Adjunctive therapy for cerebral malaria and other severe forms of Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health (East Africa)


Severe malaria due to Plasmodium falciparum causes more than 800,000 deaths every year. Primary therapy with quinine or artesunate is generally effective in controlling P. falciparum parasitemia, but mortality from cerebral malaria and other forms of severe malaria remains unacceptably high. Long-term cognitive impairment is also common in children with cerebral malaria. Of the numerous adjunctive therapies for cerebral malaria and severe malaria studied over the past five decades, only one (albumin) was associated with a reduction in mortality. In this article, we review past and ongoing studies of adjunctive therapy, and examine the evidence of efficacy for newer therapies, including inhibitors of cytoadherence (e.g., levamisole), immune modulators (e.g., rosiglitazone), agents that increase nitric oxide levels (e.g., arginine) and neuroprotective agents (e.g., erythropoietin).


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Expert review of anti-infective therapy