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African Malaria Dialogue at Harvard School of Public Health 9 October

October 3, 2013 - 11:04 -- William Jobin

On 9 October, another of our quarterly African Malaria Dialogues will be held, this time at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston by invitation of Marcia C. de Castro. She will present a brief summary about a successful larviciding program in Dar es Salaam. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0005107

Message from the Pan-African Mosquito Control Association

September 18, 2013 - 15:54 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

Dear Partners in Vector Control,

We are pleased to update you on the status of the newly-established Pan-African Mosquito Control Association. Comprised of vector control and research professionals from Africa and beyond, our membership base has been growing rapidly as we combine efforts towards an Africa free of mosquito-borne diseases.

We invite you to:

A must-see: Sonia Shah about malaria (TED)

September 12, 2013 - 20:34 -- Bart G.J. Knols

It is not very often that we see a talk exclusively on malaria at a global TED event. And now there is a new one. Anyone that has an interest in malaria by now should have heard about Sonia Shah. She wrote the excellent book 'The Fever' in 2010, a book that received praise around the world. Shah has now condensed the book in a 15 minute talk. She does so in a simple yet authorative manner that is clear even to someone that has never heard about malaria.

Basically she describes three reasons why it is so hard to tackle malaria in its heartland: Africa. First, the complexity of the disease and the challenges we continue to face to either combat the parasite or its vector make it a tough disease to conquer. True. Parasite resistance to drugs, vector resistance to insecticides, the difficulty of making a potent vaccine, it all adds up to what may seem an impossible task. Second, she talks about economics, the costs involved and the lack of the myriad of resources needed (health facilities, trained staff, control personnel and so on) to do a thorough job. Again true. And third she talks about indifference and the fact that malaria is as engrained in developing country nations as a simple cold or flu in the North. Hmmm, food for thought.

Artemisia ketone, phytosterols and lipid metabolism.

September 11, 2013 - 18:35 -- Pierre Lutgen

Artemisia ketone is the major constituent of essential oil of many artemisia plants, often up to 60 %. A lot of research work has been devoted to other constituents like artemisinin, scopoletine, limonene, eucalyptol, borneol, luteolin, eupatin, casticin, but artemisia ketone is completely absent in the scientific literature. The molecule had been discovered in Artemisia annua in 1938 ( WA Jacobs et al., Annual Review of Biochemistry 7,1-193) but then fell into oblivion.

Larval Source Management via Water Level Control

September 9, 2013 - 15:47 -- Jeff Juel

I am a civil engineer with experience in drainage and flood control. Drainage and flood control infrastructure can be an important part of integrated pest management as a means for larval source management.

Unfortunately, the related drainage infrastructure for a diked area typically has a number of drawbacks: 1) during dry periods, the drainage system for the low-lying land protected by the dike will inevitably include areas of stagnant water; 2) the lowered water table will cause the land to subside - which will make gravity drainage more difficult and produce more stagnant water; and 3) wetland environments will be severely degraded, harming flora and fauna.

Diked areas adjacent to tidally-influence watercourses can use tidal water level variations to significantly reduce stagnant water in the drainage system; reduce subsidence; and enhance wetlands.

Click on Read More for a paper I wrote which was published the August edition of Outlooks on Pest Management.

For a copy of the entire article in pdf format including photos, please contact me via e-mail at jeff.juel@jueltide.com.

Film: The magic tea: A cure and prevention for malaria

August 22, 2013 - 20:26 -- Bart G.J. Knols

The film below was submitted to MalariaWorld by Dr. Pierre Lutgen.

On several occasions Patrick Ogwang from Uganda and Pierre Lutgen from Luxemburg have informed us on encouraging developments with herbal medicine in Africa, more particularly Artemisia annua. The film shows the program of the Makerere University sponsored by the Ministry of Health of Uganda.

