This week we highlight a meeting that was held recently by the International PfSPZ consortium, a contribution from Peter Billingsley. It provides a nice overview of who takes part in the consortium and what the issues are that have reached the forefront in the effort to bring sporozoite vaccines to the market. Have a look here.
Also, please take note of a senior position that has opened up within Malaria No More in the USA, that of Vice President resource development. Please click here for more information.
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Enjoy this week's MalariaWorld - the MW team
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Candidate vaccines based on injectable Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) sporozoites (SPZ), are being developed and tested. These include PfSPZ Vaccine, in which the PfSPZ are attenuated by irradiation; PfSPZ-CVac, in which fully infectious PfSPZ, PfSPZ Challenge, are attenuated in vivo by an anti-malarial drug, to allow only liver stage parasites to grow, and PfSPZ-GA1, in which the PfSPZ are attenuated by gene deletions.
We have shown a talk by Margaret Heffernan before on the MalariaWorld platform. And again, in a talk she gave in May this year at TEDWomen 2015, she hits the nail on the head, also for us malariologists. That's why we show her talk here...
Imagine your research lab, or your University department, think about your professor and colleagues and the way you work with them. Think about the pressures and frictions that are there when it gets to doing research, to publishing (authorships!), and once you have done that, watch this video. We hope you will feel inspired afterwards!
There is great news for the MalariaWorld community, and particularly for the team that has worked for the last six years to provide you all, every week of the year, with the latest information on malaria. Somebody (thank you, whoever you are) nominated one of the MalariaWorld Founders (me) for the 2015 Social Media Awards 'Malaria Heroes'. I do not consider this as a personal nomination, but as a nomination for the entire MalariaWorld team. Many of our >8600 members know me, but there are people behind the scene that make this work what it is. We have Patrick Sampao, Kabogo Ndegwa, and Stella Chege in the Nairobi office of MalariaWorld. They perform all the searches and collate it in such way that you receive it nicely on Friday morning when you open your email. They are our 'Silent Malaria Heroes', and have been so for six full years already. Then there are volunteers working for the Dutch Malaria Foundation that manage subscriptions (Monika Bongers) and extend the reach of our communication through social media outlets. With a Facebook account and three Twitter accounts, we're busy. Busy to get that vital piece of information out to you. And now we have been nominated...
Re-imagining malaria – a platform for essential reflections to widen horizons in malaria control
Edited by: Dr. Julian Eckl, Dr. Susanna Hausmann Muela
Poor quality and fake anti-malaria medicines can be deadly and cause a big problem in the fight against malaria. Previous reports indicated that up to 1/3 of the antimalarial medicines could be fake. A recent study of anti-malarials in Tanzania and Cambodia showed no evidence of fake medicines in these countries. So could it be that the problem of fake drugs in Africa is less than expected?
MLW has become one of the first African research centres to share their portfolio of research relevant to the malaria elimination and eradication agenda in the open database 'MESA Track'. This is all thanks to the close collaboration of the MLW team and especially of Anja Terlouw (Malaria theme lead at MLW) who said: "This is an important initiative that I am keen to support".
Malaria will feature as a key topic in the ECTMIH congress in Basel September 6-10. Topics will include:
- insecticide resistance
- drug resistance
- the importance of P. vivax
- implementation science
- drug delivery
as well as cross-cutting sessions on malaria transmission and malaria elimination.
Researchers are encouraged to submit there abstracts on line throug the ECTMIH website (link is external) before Thursday, 9 April 2015.
Last Friday the Washington Post published an article about fake peer review and how it has affected the UK publisher BioMed Central. At least 43 papers have been retracted so far and we have not found this list to see if it included papers published in the Malaria Journal or Parasites & Vectors. How is it possible that such scandals emerge, one could wonder...
The MalariaWorld Journal, now in its 6th volume, is the first truly Open Access journal with a focus on malaria. Where you don't pay to publish (authors) and you don't pay for access (readers). If you publish in the Malaria Journal, don't think its for free. You may not pay directly yourself, but your institutional library pays large sums of money for you to publish in that journal. True, they do give out waivers to developing country scientists, but at the end of the day it is all about money. And impact factors...
