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Artemisia annua from Luxembourg efficiently kills gametocytes!

August 20, 2015 - 18:56 -- Pierre Lutgen

A team of medical doctors and traditional healers in the Eastern part of the DR Congo just completed the first part of clinical trials studying the efficacy of Artemisia annua against gametocytes. The trials were following a protocol based on the procedures recommended by WHO and are coordinated with a team of medical doctors from France.

Bicarbonates, hydrogen peroxide and malaria.

August 13, 2015 - 15:28 -- Pierre Lutgen

Polyphenols are a large group of antioxidants naturally known for their protective effect against oxygen metabolites, acting as free radical scavengers. In contrast to the beneficial effects it has recently been reported that some polyphenols may promote oxidative damage. These harmful effects are suspected to result from a pro-oxidant action.

Proline: fuel for parasites, worms, bacteria, fungi.

July 31, 2015 - 18:06 -- Pierre Lutgen

After some important research work had been done some 30 years ago on amino acids, the impact these molecules might have on a vast array of diseases has been neglected. But there is increasing evidence that the amino acid proline plays an important role in the virulence mechanism of human and mammalian pathogens.

Testing for malaria reduces overprescription by over 70%

July 24, 2015 - 08:19 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

Introducing rapid diagnostic tests in Ugandan drug shops improves treatment of malaria patients

Using malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) in registered drug shops in a highly endemic region in Uganda substantially reduced overdiagnosis of malaria, improving the use of valuable malaria drugs, according to a new study published in PLOS ONE.

Artemisia: efficient but banished (FRENCH VERSION)

July 22, 2015 - 16:43 -- Pierre Lutgen

As most of the people suffering from malaria are living in French speaking countries we post also a French version


Les plantes de la grande famille des armoises sont utilisées comme herbes médicinales depuis des millénaires dans toutes les régions du monde.

L’Artemisia annua est venue sous les feux de la rampe lors de la guerre du Vietnam.

President's Malaria Initiative (PMI): Country insecticide susceptibility summaries

July 17, 2015 - 08:25 -- Bart G.J. Knols
This contribution was provided by Dr. Christen Fornadel, Senior Malaria Vector Control Specialist at PMI.
The President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) has made increasing investments in entomological monitoring across all 19 program countries in order to monitor the effects of two of PMI’s four main interventions, distribution of long-lasting, insecticide treated bed nets (LLINs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS), both of which are aimed at controlling mosquito populations. Both of these interventions are insecticide based, so as they are scaled up, one can expect to see changes in the species composition of the vector population and possibly changes in malaria mosquito behavior. But most importantly, we have already seen and are likely to continue to see changes in mosquito susceptibility to the insecticides used on LLINs and for IRS. As malaria vector control has escalated across Africa, so have the number of reports of pyrethroid resistance in both major vector groups, Anopheles gambiae s.l. and An funestus s.l., and today it is rare to find sites in Africa where one or both these vectors do not show some level of pyrethroid resistance. The global community spends hundreds of millions of dollars on malaria control, so it is important to make sure that we are doing entomological monitoring to see that our investments are making an impact, and that those resources are not wasted.

New from MESA: Refreshing the Malaria Eradication Research Agenda

July 9, 2015 - 19:01 -- MESA Alliance

More than four years after the publication of the Malaria Eradication Research Agenda (malERA), which identified knowledge gaps and tools that will be needed to eradicate malaria, the Malaria Eradication Scientific Alliance (MESA) is leading a consultative process to assess the progress made, examine current hypotheses and identify priority research areas in the next 5-10 years.

Arginine, a deadly weapon against gametocytes.

July 5, 2015 - 20:26 -- Pierre Lutgen

Amino-acids in Artemisia annua have barely been studied. The analytical data published by EA Brisibe and J Ferreira date back to 2009 (Food Chemistry, 2009, 115, 1240-1246). Their role in malaria infections has been ignored, except for a study published in Japan (DT Uyen et al., Biol Pharm Bull. 2008, 31, 1483-1488). To gain insight into the mechanism of malarial haemozoin formation, they examined the effects of amino acids on beta hematin formation in vitro. Surprisingly some of these amino acids like arginine, histidine, lysine showed a significant inhibition.

The International PfSPZ Consortium meets to review data and map out the clinical development pathway for the Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite-based vaccines

July 2, 2015 - 17:38 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

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.

Thank you, Margaret!

June 17, 2015 - 19:51 -- Bart G.J. Knols

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!

MalariaWorld has been nominated for a social media award 2015: please endorse us!

June 10, 2015 - 19:47 -- Bart G.J. Knols

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...

Is Moringa bad for malaria ?

June 8, 2015 - 20:26 -- Pierre Lutgen

Moringa oleifera is called the „miracle tree“, and has a strong reputation for curing many diseases, but it is impossible to find any peer reviewed paper on PubMed which describes antimarial properties for this plant. This probably does not exclude the presence in the plant of a few molecules which could demonstrate antiplasmodial properties in vitro.

Dry leaves of the plant do not inhibit beta-hematin (G Mergeai, personal communication) in the assay which is often used to screen for antimalarials.

Dutch malaria researcher, Pètra Mens, wins Merial Award

June 2, 2015 - 12:52 -- Bart G.J. Knols
On the 27th of May malaria researcher Dr. Petra Mens of the Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands received the Merial Award. She will receive this award in Parasitology  for her innovative work in the field of malaria diagnostics. She has contributed to the access of malaria diagnostics and improved case finding of Malaria in Pregnancy. 
Pètra Mens (33) has been working on malaria control since 2004. She is currently working as researcher at the department of Biomedical Research at the Royal Tropical Institute.  She is conducting research on the treatment and diagnosis of malaria in general and in pregnant women in particular. The Merial Award is an encouragement for her already successful career.

Title: MESA asks five experts pick their top malaria paper from today

May 7, 2015 - 17:00 -- MESA Alliance
As Margaret Chan wrote in the World Malaria Report last year, "Each year, more people are being reached with core malaria interventions, and as a result, more lives are being saved".[1] The progress has been phenomenal, however, our core interventions are threatened by emerging drug and insecticide resistance. Maintaining investment in R&D is essential to counter this threat and continue to drive down malaria deaths and infection.

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.

Today is World Malaria Day: medicine fraud may be less than expected

April 25, 2015 - 13:40 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

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?

News from MESA: Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme (MLW) shares research portfolio on MESA Track database

April 16, 2015 - 17:00 -- MESA Alliance

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".

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.

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.


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