No hearing loss associated with the use of artemether-lumefantrine to treat experimental human malaria.
until further notice
SourceTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 100, 12, (2006), pp. 1098-1104
Article / Letter to editor
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Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
SubjectDCN 1: Perception and Action; EBP 3: Effective Primary Care and Public Health; N4i 1: Pathogenesis and modulation of inflammation; N4i 3: Poverty-related infectious diseases; N4i 4: Auto-immunity, transplantation and immunotherapy; NCEBP 13: Infectious diseases and international health; NCMLS 1: Immunity, infection and tissue repair; NCMLS 1: Infection and autoimmunity; UMCN 3.3: Neurosensory disorders; UMCN 4.1: Microbial pathogenesis and host defense
Artemisinin derivatives are becoming the first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria in areas with widespread resistance to chloroquine. Although generally safe and well tolerated, it has been suggested from animal experiments, and more recently from one human study with artemether-lumefantrine, that these compounds are potentially neurotoxic, affecting particularly the brainstem auditory pathways. We report here the auditory analyses of 15 volunteers who underwent an experimental human malaria infection and were treated with artemether-lumefantrine. The subjects underwent audiological examination before the start of the study, during infection, and after treatment. Examination included standard tone audiometry, high frequency tone audiometry and auditory brainstem response (ABR). No effects on hearing loss that were deemed to be caused by drug treatment were found using tone audiometry. ABR analysis similarly failed to demonstrate any auditory pathway damage in the volunteers after treatment. We have thus not found any clear evidence of a detrimental effect on the auditory system by artemether-lumefantrine treatment in uncomplicated malaria. Our results support the continued implementation of artemisinin derivatives in the fight against drug-resistant malaria.
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