The C580Y mutation in the Plasmodium falciparum kelch13 gene is the most commonly observed variant in artemisinin-resistant isolates in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). Until 2017, it had not been identified outside the GMS, except for Guyana/Amazonia. In 2017, three parasites carrying the C580Y mutation were identified in Papua New Guinea (PNG). As the C580Y allele rapidly spread in the GMS, there is concern that this mutant is now spreading in PNG.
Papua New Guinea
Iron deficiency (ID) has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, maternal anaemia, and altered susceptibility to infection. In Papua New Guinea (PNG), monthly treatment with sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine plus azithromycin (SPAZ) prevented low birthweight (LBW; <2500 g) through a combination of anti-malarial and non-malarial effects when compared to a single treatment with SP plus chloroquine (SPCQ) at first antenatal visit. We assessed the relationship between ID and adverse birth outcomes in women receiving SPAZ or SPCQ, and the mediating effects of malaria infection and haemoglobin levels during pregnancy.
Malaria risk is highly heterogeneous. Understanding village and household-level spatial heterogeneity of malaria risk can support a transition to spatially targeted interventions for malaria elimination. This analysis uses data from cross-sectional prevalence surveys conducted in 2014 and 2016 in two villages (Megiar and Mirap) in Papua New Guinea. Generalised additive modelling was used to characterise spatial heterogeneity of malaria risk and investigate the contribution of individual, household and environmental-level risk factors.
Universal coverage with long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) is an essential component of malaria control programmes. Three-yearly mass distribution of LLINs in Papua New Guinea (PNG) has been successful in reducing infection transmission since 2009, but malaria prevalence ramped up from 2015 onwards. Although LLIN universal coverage is mostly achieved during these campaigns, it may not be related with net use over time. Uses given to LLINs and non-compliance of this strategy were evaluated.
Considerable progress towards controlling malaria has been made in Papua New Guinea through the national malaria control programme’s free distribution of long-lasting insecticidal nets, improved diagnosis with rapid diagnostic tests and improved access to artemisinin combination therapy. Predictive prevalence maps can help to inform targeted interventions and monitor changes in malaria epidemiology over time as control efforts continue. This study aims to compare the predictive performance of prevalence maps generated using Bayesian decision network (BDN) models and multilevel logistic regression models (a type of generalized linear model, GLM) in terms of malaria spatial risk prediction accuracy.
Over 2.2 billion long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) for malaria control have been delivered to recipient countries. LLINs are the largest single item in the global malaria control budget. To be eligible for donor-funded procurement and distribution schemes, LLIN products must attain and retain World Health Organization (WHO) prequalification status by passing safety, quality, and efficacy benchmarks.
Improved methods for malaria diagnosis are urgently needed. Here, we evaluate a novel method named rotating-crystal magneto-optical detection (RMOD) in 956 suspected malaria patients in Papua New Guinea. RMOD tests can be conducted within minutes and at low cost. We systematically evaluate the capability of RMOD to detect infections by directly comparing it with expert light microscopy, rapid diagnostic tests and polymerase chain reaction on capillary blood samples.
Genomic surveillance of malaria parasite populations has the potential to inform control strategies and to monitor the impact of interventions. Barcodes comprising large numbers of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers are accurate and efficient genotyping tools, however may need to be tailored to specific malaria transmission settings, since ‘universal’ barcodes can lack resolution at the local scale. A SNP barcode was developed that captures the diversity and structure of Plasmodium vivax populations of Papua New Guinea (PNG) for research and surveillance.
Monitoring the genetic structure of pathogen populations may be an economical and sensitive approach to quantify the impact of control on transmission dynamics, highlighting the need for a better understanding of changes in population genetic parameters as transmission declines. Here we describe the first population genetic analysis of the major human malaria parasites, Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) and Plasmodium vivax (Pv) following nationwide distribution of long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLIN) in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Modern clinical trials have suggested that anemia protects against malaria mortality. Military records of the Second World War in Asia were examined to see if there was support for this hypothesis. When relatively well-nourished Imperial Japanese Navy sailors captured on Nauru (n = 799) were imprisoned on the Fauro Islands, 26% died from falciparum malaria.