children in settings of differing malaria endemicity in Gabon and Ghana received SP at 3, 6, and 15 months of age, or placebo. So far, it is not known whether this intervention has a sustained effect on premunition, i.e. on MOI. In a cross-sectional survey at 15 months of age, MOI is being assessed in children previously having received SP or placebo. It is to be examined whether intermittent application of SP in infancy affects MOI in children at that age and whether this influence differs with endemicity. Moreover, the prospective risk of malaria shall be analysed with respect to MOI in children with and without previous SP application. These analyses shall include parameters to be determined within additional modules of the named network, i.e. residual antimalarials, drug resistance, and serological markers of immunity. In providing information on MOI following intermittent SP application during infancy, and on the clinical consequences, the results of this study may be of importance for the planning and evaluation of this type of intervention. Results are expected to be available by the end of 2006.

Head of Project:

Frank Mockenhaupt
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Cooperation Institutions
Institute of Tropical Medicine
Tel. 030 30116 815
Fax 030 30116 888
Additional Head of Project:

PD Dr FP Mockenhaupt, Prof. Dr. U. Bienzle
Additional Member of Project:

Prof. Dr. U. Bienzle, S. Röwer
Begin/End of Project:

02/2004- 12/2005
Funded by:

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft e.V.

Mockenhaupt FP, Ehrhardt S, Otchwemah R, Eggelte TA, Anemana SD, Stark K, Bienzle U, Kohne E. Limited influence of haemoglobin variants on Plasmodium falciparum msp1 and msp2 alleles in symptomatic malaria. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2004 May;98(5):302-10.