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Selenium, malaria and infections

February 20, 2015 - 10:48 -- Pierre Lutgen

 Selenium is an essential trace element in human health and disease. It is currently a subject of intense interest and appears to play a key role in malaria. Selenium has important health effects related to the immune response. It appears to be a key nutrient in counteracting the development of virulence and inhibiting HIV progression to AIDS. In the context of health effects, low selenium status in some parts of the world, notably in Africa, is giving cause for concern.

Selenium and immunity

New Cochrane Review and Protocol published (2015, Issue 1)

February 3, 2015 - 16:23 -- Dee Walshe

Hello all,

We've had a good start to the new year here at the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group (, with one new Cochrane Review and one new Cochrane Protocol published, which may be of interest to Malaria World members.

2015, Issue 1 (Cochrane Reviews and Protocols published 1 to 31 January 2015):

New Cochrane Review: Intermittent preventive antimalarial treatment for children with anaemia (Athuman M, Kabanywanyi AM, Rohwer AC)

A Mosquito Repellent from Burundi

January 27, 2015 - 10:34 -- Pierre Lutgen

The association ACECI in Burundi ( has developed a mosquito repellent based on Nepeta cataria (catmint in english, cataire en français, Katzenminze auf deutsch). The study by local students in medicine in collaboration with Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique together with the Government of Burundi showed that catnip oil reduced the number of bites from mosquitoes by 91.7%. The trial involved 60 volunteers.

Gallium, key element in the excellent Bamileke Artemisia?

January 23, 2015 - 16:58 -- Pierre Lutgen

Over the years IFBV-BELHERB accumulated puzzling data concerning Artemisia annua grown on the Bamileke plateau in Cameroon.

Among all the clinical trials we have run in several countries, the infusion from Cameroon gave probably the best results (Rosine Chougouo et al, Proceedings MIM Conf, Nairobi, Kenya, 2 Nov 2009, no 312). The results of the comparative study showed a significantly higher sensistivity for the Artemisia annua concoction (0% late therapeutic failure), much better than 12.5 % for artesunate and 14.3% for artesunate-amodiaquine.

Artemisia stems, nitrate and malaria

January 10, 2015 - 16:30 -- Pierre Lutgen

Many anecdotical or scientific results indicate that leaves and stems of Artemisia annua have different therapeutical properties, often higher for leaves, sometimes lower.

Our efforts so far to elucidate key factors explaining these differences have failed. Artemisinin, polyphenols, essential oils are higher in leaves, scopoletin sometimes lower. If the therapeutical properties against malaria, bacteria or nematodes, really are proportional to the concentration of these organic key constituants the healing power of stems should be close to zero.

Effect of dams on malaria - rethinking

January 5, 2015 - 08:41 -- Solomon Kibret

I have written on this topic sometimes ago. My present research on dams and malaria in Africa triggered me to invoke some more thoughts. Several dams are under construction in sub-Saharan Africa. According to FAO database, some 118 dams are currently under construction while several more are planned. My analysis indicated that over half (57%) of these dams are located in areas with unstable/seasonal malaria. Previous studies indicated that dams in unstable semi-arid areas intensify malaria transmission.

Africans are following the new WHO traditional medicine strategy

December 26, 2014 - 07:47 -- Pierre Lutgen

Following the recommandations in the WHO Tradtional Medicine 2014-2023 document published in Decembrer 2013 in several African countries Centers for Traditional Medicine are stepping up their activities

- Centre de Médecine Traditionnelle de Buta, abbé Léopold Mvukiye

- Homeopharma, Institut de Soins Naturels, Madagascar

- Centre de Médecine Tradtionnelle du Mali (Bandiaraga)

- In the Gambia the National Agricultural Research Institute

- Département de Médecine, INRS, Bamako, Mali

- In Uganda the Ministry of Health and the University of Makerere

Artequick: programmed for failure

December 13, 2014 - 19:28 -- Irene Teis

The competitive product Artequick which the Chinese launched against Coartem and Coarsucam is now confronted by resistance like any other monotherapy. A letter to the editor by DL Saunders et al., in NEJM July 2014 describes the dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine failure in Cambodia. The drug was adopted as first line treatment in this country in 2010. Three years later the efficacy has decreased from 92% to 64%. At 72 hours 56% of patients still had persistent parasitemia. A disaster for Cambodia now, but a genocide looming for African countries, after the failure of other ACTs.

Could potassium explain the mystery of malaria immunity in babies?

December 3, 2014 - 18:41 -- Pierre Lutgen

Although 80% of malaria occurs in children under five years of age, infants under six months of age are known to have low rates of infection and disease. It is not clear why this youngest age group is protected. The perception that malaria is uncommon in young infants has resulted in the paucity of information currently available and the lack of evidence-based treatment guidelines in this population, Many children are dying before malaria is diagnosed and the death toll for infants under aged under six months is estimated at 200 000 – 300 000 annual casualties.

