The TSCQ Study

Investigating the Preventative use of Antibiotics and Antimalarials in People Living with HIV.

research-context Context

Several studies have shown that daily use of the antibiotic cotrimoxazole reduces morbidity and mortality among people living with HIV (PLHIV) in sub-Saharan Africa. Based on these studies and the recommendation of the World Health Organization, the Malawi Ministry of Health includes cotrimoxazole as part of a standard package of preventative services for all PLHIV. The medication helps to prevent opportunistic infections and, in some circumstances, malaria among adults and children.

There is evidence, however, from resource-rich settings that it is safe to discontinue cotrimoxazole in patients when their immune systems have at least partially recovered due to antiretroviral treatment. Uncertainty remains if continued cotrimoxazole under such circumstances is beneficial for patients in sub-Saharan Africa and if there is benefit, whether this would be due to preventing bacterial infections, malaria or both.

With approximately 1 billion doses of cotrimoxazole prescribed per year across Africa, the effectiveness of this medication needs to be definitively evaluated in adults who are on successful ART as these doses could be potentially removed from the HIV care regimen and the resources reallocated. Alternatively, if found to be beneficial, cotrimoxazole could be more broadly reinforced as a method to save lives and prolong the effectiveness of ART.

research-aim Aim

To determine if the preventative use of the antibiotic cotrimoxazole or the antimalarial chloroquine is associated with reduced morbidity and mortality among adults receiving successful ART and if any benefits are due to the medication’s antimalarial properties.


research-timeline Timeline

2015 – 2017

research-partnerships Partnerships

Funder: The National Institutes of Health, USA
Study Lead: University of Maryland School of Medicine
Partners: Blantyre Malaria Project, University of Malawi College of Medicine, Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust Research Programme

research-team Study Team

Dr. Miriam Laufer
Principal Investigator, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Dr. Joep van Oosterhout
Site Principal Investigator, Dignitas International

Dr. Wongani Nyangulu
Study Physician, Dignitas International

Dr. Matthew Laurens
Co-Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Dr. Jane Mallewa
Co–Investigator, Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Clinical Research Programme

Dr. Terrie Taylor
Major Overseas Collaborator, Blantyre Malaria Project

research-info Contact

For more info, please email Joep van Oosterhout at

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