Background: Radical cure of Plasmodium vivax malaria requires treatment with a blood schizonticide and a hypnozoitocide (primaquine) to eradicate the dormant liver stages. There has been uncertainty about the operational effectiveness and optimum dosing of the currently recommended 14-day primaquine (PQ) course. Methods: A two centre, randomized, open-label, two arm study was conducted in South India. Patients were randomized to receive either high dose (0.5 mg base/kg body weight) or conventional dose (0.25 mg/kg) PQ for 14 days. Plasma concentrations of PQ and carboxyprimaquine (CPQ) on the 7th day of treatment were measured by reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography. Study subjects were followed up for 6 months. Recurrent infections were genotyped using capillary fragment length polymorphism of two PCR-amplified microsatellite markers (MS07 and MS 10). Results: Fifty patients were enrolled. Baseline characteristics and laboratory features did not differ significantly between the groups. Mean age of the study population was 42 ± 16.0 years. Recurrences 80-105 days later occurred in 4 (8%) patients, two in each the groups. All recurrences had the same microsatellite genotype as that causing the index infection suggesting all were relapses. One relapse was associated with low CPQ concentrations suggesting poor adherence. Conclusions: This small pilot trial supports the effectiveness of the currently recommended lower dose (0.25 mg/kg/day) 14 day PQ regimen for the radical cure of vivax malaria in South India. Trial registration Clinical Trials Registry-India, CTRI/2017/03/007999. Registered 3 March 2017, http://ctri.nic.in/Clinicaltrials/regtrial.php?modid=1&compid=19&EncHid=82755.86366.

Original languageEnglish
Article number321
JournalMalaria Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 03-09-2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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