Prophylactic activity of atovaquone against Plasmodium falciparum in humans

Theresa A. Shapiro, Channa D. Ranasinha, Nirbhay Kumar, Patricia Barditch-Crovo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


The prophylactic antimalarial activity of atovaquone was determined in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of healthy volunteers who were challenged by the bite of Plasmodium falciparum-infected Anopheles stephensi. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three groups: six received seven dally doses of 750 mg of atovaquone, starting the day before challenge; six received a single dose of 250 mg of atovaquone the day before challenge; and four received placebo. Polymerase chain reaction-and culture- confirmed parasitemia developed in all four placebo recipients, but in none of the drag recipients, indicating that either of the atovaquone regimens provides effective prophylaxis (P = 0.005). However, in low-dose recipients, the drug levels by day 6.5 were profoundly subtherapeutic, indicating that parasites were eliminated prior to the establishment of erythrocytic infection. Atovaquone thus protects non-immune subjects against mosquito- transmitted falciparum malaria, and has causal prophylactic activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)831-836
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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