Intermittent screening and treatment with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine and intermittent preventive therapy with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine have similar effects on malaria antibody in pregnant Malawian women
In a randomised trial comparing intermittent screening and treatment (IST) with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) and intermittent preventive therapy against malaria in pregnancy (IPT) with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) in Malawi, the impacts of IST-DP and IPT-SP on the development and maintenance of malaria antibody immunity were compared. Pregnant Malawian women were randomised to receive IST-DP or IPT-SP. In a nested study, paired enrolment and delivery plasma samples from 681 women were assayed for antibodies against recombinant antigens and for IgG and opsonising antibodies to antigens found on infected erythrocytes (IEs). At delivery, antibody responses did not differ between study arms. Between enrolment and delivery, antibodies to recombinant antigens decreased, whereas antibodies to IEs including opsonising antibodies remained stable. Overall, changes in antibody responses over pregnancy did not differ by treatment arm. Stratifying by gravidity, antibody to schizont extract decreased more in multigravidae receiving IST-DP than IPT-SP. There was minimal impact of treatment arm on the development and maintenance of malaria immunity. While antibodies to recombinant antigens declined between enrolment and delivery, antibodies directed against IEs tended to be more stable, suggesting longer-lasting protection.Clinical trial registration: Pa n African Clinical Trials Registry (PACTR201103000280319) 14/03/2011. URL: http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN69800930 .