Statin treatment enhances clinical response to artesunate in acute uncomplicated malaria

Author : Ndubuisi N. Nwobodo, Paul O. Okonkwo

Several reports have emerged on widespread clinical failures since the introduction of artesunate as first-line treatment for malaria. This study sought to evaluate the synergistic effects of simvastatin plus artesunate combination in antimalarial chemotherapy. Patients in attendance at primary health facilities (n=60) suffering from malaria infection were selected for the study and informed consent obtained. Ethical clearance certification was obtained (NHREC/05/01/2008B) and patients categorized into artesunate plus simvastatin (test) and artesunate alone (control) groups. The patients were followed up on days D0, D3, D7, D14 and D28 post-treatment and in line with WHO criteria. Graphpad Prism version 4.0 was employed in the analysis of data. Results revealed statistically significant difference (p<0.05) in clinical response between test and control groups involving all the parameters assessed. The post-treatment mean geometric parasite density was given as 00.0/L and 13919.0/L in the test and control groups. The mean total treatment failure was given as 1.90.13% in the test group compared to 19.30.44% in the control. A mean parasite clearance time of 1.20.9 days in the test group as compared to 2.90.29 days in the control was reported. Mean fever clearance time of 12.10.8 hours and 38.62.8 hours was reported in the test and control groups. The recrudescence rate of 1.10.05% given in the test differed from 8.70.09% given in the control. Consequently, simvastatin plus artesunate may be considered as novel approach for combinational therapy aimed at enhancing clinical response to artesunate.

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