Prospective Clinical Trial Assessing Species-Specific Efficacy of Artemether-Lumefantrine for the Treatment of Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium ovale, and Mixed Plasmodium Malaria in Gabon

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2018 Feb 23;62(3):e01758-17. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01758-17. Print 2018 Mar.


Treatment recommendations for Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium ovale malaria are largely based on anecdotal evidence. The aim of this prospective study, conducted in Gabon, was to systematically assess the efficacy and safety of artemether-lumefantrine for the treatment of patients with uncomplicated P. malariae or P. ovale species monoinfections or mixed Plasmodium infections. Patients with microscopically confirmed P. malariae, P. ovale, or mixed-species malaria with at least one of these two Plasmodium species were treated with an oral, fixed-dose combination of artemether-lumefantrine for 3 consecutive days. The primary endpoints were per-protocol PCR-corrected adequate clinical and parasitological response (ACPR) on days 28 and 42. Tolerability and safety were recorded throughout the follow-up period. Seventy-two participants (42 male and 30 female) were enrolled; 62.5% of them had PCR-corrected mixed Plasmodium infections. Per protocol, PCR-corrected ACPR rates were 96.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 91.9 to 100) on day 28 and 94.2% (95% CI, 87.7 to 100) on day 42. Considering Plasmodium species independently from their coinfecting species, day 42 ACPR rates were 95.5% (95% CI, 89.0 to 100) for P. falciparum, 100% (exact CI, 84.6 to 100) for P. malariae, 100% (exact CI, 76.8 to 100) for P. ovale curtisi, and 90.9% (95% CI, 70.7 to 100) for P. ovale wallikeri Study drug-related adverse events were generally mild or moderate. In conclusion, this clinical trial demonstrated satisfying antimalarial activity of artemether-lumefantrine against P. ovalewallikeri, P. ovale curtisi, P. malariae, and mixed Plasmodium infections, with per-protocol efficacies of 90% to 100% and without evident tolerability or safety concerns. (This trial was registered in the clinical study database under the identifier NCT02528279.).

Keywords: Plasmodium malariae; Plasmodium ovale; artemether-lumefantrine; mixed Plasmodium malaria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antimalarials / therapeutic use*
  • Artemether / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Gabon
  • Humans
  • Lumefantrine / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Plasmodium malariae / drug effects
  • Plasmodium malariae / genetics
  • Plasmodium malariae / pathogenicity*
  • Plasmodium ovale / drug effects
  • Plasmodium ovale / genetics
  • Plasmodium ovale / pathogenicity*
  • Young Adult


  • Antimalarials
  • Artemether
  • Lumefantrine

Associated data