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 Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal
14.11.2018 | Michigan Technological University

nachricht Spread of deadly eye cancer halted in cells and animals
13.11.2018 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

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: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Putting food-safety detection in the hands of consumers

15.11.2018 | Information Technology

Insect Antibiotic Provides New Way to Eliminate Bacteria

15.11.2018 | Life Sciences

New findings help to better calculate the oceans’ contribution to climate regulation

15.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>