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Scientific Articles

Assessment of malaria infection among pregnant women and children below five years of age attending rural health facilities of Kenya: A cross-sectional survey in two counties of Kenya

September 23, 2021 - 10:28 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Okoyo C, Githinji E, Muia RW, Masaku J, Mwai J, Nyandieka L, Munga S, Njenga SM, Kanyi HM
Reference: 
PLoS One. 2021 Sep 16;16(9):e0257276

In Kenya, health service delivery and access to health care remains a challenge for vulnerable populations, particularly pregnant women and children below five years. The aim of this study, therefore, was to determine the positivity rate of Plasmodium falciparum parasites in pregnant women and children below five years of age seeking healthcare services at the rural health facilities of Kwale and Siaya counties as well as their access and uptake of malaria control integrated services, like antenatal care (ANC), offered in those facilities.

Determinants of brain swelling in pediatric and adult cerebral malaria

September 23, 2021 - 10:26 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Sahu PK, Duffy FJ, Wassmer SC, et al.
Reference: 
JCI Insight. 2021 Sep 22;6(18):e145823

Cerebral malaria (CM) affects children and adults, but brain swelling is more severe in children. To investigate features associated with brain swelling in malaria, we performed blood profiling and brain MRI in a cohort of pediatric and adult patients with CM in Rourkela, India, and compared them with an African pediatric CM cohort in Malawi. We determined that higher plasma Plasmodium falciparum histidine rich protein 2 (PfHRP2) levels and elevated var transcripts that encode for binding to endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR) were linked to CM at both sites.

Biomarkers of cellular aging during a controlled human malaria infection

September 23, 2021 - 10:24 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Miglar A, Reuling IJ, Yap XZ, Färnert A, Sauerwein RW, Asghar M
Reference: 
Sci Rep. 2021 Sep 21;11(1):18733

Cellular aging is difficult to study in individuals with natural infection, given the diversity of symptom duration and clinical presentation, and the high interference of aging-related processes with host and environmental factors.

Contrasting effects of the alkaloid ricinine on the capacity of Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles coluzzii to transmit Plasmodium falciparum

September 23, 2021 - 09:22 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Hien DFDS, Paré PSL, Lefèvre T, et al.
Reference: 
Parasit Vectors. 2021 Sep 15;14(1):479

Besides feeding on blood, females of the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae sensu lato readily feed on natural sources of plant sugars. The impact of toxic secondary phytochemicals contained in plant-derived sugars on mosquito physiology and the development of Plasmodium parasites remains elusive. The focus of this study was to explore the influence of the alkaloid ricinine, found in the nectar of the castor bean Ricinus communis, on the ability of mosquitoes to transmit Plasmodium falciparum.

Cross-resistance of the chloroquine-derivative AQ-13 with amodiaquine in Cambodian Plasmodium falciparum isolates

September 23, 2021 - 09:21 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Nardella F, Mairet-Khedim M, Roesch C, Maher SP, Ke S, Leang R, Leroy D, Witkowski B
Reference: 
J Antimicrob Chemother. 2021 Sep 15;76(10):2565-2568

Expanding resistance to multiple antimalarials, including chloroquine, in South-East Asia (SEA) urges the development of new therapies. AQ-13, a chloroquine derivative, is a new drug candidate for treating malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum.

Assessment of the Feasibility, Acceptability, and Impact of Implementing Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention in Nampula Province, Mozambique: Protocol for a Hybrid Effectiveness-Implementation Study

September 23, 2021 - 09:19 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Wharton-Smith A, Baker K, Candrinho B, et al.
Reference: 
JMIR Res Protoc. 2021 Sep 15;10(9):e27855

Malaria is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in children aged under 5 years in Mozambique. The World Health Organization recommends seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC), the administration of four monthly courses of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) and amodiaquine (AQ), to children aged 3-59 months during rainy season. However, as resistance to SP is widespread in East and Southern Africa, SMC has so far only been implemented across the Sahel in West Africa.

Not Open Access | Ongoing host-shift speciation in Plasmodium simium

September 23, 2021 - 09:15 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
de Oliveira TC, Rodrigues PT, Duarte AMRC, Rona LDP, Ferreira MU
Reference: 
Trends Parasitol. 2021 Sep 14:S1471-4922(21)00203-8

Plasmodium simium, a malaria parasite that infects platyrrhine monkeys and humans in the New World, is nearly identical to Plasmodium vivax.

On the cost-effectiveness of insecticide-treated wall liner and indoor residual spraying as additions to insecticide treated bed nets to prevent malaria: findings from cluster randomized trials in Tanzania

September 23, 2021 - 09:11 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Mpangala KR, Halasa-Rappel YA, Shepard DS, et al.
Reference: 
BMC Public Health. 2021 Sep 14;21(1):1666

Despite widespread use of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) and other tools, malaria caused 409,000 deaths worldwide in 2019. While indoor residual spraying (IRS) is an effective supplement, IRS is moderately expensive and logistically challenging. In endemic areas, IRS requires yearly application just before the main rainy season and potential interim reapplications. A new technology, insecticide-treated wall liner (ITWL), might overcome these challenges.

MalariaCometChip for high-throughput quantification of DNA damage in Plasmodium falciparum

September 23, 2021 - 09:08 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Xiong A, Kaushal S, Tay IJ, Engelward BP, Han J, Preiser PR
Reference: 
STAR Protoc. 2021 Sep 6;2(3):100797

Comet assay is a standard approach for studying DNA damage in malaria, but high-throughput options are not available. The CometChip was previously developed using mammalian cells as a high-throughput version of the comet assay.

Highly efficient CRISPR/Cas9 system in Plasmodium falciparum using Cas9-expressing parasites and a linear donor template

September 23, 2021 - 09:07 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Nishi T, Shinzawa N, Yuda M, Iwanaga S
Reference: 
Sci Rep. 2021 Sep 16;11(1):18501

The CRISPR/Cas9 system is a powerful genetic engineering technology for Plasmodium falciparum. We here report further improvement of the CRISPR/Cas9 system by combining the Cas9-expressing parasite with a liner donor template DNA. The Cas9-expressing parasite was generated by inserting the cas9 gene in the genome by double crossover recombination. The site-directed mutagenesis and the fusion of fluorescence protein was achieved within two weeks with high efficiency (> 85%), by transfecting the schizonts of the Cas9-expressing parasite with the liner donor template and the plasmid carrying the sgRNAs.

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