Effects of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and insecticide-treated bednets on malaria among HIV-infected Ugandan children

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Background:Trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMX) prophylaxis and insecticide-treated bednets reduce malaria risk among HIV-infected adults. The efficacy of TMP/SMX may be diminished where antifolate resistance to malaria is high. We evaluated the efficacy of these interventions for malaria prevention among Ugandan children.Methods:We concurrently followed 300 HIV-infected children aged 1–10 years and a community-based cohort of 561 healthy children aged 1–11 years over 11 months in Kampala, Uganda. The HIV-infected children received TMP/SMX prophylaxis and insecticide treated bednets. In the community cohort, insecticide-treated bednets were introduced during the observation period. Children from both cohorts were followed using a standardized protocol to measure the incidence of malaria.Results:Only nine episodes of malaria were diagnosed among HIV-infected children (incidence = 0.07/person-year) in comparison with 440 episodes among children from the community (incidence = 0.90/person-year; P < 0.0001). The use of insecticide-treated bednets was associated with a 43% reduction in malaria incidence (P < 0.001), and a combination of TMP/SMX and use of insecticide-treated bednets with a 97% reduction in malaria incidence (P < 0.001). The prevalence of five mutations associated with antifolate resistance was high among malaria cases detected in both the HIV (100%) and community cohorts (75%). Malaria accounted for only 4% of febrile episodes in the HIV cohort in comparison with 33% in the community-based cohort (P < 0.0001).Conclusion:In a malaria endemic area with a high level of molecular markers of antifolate resistance, the combined use of TMP/SMX prophylaxis and insecticide-treated bednets was associated with a dramatic reduction in malaria incidence among HIV-infected children.

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