Primaquine is the only widely available antimalarial agent with activity against the late gametocyte stages of P. falciparum and the hypnozoite stages of P. vivax. It is an essential component for achieving the radical cure of malaria. However, it can cause severe haemolysis in individuals with Glucose-6-Phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PDd), an inherited disorder present in 400 million people worldwide. Current methods for quantifying G6PDd require laboratory facilities. New tools are needed to diagnose patients with G6PDd at the bedside. ACREME is working with partners in industry and product development to promote new tests, assess their clinical utility in malaria endemic countries and explore ways to encourage health providers to provide point of care testing and to assure quality-controlled lab-based testing. Complementary cross-sectional surveys are being undertaken across the Asia Pacific to determine the prevalence of G6PDd in different populations and thus identify populations at greatest risk of drug induced haemolysis, where the greatest efforts should be made for promoting G6PD testing.
Other project team members: Benedikt Ley, Koen Peeters, Daniel Pfeffer, Damien Drew