Chloroquine, an efficacious old drug, has made a comeback to combat malaria.
Chloroquine, the drug which was abandoned earlier as malaria-causing parasites had become resistant to it, has been restored as a treatment for malaria. The recent studies have found that 70 per cent of the malaria parasites in Senegal, Tanzania, Mozambique and Malawi to be reacting to the drug. The malaria-resistance monitoring panel at the University of Copenhagen confirmed that malaria parasites are succumbing to chloroquine in several African countries.
Scientists seeking development in the treatment of malaria have a fear that the malaria-parasite will become resistant to the current frontline malaria treatment, artemisinin-based therapy. Therefore, they have urged healthcare personnels in developing countries to begin using chloroquine again to delay the reappearance of resistance.
The drug was highly efficacious for over 50 years until the vector became resistant to it. A four-day cure of chloroquine is significantly cheaper in comparison with artemisinin combination therapy.
It was in the late 1950s that the first case of chloroquine resistance was detected along the Thai-Combodian border. In India, chloroquine resistance was first detected in 1973. The combination of sulphadoxine and pyrimethamine (SP) replaced chloroquine as frontline drug for the treatment of malaria, which was replaced by artemisinin combination therapy.
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