Other News and Resources

Thursday
Mar122015

Plasmodium knowlesi Malaria During Pregnancy

Conclusions: Although P. knowlesi is the commonest malaria species among females in Sabah, P. knowlesi infection is relatively rare during pregnancy. It may however be associated with adverse maternal and pregnancy outcomes.

Read the paper in The Journal of Infectious Diseases here.

Thursday
Mar122015

Establishing a China malaria diagnosis reference laboratory network for malaria elimination

Conclusions: China has established a laboratory network for primary malaria diagnosis which will cover a larger area. Currently, Plasmodium species can be identified fairly accurately by microscopy and PCR. However, laboratory staff need additional trainings on accurate identification of P. ovale microscopically and good performance of PCR operations.

Read the Malaria Journal article here.

Thursday
Mar122015

Malaria PCR Detection in Cambodian Low-Transmission Settings: Dried Blood Spots Versus Venous Blood Samples

Abstract: In the context of malaria elimination, novel strategies for detecting very low malaria parasite densities in asymptomatic individuals are needed. One of the major limitations of the malaria parasite detection methods is the volume of blood samples being analyzed. The objective of the study was to compare the diagnostic accuracy of a malaria polymerase chain reaction assay, from dried blood spots (DBS, 5 μL) and different volumes of venous blood (50 μL, 200 μL, and 1 mL).

Read the paper in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene here.

Thursday
Mar122015

Ultra-Sensitive Detection of Plasmodium falciparum by Amplification of Multi-Copy Subtelomeric Targets

Conclusions: Measured malaria prevalence in communities is largely determined by the sensitivity of the diagnostic tool used. Even when applying standard molecular diagnostics, prevalence in our study population was underestimated by 8% compared to the new assays. Our findings highlight the need for highly sensitive tools such as TARE-2 and varATS qPCR in community surveillance and for monitoring interventions to better describe malaria epidemiology and inform malaria elimination efforts.

Read the PLOS Medicine article here.

Thursday
Mar122015

Blog: Clinical trials not immune from poor quality drugs

There is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that significant quantities of medicines and medical products, especially in low and middle-income countries, are of poor quality.

Malaria researcher and drug quality expert Professor Paul Newton, of the Lao-Oxford-Mahosot Hospital-Wellcome Trust Research Unit in Laos, explains the latest research findings and explores some of the recommendations to improve medicine provision for clinical trials.

Read the Wellcome Trust blog article here.

Thursday
Mar122015

Improved detection of malaria cases in island settings of Vanuatu and Kenya by PCR that targets the Plasmodium mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase III (cox3) gene

Abstract: Detection of sub-microscopic parasitemia is crucial for all malaria elimination programs. PCR-based methods have proven to be sensitive, but two rounds of amplification (nested PCR) are often needed to detect the presence of Plasmodium DNA. To simplify the detection process, we designed a nested PCR method whereby only the primary PCR is required for the detection of the four major human Plasmodium species. Primers designed for the detection of the fifth species, Plasmodium knowlesi, were not included in this study due to the absence of appropriate field samples. Compared to the standard 18S rDNA PCR method, our cytochrome c oxidase III (cox3) method detected 10-50% more cases while maintaining high sensitivities (1.00) for all four Plasmodium species in our samples from Vanuatu (n=77) and Kenya (n=76). Improvement in detection efficiency was more substantial for samples with sub-microscopic parasitemia (54%) than those with observable parasitemia (10-16%). Our method will contribute to improved malaria surveillance in low endemicity settings.

Read the article in Parasitology International here 

Tuesday
Mar032015

Epidemiology of forest malaria in Central Vietnam: the hidden parasite reservoir

Conclusion: This study confirmed that in Central Vietnam a substantial part of the human malaria reservoir is hidden. Additional studies are urgently needed to assess the contribution of this hidden reservoir to the maintenance of malaria transmission. Such evidence will be crucial for guiding elimination strategies.

Read the Malaria Journal article here.

Tuesday
Mar032015

G6PD gene variants and its association with malaria in a Sri Lankan population

Conclusions: This is the most detailed survey of G6PD SNPs in a Sri Lankan population undertaken so far that enabled novel description of single nucleotide polymorphisms within the G6PD gene. A few of these genetic variations identified, demonstrated a tendency to be associated with either disease severity or parasite density in uncomplicated disease in males. Known G6PD gene polymorphisms already described from elsewhere were either absent or rare in the local study population.

Read the Malaria Journal article here.

Thursday
Feb192015

Indoor residual spraying with microencapsulated DEET repellent (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) for control of Anopheles arabiensis and Culex quinquefasciatus


Conclusion: Microencapsulated DEET acts like an insecticide at ambient temperature and induces mosquito mortality when applied to walls made from wooden panels. This trial demonstrated the potential of microencapsulated DEET to control An. arabiensis and warrants further studies of residual activity on interior substrates. 

Download the full article in Parasites & Vectors article here.

Thursday
Feb192015

Indoor residual spraying with microencapsulated DEET repellent (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) for control of Anopheles arabiensis and Culex quinquefasciatus


Conclusion: Microencapsulated DEET acts like an insecticide at ambient temperature and induces mosquito mortality when applied to walls made from wooden panels. This trial demonstrated the potential of microencapsulated DEET to control An. arabiensis and warrants further studies of residual activity on interior substrates. 

Download the full article in Parasites & Vectors article here.

Thursday
Feb192015

The Mode of Action of Spatial Repellents and Their Impact on Vectorial Capacity of Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto


This study provides critical information necessary for the development of target product profiles of spatial repellent products that can be used to complement existing mainstream malaria vector control tools. 

View/download the article form PLoS ONE here.

