Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Not enough is known about treating malaria in pregnancy

20.07.2005


Few studies compare the effects of different drug regimes in pregnant women, and many of the best studies were conducted in Southeast Asia, where malaria transmission rates are low, says researcher Lois Orton of the University of York in England. "Reliable research about the benefits and harms of treatments for malaria in pregnant women is scarce," Orton says.



The review appears in the July issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

In one of the studies analyzed by Orton and colleagues, a combination of the drugs artesunate and mefloquine was slightly better than the drug quinine at clearing malaria parasites from the bloodstream and reducing fever in pregnant women.


The risk of treatment failure was 9 percent less in the group receiving the combination drug regime, compared to treatment failure rates in the quinine group, the researchers found. The study included 106 women in Thailand.

The researchers reviewed six studies of antimalarial drugs in pregnant women in Southeast Asia and Africa. All of the women had uncomplicated malaria, meaning that they were ill and infected with the malaria parasite but not at immediate risk of dying from the disease. The studies included 513 women in their second or third trimester of pregnancy.

The studies tested a variety of antimalarial drugs, which complicated the reviewers’ task of determining if any of the drug regimes should be recommended, according to Orton. "As trials were all rather small and varied in the treatments evaluated, it is not surprising that this review was unable to demonstrate any clear direction for policy," Orton says.

One of the surprising findings of the study, according to the reviewers, was the lack of drug trials conducted in Africa, where malaria is endemic. According to Dr. Judith Robb-McCord of Roll Back Malaria, a World Health Organization group dedicated to reducing worldwide malaria infection rates by 2010, 30 million women become pregnant each year in sub-Saharan Africa. However, malaria transmission rates in the area are so high that women may have some immunity to the disease by the time they become pregnant, preventing serious illness in some cases.

In Africa, therefore, drug trials focus on prevention rather than treatment of the disease, Orton and colleagues say. In Asia, on the other hand, transmission rates are low and the disease is unstable, which puts pregnant women at risk for severe, life-threatening cases of malaria. "Multiple-drug-resistant malaria is widespread in this region, so treatment options are limited and there is a push to find new drugs," Orton explains.

Research shows that pregnant women attract twice the number of mosquitoes as non-pregnant women, which probably increases their risk of contracting malaria. The disease can cause severe anemia and parasitic infection in the fetus and increase the risks of preterm birth and maternal death. "Clearly, more trials are needed evaluating the current best regimens for malaria," Orton says.

Lois Orton | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hbns.org
http://www.cochrane.org
http://www.cfah.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance
25.09.2017 | Institut Pasteur

nachricht MRI contrast agent locates and distinguishes aggressive from slow-growing breast cancer
25.09.2017 | Case Western Reserve University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fraunhofer ISE Pushes World Record for Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells to 22.3 Percent

25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance

25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

An international team of physicists a coherent amplification effect in laser excited dielectrics

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>