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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.

News from MESA: ECTMIH 2015: special focus on malaria control & elimination from innovation to application

April 2, 2015 - 17:00 -- MESA Alliance

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
  • vaccines

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.

Scandal at BioMed Central: 43 papers retracted

April 2, 2015 - 16:53 -- Bart G.J. Knols

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...

Introducing Open Access may not believe it, but its true!

March 26, 2015 - 22:22 -- Bart G.J. Knols

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...

Last Week at MalariaWorld: La Bonifica Integrale - Mussolini's war on malaria

March 19, 2015 - 19:20 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

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.

News from MESA: Postdoctoral Fellowship in Malaria and Implementation Research

March 19, 2015 - 19:00 -- MESA Alliance

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.

Lessons from the successful national malaria campaign of Italy 1900-1962

March 16, 2015 - 15:59 -- William Jobin

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

Measuring the wrong parameter for evaluating impact of malaria control

March 14, 2015 - 14:51 -- William Jobin

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.

Lessons from the failure of the WHO Garki Project

March 11, 2015 - 12:50 -- William Jobin

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?

MESA News: Operational research projects share findings with local stakeholders

February 26, 2015 - 17:26 -- MESA Alliance

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. 


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