Are Artemisia annua plantations killing fields?

November 5, 2014 - 18:29 -- Pierre Lutgen

Artemisia annua has strong allelopathic properties as was documented by Mediplant for the high artemisinin hybrid. In other words the plant becomes invasive and inhibits the growth of other plants or cash crop on fields where Artemisia has been planted for the extraction of artemisinin by Bigpharma.

With WHO's blessing Keasling's synthetic artemisinin replaces the natural product: an economical disaster for African families who have invested all their meager resources in Artemisia annua plantations, lured by the promise of big profits.

World War 1 and Malaria

November 5, 2014 - 10:08 -- Anton Alexander

As this year is the centenary of the start of World War 1, perhaps readers may be interested to see how malaria may have changed the outcome of the war had the Turkish army managed to hang on after the last battle in 1918, as the British Army collapsed from malaria two weeks after that battle. See This may be used to serve as a reminder to those who choose to ignore the disease and treat it casually.

Potassium in Artemisia plants, a key factor in malaria control?

October 14, 2014 - 06:54 -- Pierre Lutgen



Constant Tchandema and Pierre Lutgen

Potassium, the most abundant cation in the human body, regulates intracellular enzyme function and neuromuscular tissue excitability. Serum potassium is normally maintained within thenarrow range of 3.5 to 5.5 mEq/L.

OPEN ACCESS New Cochrane Review

October 13, 2014 - 09:23 -- Dee Walshe

Hello all,

Several recently published Cochrane Reviews from the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group may of interest to Malaria World members:

Artemether for severe malaria (new review)
Drugs for preventing malaria in pregnant women in endemic areas: any drug regimen versus placebo or no treatment (updated review)

Best wishes,

Pedro Alonso to replace Rob Newman at GMP

August 1, 2014 - 12:37 -- Clive Shiff

I am pleased to see that Pedro will take over the hard task that Rob Newman left. Rob was instrumental in bringing the Global Malaria Programme back to life, and now I would like to see it expand its influence. When one looks at the various malaria control operations in various countries and read the various blogs etc, it is apparent that there is a lack of coordination, and in most instances there are several agencies, donors, major players and national personalities operating.

Injectable artesunate: cure or killer?

June 27, 2014 - 13:16 -- Irene Teis

A document in Scientific American (June 2014) describes the activities of MVV Medecines for Malaria Ventures, a « non profit » organization (association sans but lucratif) located at Geneva. It is surprising to learn that they sell Artesunate in monotherapy for intravenous injection at high doses ; in cooperation with WHO and Médecins sans Frontières.

Prestigious NWO-Vidi grant to start a new malaria research group

June 3, 2014 - 11:37 -- Taco Kooij

Dear friends & colleagues,
I am extremely honoured, proud, and happy to announce that I have been awarded a prestigious Vidi grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) to start my own independent malaria research lab in Nijmegen. Below follows a press release providing further details.

malaria and local blogging

May 31, 2014 - 19:33 -- Cliff Landesman

Why is there so little blogging about malaria from a local perspective? Those who live in regions of endemic malaria are not writing about it. As a result, it is hard to follow progress in combating malaria in a particular region. For example, I have an interest in malaria in western Kenya. However, it is difficult to know what programs are in place there, who is involved, what progress has been made. I am willing to bet that there is not a single blog anywhere where people living in an endemic region talk about malaria.

En Francais - Do you see patients with cerebral malaria? ...Or know someone who does?

May 30, 2014 - 01:34 -- Lakshmi Swamy

------------- Enquête sur le diagnostic du neuropaludisme--------------------
Nous sommes un groupe de médecins de l'université Duke aux États-Unis et de l'Université de Liverpool au Royaume-Uni. Notre objectif étant de mieux comprendre comment les médecins parviennent à poser un diagnostic de neuropaludisme, nous avons réalisé une enquête à ce sujet.

Need for some effective coordination in malaria control interventions

May 19, 2014 - 17:31 -- Clive Shiff

Wherever malaria has been eliminated, success was likely to have been based on the interplay of a series of mechanisms. In the United States it may have coincided with the advent of residual insecticides, but there were a variety of factors associated with the success. These were seasonal changes, environmental factors, political decisions that affected where people could live, the advent of improved treatments and increase in wealth and improvement of living standards. The same can be said of Italy and much of Europe in the early part of the 20th Century.

Milk, the forgotten antimalarial

May 19, 2014 - 13:30 -- Pierre Lutgen

It all begins in 1952 with the work of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (BG Maegraith et al, British Medical Journal, 1952, 1382-3). They found that in rats inoculated with Plasmodium berghei and living on a diet of milk there was a strong suppression of the growth of the parasites. This was valid for retail whole cow’s milk, reconstituted dried milk from different origins and human milk. Most rats on normal laboratory diet died in a few days.