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Durable Malaria Elimination – You can take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink

May 26, 2015 - 13:39 -- Anton Alexander

On 7th August 2012, Bart Knols brought to our attention a lecture by Margaret Heffernan entitled ‘Dare to Disagree’, and which can be seen at . Margaret Heffernan spoke amongst other things about a scientist, Alice Stewart, who, in the 1950s, investigated and demonstrated the incidence of childhood cancer and its connection with the practice of X-raying pregnant women.

LLIN, new products and the impact of/ on insecticide resistance

May 7, 2015 - 14:28 -- Rune Bosselmann

LLIN, new products and the impact of/ on insecticide resistance

In the past 15 years malaria mortality and morbidity rates have been halved. This owes not least to insecticide based interventions and in particular the Long Lasting Insecticidal Net (LLIN).  In recent years, increased findings of insecticide resistance have caused serious concerns whether these advances are threatened, although how much and how to respond remain topics for discussion.

Mosquitocidal and repellent properties of plant extracts.

May 6, 2015 - 14:27 -- Pierre Lutgen

Mosquitoes are progressively becoming resistant to industrial repellents and insecticides. This is the case for pyrethroids used on bednets.

Most of these products are expensive and African households cannot afford their purchase.

Plants, their extracts and their essential oils have been used during centuries to fight aggressive mosquitoes responsible for malaria, dengue, sleeping sickness but also insects acting as vectors for many other diseases.

Saponin lowers iron, glucose, uric acid and cholesterol: key factors in malaria

April 28, 2015 - 17:47 -- Pierre Lutgen

Most research work on Artemisia annua has ignored saponins and polysaccharides because these are only soluble in water and in the search of the golden fleece or the exceptional antimalarial molecule most extracts are obtained with organic solvents.

Saponins are found in many plants, often in desert plants and are also present in some marine organisms. Most medicinal plants are rich in saponins, which to a large extent are responsible for their bitterness. In fact saponins protect plants from phytopathogenic microorganisms, phytophagous mammalian and insects.

Geophagia, Artemisia afra and Tuberculosis

April 16, 2015 - 14:57 -- Pierre Lutgen

Three diseases at least are caused by mycobacteria : leprosy, tuberculosis and Buruli ulcer. Iron is a prerequisite for the growth of mycobacteria. It is a cofactor for numerous enzymes encoded in the mycobacterium genome. It is required for the cytochromes involved in electron transport. It has been estimated that 7 to 64 g Fe per kg of mycobacterial cell mass is required to support growth. Iron limitation in vitro to levels below these results in growth restriction in many species of mycobacteria, such as M.tuberculosis.

The advantage of a vested interest in malaria elimination.

April 15, 2015 - 06:01 -- Anton Alexander

This article will focus on the improved likelihood of a successful outcome where malaria elimination is conducted by scientists who live in the affected area. The blog by Alvaro Pemartin of 22nd January 2015 entitled "Column: Public health concerns (too) far away from home. Who cares?" is both instructive and fascinating. He showed statistics that revealed the global burden of swine flu, avian flu and ebola is far lower than the losses caused by malaria. He demonstrated that the media seems to overlook this point.

Artemisia's incredible impact on health care costs

April 9, 2015 - 20:34 -- Pierre Lutgen

In a country in the center of Africa two plants producing the same palm oil based cosmetic products and belonging to the same shareholder have established for the first quarter 2015 the balance of their health care costs. The first plant employs 168 people, the second 458 people. In the first plant the total health care costs per employee are 6.1 times lower than in the second. In the first plant people have been convinced a few years ago that regular consumption of Artemisia annua tea could be prophylactic and beneficial for several diseases, particularly for malaria.

Comment for Malaria Action Plan GMAP2

April 4, 2015 - 19:21 -- Clive Shiff
As a comment to Bart's Blog, I would like to add our thoughts as requested by the Secretariat. The document was sent in before the deadline, so I hope it was read, and raises some thoughts. 
GMAP2 Document
Based on the consultative process so far (regional consultations, national and community level consultations, online survey responses, in-depth interviews, and a document review) seven areas where the GMAP2 document could usefully provide recommendations for action have been identified.

Durable malaria elimination - a picture is worth a thousand words

April 2, 2015 - 14:00 -- Anton Alexander

As is seen from the picture below, the national malaria elimination campaign, begun in 1922 in Palestine, clearly worked.
For different aspects of this campaign generally, see Aspects of the malaria elimination .
But in particular, for what was so unique that made this malaria elimination so durable, see Durability .

Survey on methods for improving idea generation and innovation among early-career researchers in Africa

March 11, 2015 - 23:25 -- Fredros Okumu

Many low and middle-income communities still lack affordable and scalable solutions for their priority health needs. We are aiming to improve generation of new ideas and technological innovation by early-career researchers in Africa, specifically in the health sector. As a step in the process, we wish to conduct an analysis of expert opinion on best strategies for encouraging these early-career scientists so that they can better identify priority health problems in their communities, and generate new ideas to address these problems.

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,