Other News and Resources

Monday
Apr202015

A molecular mechanism of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum malaria

Researhers from the University of Notre Dame have published in Nature journal new findings on artemisinin resistance and proportional P.falciparum parasite gene mutations. They study used clinical parasites from Cambodia. In an article by Science Daily, the authors say they are working with partners like Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) to find new drugs to both disrupt mutations, and kill the parasite. Read the Science Daily article here. 

View/download the Nature journal paper here.

Monday
Apr202015

Towards subsidized malaria rapid diagnostic tests. Lessons from global subsidy of ACTs: a review

Abstract (excerpt): Among the interventions recently proposed, a subsidy of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) in the private sector has been recommended by governments and international donors to cope with over-treatment with ACTs and to delay the emergence of resistance to artemisinin. In order to improve the cost-effectiveness of co-paid RDTs, we should build on the lessons we learned from almost 10 years of the global subsidy of ACTs in malaria-endemic countries. Read the full text in Health Policy and Planning Journal here.

Monday
Apr202015

Observing in real time the evolution of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum

Prof Carol Sibley has published a commentary article in BMC Medicine highlighting some of the recent insights on the current evolution of resistance to artemisinins, a key component of all current antimalarials.

Read the WWARN news story on Prof Sibley’s paper here

Monday
Apr202015

Improving uptake and use of malaria rapid diagnostic tests in the context of artemisinin drug resistance containment in eastern Myanmar: an evaluation of incentive schemes among informal private healthcare providers

Conclusion: Results show that training and quality supervision of informal private healthcare providers can result in improved demand for, and appropriate use of RDTs in drug resistance containment areas in eastern Myanmar. Future studies should assess the sustainability of such interventions and the scale and level of intensity required over time as public sector service provision expands.

View/download the Malaria Journal paper here.

Monday
Apr202015

Human infections with Plasmodium knowlesi – zoonotic malaria

Abstract (excerpt): In 2004 a large focus of Plasmodium knowlesi malaria was reported in the human population in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. P. knowlesi, a parasite of the Southeast Asian macaques (Macaca fascicularis and M. nemestrina), had entered the human population. P. knowlesi is transmitted by the leucosphyrus group of Anopheline mosquitoes and transmission is largely zoonotic and restricted to the jungle setting. Humans entering jungle transmission sites are at risk. Since 2004 human cases of P. knowlesi have been continuously reported in local communities and travellers returning from Southeast Asia. P. knowlesi is the most common type of indigenous malaria reported in Malaysia. Infections are most often uncomplicated but at least 10% of patients report with severe malaria and 1-2% of cases have a fatal outcome. Parasitaemia is positively associated with the clinical and laboratory markers of severe malaria. The current literature on P. knowlesi, including epidemiology, natural hosts and vectors, pathogenesis, clinical descriptions, treatment and diagnosis, is reviewed. There are many gaps in our understanding of this disease that are highlighted here with suggestions for further research to inform pre-emptive control measures that would be required to prevent a full emergence of this parasite into the human population.

Monday
Apr202015

Vivax malaria and chloroquine resistance: a neglected disease as an emerging threat

Abstract: In Pakistan, Plasmodium vivax contributes to major malaria burden. In this case, a pregnant woman presented with P. vivax infection and which was not cleared by chloroquine, despite adequate treatment. This is probably the first confirmed case of chloroquine-resistant vivax from Pakistan, where severe malaria due to P. vivax is already an emerging problem.

View/download the provisional pdf from Malaria Journal here.

Monday
Apr202015

Knockdown resistance of Anopheles sinensis in Henan province, China

Background: Vivax malaria was historically epidemic in Henan Province of China and Anopheles sinensis was the main vectors and poor farming communities bare the greatest burden of disease. Knockdown resistance in An. sinensis is one of the mechanisms of resistance against pyrethroids. In the present study, the frequency of mutations from An. sinensis was examined in Henan province, China.

View/download the full text from Malaria Journal here

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)
Bangladesh
Bhutan
Cambodia
China
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Indonesia
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Malaysia
Nepal
Philippines
Republic of Korea
Solomon Islands
Sri Lanka
Thailand
Vanautu
Vietnam