Lessons from the failed WHO Blue Nile Health Project in central Sudan, 1980-1990
Benito Mussolini was an Italian fascist dictator between 1922 and 1943. His quest to bring Roman glory to Italy brought his country war and misery. This is how we know him from the history books. What is less known is how Mussolini took important steps in the fight against malaria in Italy. Bill Jobin shares with us an interesting story about Mussolini's efforts to control malaria. Read Lessons from the successful national malaria campaign of Italy 1900-1962 here. An amazing story for sure.
The Duke Global Health Institute announces a postdoctoral fellowship, to start as early as June 1, 2015, for a minimum of one year, and renewable for an additional 2 years contingent upon performance and funding availability. The fellowship will focus on implementation science to address the problem of presumptive treatment of fevers with antimalarials.
The Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN) is excited to announce the Republic of India has joined the Network as a Country Partner in 2015.
How could a fascist dictator realize how to control malaria in Italy 80 years ago, when we can’t figure out what to do in Africa today ?
NOTE; He did it in 3 steps: larval source management with larviciding, improved housing and education, and finally medical treatment
In the latest Annual Report of PMI (April 2014), they cite the reduction in mortality rates of children under five as proof of the beneficial impact of the anti-malarial work of PMI. Figure 1 of the report cites the following figures for the 15 PMI focus countries which have the best data. However, as in the past, they have not done a comparison with other countries in Africa. The same is true in general of the reports from the Roll Back Malaria program. For some strange reason they don't want to measure changes in malaria prevalence.
Do any of you have experience with the Garki Project, to add to my comments below? I would especially appreciate comments from those of you who knew what the thinking inside WHO Geneva was, at the time.
What lessons can we learn from the failure of the WHO Garki Malaria Project in Kano, Nigeria, 1970-1980?
Driving the Best Science to Meet Global Health Challenges
The 9th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health in Basel, 6 - 10 September 2015
The Roll Back Malaria Vector Control Working Group (RMB VCWG) held its 10th Annual Meeting in Geneva, 28-30 January, 2015. Around 200 participants from endemic countries, research & academia, private sector and multilateral agencies attended the meeting.
Three MESA-funded projects in Cambodia, Kenya and Tanzania looked at what can be done to reduce efficacy decay of malaria interventions in different settings, and the feasibility of clearing parasites from asymptomatic people. As the projects wrap-up, the research groups are sharing findings with National Malaria Control Programmes, Ministries of Health, as well as national research networks.
SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO AVOID THE IMMUNITY TRAP
Inherent in a strategy which requires repeated application of temporary control methods, is the specter of the Immunity Trap. After several years of suppressing malaria transmission by temporary methods, if the methods are suspended for any reason, the previously protected population will be extremely vulnerable to acute disease and death because they will have lost their immunity. The longer the temporary methods are used, the greater will be the risk for the population to fall into the Immunity Trap.
SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO SLOW THE RESISTANCE TREADMILL
Mark Bennett passed away on 10 February 2015. Mark stood at the cradle of MalariaWorld. He will be missed and remembered.
Read below a tribute to Mark written by Julia Royall. Julia used to be the Director of the communications network of MIM (MIMCom) when she was the Chief, International Programs at NLM/NIH. Mark was appointed as Technical Director of MIMCom and helped 19 malaria research instutes in Africa to get (improved) access to the internet. His efforts have been invaluable to achieving free access to scientific information on malaria for all in need.
Last week the Roll Back Malaria Vector Control Working Group organised its 10th meeting in Geneva. Close to 200 vector control specialists from more than 30 countries attended the three-day event. What started as a small gathering years ago has grown to become what could be considered the equivalent of the annual ASTMH meeting but with an exclusive focus on vectors. And although this 10th meeting was ample reason for celebration, it wasn't. The meeting was officially addressed by WHO's Global Malaria Programme Director Dr. Pedro Alonso, who recently took office. His opening statements were clear: Insecticide resistance is as much a threat to continued successful malaria control, if not more, than the current Asian threat of artemisinin resistance. Pyrethroids were great and have undoubtedly saved many thousands of lives, but the era in which we could safely rely on them, is coming to an end. And that's bad news.
On the UK Parliament's 750th birthday, the All Party Parliamentary Group met to discuss collaborative initiatives in malaria research.
In the historic setting of the Palace of Westminster, on January 20th, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases (APPMG) met to discuss collaborative initiatives in malaria research. Last year, the UK Government pledged to increase funding for the fight against malaria up to £500 million every year, a goal the APPMG hopes to see achieved in 2015.