Preclinical evaluation of the possible enhancement of the efficacy of anti-malarial drugs by pheroid technology
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Malaria is currently one of the most imperative parasitic diseases of the developing world. Current effective treatment options are limited because of increasing drug resistance, treatment cost effectiveness and treatment availability. Novel drug delivery systems are a new approach for increased efficacy in the treatment of the disease. Pheroid™ technology, a proven drug delivery system, in combination with anti-malarial drugs was evaluated in this study. The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible enhancement of the efficacy of the existing anti-malarial drugs in combination with Pheroid™ technology. The efficacy of existing anti-malarial drugs in combination with Pheroids was investigated in vitro with a chloroquine RB-1-resistant strain of P. falciparum. Two different Pheroid formulations, vesicles and microsponges, were used and the control medium consisted of sterile water for injection. Parasitaemia levels were determined microscopically and expressed as a percentage. An in vivo pilot study was also conducted using the P. berghei mouse model. The mice were grouped into seven batches of three mice each. The control group was treated with a Pheroid vesicle formulation only. Three of the groups were treated with three different concentrations of chloroquine dissolved in water namely 2 mg/kg; 5 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg bodyweight (bw) respectively, while the other three groups received the same three concentrations of chloroquine entrapped in Pheroid vesicle formulations. The measure of parasite growth inhibition (percentage parasitaemia), the survival rates and the percentage chemosuppresion was determined. In the in vivo study, all concentrations of chloroquine entrapped in Pheroid vesicles showed suppressed parasitaemia levels up to 11 days post infection. From day 11, the parasitaemia increases rapidly and becomes higher than that in groups treated with chloroquine in water. Chloroquine entrapped in Pheroid vesicles showed improved activity against a chloroquine resistant strain (RB-1) in vitro. The efficacy was enhanced by 1544.62%. The efficacy of mefloquine, artemether and artesunate in Pheroid microsponges were enhanced by 314.32%, 254.86% and 238.78% respectively. It can be concluded that Pheroid™ technology has potential to enhance the efficacy of anti-malaria drugs.
- Health Sciences