Effectiveness of pyronaridine-artesunate against Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium ovale spp, and mixed-Plasmodium infections: a post-hoc analysis of the CANTAM-Pyramax trial

30 May 2022

Groger M, Tona Lutete G, Mombo-Ngoma G, Ntamabyaliro NY, Kahunu Mesia G, Muena Mujobu TB, Dimessa Mbadinga LB, Zoleko Manego R, Egger-Adam D, Borghini-Fuhrer I, Shin J, Miller R, Arbe-Barnes S, Duparc S, Ramharter M

The Lancet. Microbe
PMID: 35654079

Doi: 10.1016/S2666-5247(22)00092-1

Photo: iStock.com/Viorika


High-quality evidence for the therapeutic efficacy and effectiveness of antimalarials for infections caused by Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium ovale spp, and mixed-Plasmodium infections is scarce. In this study, we aimed to analyse the efficacy of pyronaridine-artesunate for the treatment of non-falciparum and mixed-species Plasmodium infections from a large phase 3b/4 clinical trial in central Africa.


This post-hoc analysis was done in a random subset of samples from two sites (in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Gabon) of the CANTAM-Pyramax trial assessing pyronaridine-artesunate therapy. We randomly selected paired dried blood spot samples from day 0 and day 28 (or unforeseen visit) and analysed them by quantitative PCR for mixed Plasmodium infections or non-falciparum mono-infections. Day 28 (or unforeseen visit) samples positive for non-falciparum malaria were re-assessed by microscopy to identify microscopic versus submicroscopic infections. Analyses were done on two sample sets: a per-protocol set and an intention-to-treat set.


Among 1502 randomly selected samples, 192 (12·8%) showed mixed-Plasmodium infections or non-falciparum mono-infections. We did not detect P vivax in the samples. For both the per-protocol and intention-to-treat sets, the overall day 28 cure rates for P malariae, P ovale curtisi, and P ovale wallikeri were 96·3% or higher (95% CIs from 81·0-99·9 to 95·7-100). Cure rates were consistently high in P malariae (99·2%, 95·7-100) and P ovale spp (97·9%, 88·7-99·9, for P ovale curtisi and 96·3%, 81·0-99·9, for P ovale wallikeri) infections.


This post-hoc analysis provides important evidence supporting the high efficacy of pyronaridine-artesunate against mono-infections with P malariae, P ovale curtisi, or P ovale wallikeri and mixed-Plasmodium infections in a real-world setting.


Medicines for Malaria Venture.

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