Background: Fosmidomycin is a new antimalarial drug with a novel mechanism of action. Studies in Africa that have evaluated fosmidomycin as monotherapeutic agent demonstrated its excellent tolerance, but 3-times-daily treatment regimens of >or=4 days were required to achieve radical cure, prompting further research to identify and validate a suitable combination partner to enhance its efficacy.
Methods: We conducted a randomized, controlled, open-label study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of fosmidomycin combined with clindamycin (n=12; 30 and 5 mg/kg body weight every 12 h for 5 days, respectively), compared with fosmidomycin alone (n=12; 30 mg/kg body weight every 12 h for 5 days) and clindamycin alone (n=12; 5 mg/kg body weight every 12 h for 5 days) for the clearance of asymptomatic Plasmodium falciparum infections in schoolchildren in Gabon aged 7-14 years.
Results: Asexual parasites were rapidly cleared in children treated with fosmidomycin-clindamycin (median time, 18 h) and fosmidomycin alone (25 h) but slowly in children treated with clindamycin alone (71 h; P=.004). However, only treatment with fosmidomycin-clindamycin or clindamycin alone led to the radical elimination of asexual parasites as measured by day 14 and 28 cure rates of 100%. Asexual parasites reappeared by day 28 in 7 children who received fosmidomycin (day 14 cure rate, 92% [11/12; day 28 cure rate, 42% [5/12]). All regimens were well tolerated, and no serious adverse events occurred.
Conclusion: The combination of fosmidomycin and clindamycin is well tolerated and superior to either agent on its own with respect to the rapid and radical clearance of P. falciparum infections in African children.