The promise and potential challenges of intermittent preventive treatment for malaria in infants (IPTi).
Intermittent preventive treatment (IPT) administers a full therapeutic course of an anti-malarial drug at predetermined intervals, regardless of infection or disease status. It is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for protecting pregnant women from the adverse effects of malaria (IPTp) and shows great potential as a strategy for reducing illness from malaria during infancy (IPTi). Administered concurrently with standard immunizations, IPTi is expected to reduce the frequency of clinical disease, but to allow blood-stage infections to occur between treatments, thus allowing parasite-specific immunity to develop. While wide deployment of IPTi is being considered, it is important to assess other potential effects. Transmission conditions, drug choice and administration schedule will likely affect the possibility of post-treatment rebound in child morbidity and mortality and the increased spread of parasite drug resistance and should be considered when implementing IPTi.
O'Meara, WP; Breman, JG; McKenzie, FE
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