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Scientific Articles

Not Open Access | Learnings from two independent malaria elimination demonstration projects in India

October 5, 2021 - 10:53 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Rajvanshi H, Mishra K, Lal AA, et al.
Reference: 
Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2021 Sep 25:trab148

India and sub-Saharan Africa contributes about 85% of the global malaria burden, and India is committed to eliminating malaria by 2030.

Real-time PCR assays for detection and quantification of early P. falciparum gametocyte stages

October 5, 2021 - 10:50 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Gadalla AAH, Siciliano G, Farid R, Alano P, Ranford-Cartwright L, McCarthy JS, Thompson J, Babiker HA
Reference: 
Sci Rep. 2021 Sep 27;11(1):19118

The use of quantitative qRT-PCR assays for detection and quantification of late gametocyte stages has revealed the high transmission capacity of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. To understand how the parasite adjusts its transmission in response to in-host environmental conditions including antimalarials requires simultaneous quantification of early and late gametocytes.

Pyronaridine-Artesunate (Pyramax) for the Treatment of Artemisinin- and Piperaquine-Resistant Plasmodium falciparum in the Central Highlands of Vietnam

October 5, 2021 - 10:48 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Manh ND, Thanh NV, Quang HH, Van NTT, San NN, Phong NC, Birrell GW, Edstein MD, Edgel KA, Martin NJ, Chavchich M
Reference: 
Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2021 Sep 27:AAC0027621

The rise in Plasmodium falciparum resistance to dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine in Vietnam justifies the need to evaluate alternative artemisinin-based combination therapies. Between July 2018 and October 2019, a single-arm trial of pyronaridine-artesunate (Pyramax, PA) was conducted in Dak Nong province, Vietnam. PA (3-day course) was administered to adults and children infected with P. falciparum. PA was well tolerated by the participants. The proportion of patients with Day 42 PCR-corrected adequate clinical and parasitological response was 95.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 82.3 to 98.8, n = 40/42) for treating falciparum malaria.

Seasonal patterns of malaria, genital infection, nutritional and iron status in non-pregnant and pregnant adolescents in Burkina Faso: a secondary analysis of trial data

October 5, 2021 - 10:45 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Roberts SA, Brabin L, Tinto H, Gies S, Diallo S, Brabin B
Reference: 
BMC Public Health. 2021 Sep 27;21(1):1764

Adolescents are considered at high risk of developing iron deficiency. Studies in children indicate that the prevalence of iron deficiency increased with malaria transmission, suggesting malaria seasonally may drive iron deficiency. This paper examines monthly seasonal infection patterns of malaria, abnormal vaginal flora, chorioamnionitis, antibiotic and antimalarial prescriptions, in relation to changes in iron biomarkers and nutritional indices in adolescents living in a rural area of Burkina Faso, in order to assess the requirement for seasonal infection control and nutrition interventions.

Design of proteasome inhibitors with oral efficacy in vivo against Plasmodium falciparum and selectivity over the human proteasome

October 5, 2021 - 10:41 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Xie SC, Metcalfe RD, Tilley L, et al.
Reference: 
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Sep 28;118(39):e2107213118

The Plasmodium falciparum proteasome is a potential antimalarial drug target. We have identified a series of amino-amide boronates that are potent and specific inhibitors of the P. falciparum 20S proteasome (Pf20S) β5 active site and that exhibit fast-acting antimalarial activity. They selectively inhibit the growth of P. falciparum compared with a human cell line and exhibit high potency against field isolates of P. falciparum and Plasmodium vivax They have a low propensity for development of resistance and possess liver stage and transmission-blocking activity.

