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The effect of antiretrovirals on Plasmodium falciparum liver stages

Hobbs, Charlotte V.a; De La Vega, Patriciab; Penzak, Scott R.c; Van Vliet, Jilliana; Krzych, Urszulab; Sinnis, Photinid; Borkowsky, Williame; Duffy, Patrick E.a

doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e3283621dd4
Research Letters

HIV and malaria overlap geographically, but the full impact of different antiretrovirals on malaria remains poorly understood. We examined the antimalarial activity of the HIV protease inhibitors lopinavir and saquinavir and the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor nevirapine on Plasmodium falciparum liver stages. Our results demonstrate that the HIV PI lopinavir inhibits liver stage parasites at clinically relevant concentrations, that is, at drug levels achieved in HIV-infected patients on standard dosing regimens. Because drugs that inhibit liver stages target parasites when they are present in lower numbers, these results might have implications for eradication efforts.

aNIH/NIAID/Laboratory of Malaria Immunology and Vaccinology, Rockville

bDepartment of Cellular Immunology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Malaria Vaccine Branch, Silver Spring

cPharmacy Department, NIH Clinical Center, Clinical Pharmacokinetics Research Laboratory, Bethesda

dDepartment of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, , Baltimore, Maryland

eDepartment of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Disease and Immunology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, USA.

Correspondence to Charlotte V. Hobbs, NIH/NIAID, Rockville, MD 20852, USA. Tel: +1 347 306 0150; fax: +1 253 399 0150; e-mail:

Received 30 November, 2012

Revised 4 April, 2013

Accepted 11 April, 2013

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.