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Effectiveness of melarsoprol and eflornithine as first-line regimens for gambiense sleeping sickness in nine Medecins Sans Frontieres programmes

  • 2009/03/01
Type of publication
  • Articles
Authors
  • Balasegaram M
  • Young H
  • Chappuis F
  • Priotto G
  • Raguenaud ME
  • Checchi F
Themes
  • Neglected diseases

This paper describes the effectiveness of first-line regimens for stage 2 human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) due to Trypanosoma brucei gambiense infection in nine Medecins Sans Frontieres HAT treatment programmes in Angola, Republic of Congo, Sudan and Uganda. Regimens included eflornithine and standard- and short-course melarsoprol. Outcomes for 10461 naive stage 2 patients fitting a standardised case definition and allocated to one of the above regimens were analysed by intention-to-treat analysis. Effectiveness was quantified by the case fatality rate (CFR) during treatment, the proportion probably and definitely cured and the Kaplan-Meier probability of relapse-free survival at 12 months and 24 months post admission. The CFR was similar for the standard- and short-course melarsoprol regimens (4.9% and 4.2%, respectively). The CFR for eflornithine was 1.2%. Kaplan-Meier survival probabilities varied from 71.4-91.8% at 1 year and 56.5-87.9% at 2 years for standard-course melarsoprol, to 73.0-91.1% at 1 year for short-course melarsoprol, and 79.9-97.4% at 1 year and 68.6-93.7% at 2 years for eflornithine. With the exception of one programme, survival at 12 months was >90% for eflornithine, whilst for melarsoprol it was <90% except in two sites. Eflornithine is recommended where feasible, especially in areas with low melarsoprol effectiveness .