NOT Open Access | Mast cells-derived exosomes worsen the development of experimental cerebral malaria

October 2, 2021 - 13:17 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Huang K, Huang L, Huang B, et al.
Reference: 
Acta Trop. 2021 Sep 22:106145

Cerebral malaria (CM) is the most severe neurological complication caused by Plasmodium falciparum infection. The accumulating evidence demonstrated that mast cells (MCs) and its mediators played a critical role in mediating malaria severity. Earlier studies identified that exosomes were emerging as key mediators of intercellular communication and can be released from several kinds of MCs. However, the potential functions and pathological mechanisms of MCs-derived exosomes (MCs-Exo) impacting on CM pathogenesis remain largely unknown.

What do malaria program officers want to learn? A survey of perspectives on a proposed malaria short course in Nigeria

October 2, 2021 - 13:15 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Ajumobi O, Afolabi RF, Adewole A, Balogun MS, Nguku P, Ajayi IO
Reference: 
PLoS One. 2021 Sep 29;16(9):e0257890

In disease control, the program officers are vital to the successful implementation of control strategies. However, poor knowledge of the disease and its control, staff attrition, and lack of intentional training for new staff can lead to under-performance and ineffectiveness of interventions. Thus, the Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, in collaboration with National Malaria Elimination Program, planned a malaria short course (MSC) to strengthen the capacity of current program managers and incoming staff. To guide the development of the curriculum for the MSC, we conducted a needs assessment survey to ascertain the perceived usefulness of the MSC, the priority rating of MSC thematic domains and associated factors.

Plasmodium falciparum is evolving to escape malaria rapid diagnostic tests in Ethiopia

October 2, 2021 - 13:14 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Feleke SM, Reichert EN, Parr JB, et al.
Reference: 
Nat Microbiol. 2021 Oct;6(10):1289-1299

In Africa, most rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for falciparum malaria recognize histidine-rich protein 2 antigen. Plasmodium falciparum parasites lacking histidine-rich protein 2 (pfhrp2) and 3 (pfhrp3) genes escape detection by these RDTs, but it is not known whether these deletions confer sufficient selective advantage to drive rapid population expansion. By studying blood samples from a cohort of 12,572 participants enroled in a prospective, cross-sectional survey along Ethiopia's borders with Eritrea, Sudan and South Sudan using RDTs, PCR, an ultrasensitive bead-based immunoassay for antigen detection and next-generation sequencing, we estimate that histidine-rich protein 2-based RDTs would miss 9.7% (95% confidence interval 8.5-11.1) of P. falciparum malaria cases owing to pfhrp2 deletion.

Mass drug administration for malaria

October 2, 2021 - 13:12 -- Open Access
Tags: 
Author(s): 
Shah MP, Hwang J, Choi L, Lindblade KA, Kachur SP, Desai M
Reference: 
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2021 Sep 29;9:CD008846

Studies evaluating mass drug administration (MDA) in malarious areas have shown reductions in malaria immediately following the intervention. However, these effects vary by endemicity and are not sustained. Since the 2013 version of this Cochrane Review on this topic, additional studies have been published.

Total parasite biomass but not peripheral parasitaemia is associated with endothelial and haematological perturbations in Plasmodium vivax patients

October 2, 2021 - 13:10 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Silva-Filho JL, Dos-Santos JC, Judice CC, Beraldi D, Venugopal K, De Lima D, Nakaya H, Paula EE, Costa Pinto Lopes S, Lacerda MV, Marti M, Costa FT
Reference: 
Elife. 2021 Sep 29;10:e71351

Plasmodium vivax is the major cause of human malaria in the Americas. How P. vivax infection can lead to poor clinical outcomes, despite low peripheral parasitaemia remains a matter of intense debate. Estimation of total P. vivax biomass based on circulating markers indicates existence of a predominant parasite population outside of circulation. In this study we investigate associations between both peripheral and total parasite biomass and host response in vivax malaria. We analysed parasite and host signatures in a cohort of uncomplicated vivax malaria patients from Manaus, Brazil, combining clinical and parasite parameters, multiplexed analysis of host responses and ex vivo assays. Patterns of clinical features, parasite burden and host signatures measured in plasma across the patient cohort were highly heterogenous.

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