Saturday
Jan312015

Report - Malaria: the last mile

Malaria Consortium, in partnership with the New Statesman, held a malaria roundtable at the UK Parliament last December, the day after the launch of the World Malaria Report 2014.

The roundtable was focused on drug resistant malaria in the Greater Mekong Subregion and was attended by a number of UK parliamentarians and notable experts in the field.

The eight page report from this roundtable has been published this week in the New Statesman magazine.

Full story can be found here.

Thursday
Jan292015

PowerPoint: Malaria and Population Mobility: Towards a ‘3D’ solution (JITMM, Dec 2014)

A PowerPoint presentation by Prof Maxine Whittaker and Dr Catherine Smith entitled, 'Malaria and Population Mobility:Towards a ‘3D’ solution' is now available.

Prof Whittaker presented at the Joint International Tropical Medicine Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand on December 4, 2014, on two papers she co-authored with Dr Smith accpeted in Malaria Journal:

1) Beyond Mobile Populations: A critical review of the literature on malaria and population mobility and suggestions for future directions (Malaria Journal 13:307)
2) Malaria Elimination without Stigmatization: a note of caution on the use of language in elimination settings. (Malaria Journal 13:377)
Wednesday
Jan282015

Risk Factors for Border Malaria in a Malaria Elimination Setting: A Retrospective Case-Control Study in Yunnan, China

A retrospective case-control study was conducted to identify risk factors for border malaria in a malaria elimination setting of Yunnan Province, China. The study comprised 214 cases and 428 controls. The controls were individually matched to the cases on the basis of residence, age, and gender. In conclusion, travel to lowland and foothill or mid-hill hyperendemic areas, especially along the waterside in Myanmar, was found to be the highest risk factor for malaria. In considering the limitations of the study, further investigations are needed to identify the major determinants of malaria risk and develop new strategies for malaria elimination on China-Myanmar border.

View/download the free abstract from The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene here.

Tuesday
Jan062015

Costs of Eliminating Malaria and the Impact of the Global Fund in 34 Countries

Conclusions: Although external donor funding, particularly from the Global Fund, has been key for many malaria-eliminating countries, sustained and sufficient financing is critical for furthering global malaria elimination. Projected cost estimates for elimination provide policymakers with an indication of the level of financial resources that should be mobilized to achieve malaria elimination goals.

View/download the PLOS ONE article here.

Tuesday
Jan062015

PPoint: Sir Richard Feachem speaks at ANU

On 25 November 2013, Sir Richard Feachem gave a public seminar to Australia National University (ANU) Crawford School of Public Policy in Canberra, Australia.

In his talk, Sir Richard presented the historical progress with malaria elimination and the prospects and requirements for global eradication by 2050. He focused particularly on recent dramatic progress in Asia Pacific and the Asia Pacific goal of malaria freedom by 2030.

To view/download his PowerPoint presentation, click here. (PDF, 4,422KB)

 

Tuesday
Jan062015

Fun with maths: exploring implications of mathematical models for malaria eradication

Abstract: Mathematical analyses and modelling have an important role informing malaria eradication strategies. Simple mathematical approaches can answer many questions, but it is important to investigate their assumptions and to test whether simple assumptions affect the results. In this note, four examples demonstrate both the effects of model structures and assumptions and also the benefits of using a diversity of model approaches. These examples include the time to eradication, the impact of vaccine efficacy and coverage, drug programs and the effects of duration of infections and delays to treatment, and the influence of seasonality and migration coupling on disease fadeout. An excessively simple structure can miss key results, but simple mathematical approaches can still achieve key results for eradication strategy and define areas for investigation by more complex models.

View/download this Malaria Journal article here.

Tuesday
Jan062015

Radio NZ: Malaria rates dropping in Pacific - WHO

(Originally aired on Dateline Pacific, Monday 15 December 2014)

The World Health Organisation says countries of the Western Pacific region are making good progress towards reducing malaria by 75 per cent in 2015 compared to levels of the disease seen in the year 2000.

Read the full transcript and listen to the audio here: http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/programmes/datelinepacific/audio/20160922/malaria-rates-dropping-in-pacific-who

 

Tuesday
Jan062015

Prof Whittaker on Radio Australia: Malaria funding falls impact Pacific

There are fears that falling funding for malaria control could hurt Pacific countries' ability to eliminate the disease in coming years. 

A new report from the World Health Organization has found that there've been signficant improvements in reducing the number of malaria cases throughout the Western Pacific in recent years, largely thanks to increased financial assistance. But the 2014 Malaria Report also found that after funding increased in the years from 2005 to 2010, it's once again dropped. 

(Credit: ABC)

Prof Maxine Whittaker is the co-oordinator of the APMEN secretariat, and was interviewed by ABC Radio Australia about the decrease in funding for malaria control. Listen to the clip here.

Tuesday
Jan062015

Modelling the contribution of the hypnozoite reservoir to Plasmodium vivax transmission

Conclusions: Plasmodium vivax relapse infections occur following activation of latent liver-stages parasites (hypnozoites) causing new blood-stage infections weeks to months after the initial infection. We develop a within-host mathematical model of liver-stage hypnozoites, and validate it against data from tropical strains of P. vivax. The hypnozoite reservoir is predicted to be over-dispersed with many individuals having few or no hypnozoites, and some having intensely infected livers. Individuals with more hypnozoites are predicted to experience more relapses and contribute more to onwards P. vivax transmission. Incorporating hypnozoite killing drugs such as primaquine into first-line treatment regimens is predicted to cause substantial reductions in P. vivax transmission as individuals with the most hypnozoites are more likely to relapse and be targeted for treatment.

View/download the eLife journal article here.

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