Mosquito laser back on the scene

August 20, 2013 - 21:35 -- Bart G.J. Knols

Since my blog on MalariaWorld about Intellectual Ventures' invention to shoot down mosquitoes with laser beams, back in 2010, it has been very quiet. We have not seen any progress with this approach, but this week the TED talk by Nathan Myhrvold features in the Huffington Post (as part of their TEDWeekends section). I was invited to submit a blog in response to this renewed attention for this approach which I titled: Drones that combat malaria.

What do you think? Still a worthy goal or an idea that should be burried?

Artemisia annua tea stronger than chloroquine !

August 10, 2013 - 18:22 -- Pierre Lutgen

Recent results obtained at the AlQuds University in partnership with IFBV-BELHERB from Luxembourg show that freshly prepared infusion of Artemisia annua is stronger than chloroquine in the inhibition of beta-hematin (hemozoin) formation. In the infected erythrocyte the malaria parasite generates large quantities of toxic heme which it has to render innocuous by polymerizing it into hemozoin. The mechanism of quinine and all its derivates, chloroquine, amodiaquine operates by inhibiting this hemozoin crystallization.

Fighting malaria, for non-malariologists

August 7, 2013 - 14:12 -- Ricardo Ataide

I was asked by a friend, who is not a malaria scientist (in fact, not a scientist at all) to imagine the following situation:

You were chosen by a malaria endemic country to direct their fight against the disease. The government of the country tells you they will adopt three strategies to fight it, solely based on your recommendations. What would those be?

new member

July 17, 2013 - 20:45 -- Merce Claret

Hello everyone!

My name is Mercè and I'm from Barcelona, Spain.
I'm a veterinarian with a tropical medicine master's degree and I work mostly on malaria diagnosis.
Over the past years I have been working in Africa, training laboratory technicians in diagnosis of tropical diseases, especially malaria.
I have also worked with health ministries in the implementation of quality control programs and monitoring of malaria diagnosis.
I have been working as a consultant with various organizations and I am currently looking for work.

Immunosuppression, ACTs and malaria resistance

July 16, 2013 - 06:39 -- Pierre Lutgen

A paradigm change

It was always believed that resistance is provoked by antimalarial drugs; they cause plasmodium to evolve and become tougher. Consequently it was important to kill the last parasite to avoid recrudescence. But Andrew Read (Conference Evolution, Utah, June 21-25 2013) finds that in a weakened immune system parasites multiply to extremely high densities. This pool of parasites contains a larger number of mutants, upping the chances of some having greater virulence potential.

Why synthetic artemisinin is a bad idea.

June 21, 2013 - 10:20 -- Irene Teis

WE are astonished that only 50 of the 7917 malaria experts on www.malariaworld.org have an opinion on synthetic artemisinin production and the impact this may have on farmers in poor countries. Somebody sent us yesterday the blog “Why Synthetic Artemisinin Is Still a Bad Idea “ from Jim Thomas of the ETC Group. Hereafter a few excerpts which deserve consideration

The problem of ACTs: counterfeit or unstable ?

June 15, 2013 - 18:23 -- Pierre Lutgen

A recent paper (K van Acker, J Plaizier, Malaria Journal, 2012-11 Suppl.1) confirms the concern raised by previous publications: “Stability of artemisinin derivatives has so far only been partially investigated and it is unclear how much this contributes to the reports of bad quality or substandard antimalarials” One of the conclusions of this study is that” Artesunate and amodiaquine can only be used in a fixed dose combination if they are physically separated”.

Toward a theory of economic development and malaria

June 12, 2013 - 21:27 -- William Jobin

We know in our hearts that economic development and malaria affect each other. And we can make a pretty good guess at the variables involved. Snowden's book on the suppression of malaria in Italy lists them fairly precisely: literacy, education, agricultural productivity, government stability, etc.

For me, the end of malaria will also coincide with the availability of affordable and reliable electricity, and improved housing with metallic screens on the windows and doors.

Has malaria eradication taken place in ANY country through an outside agency?

June 12, 2013 - 07:38 -- Anton Alexander

To all MalariaWorld readers, does anyone know of ANY country that has been certified malaria-free by WHO and where the eradication campaign has been managed or controlled by an outside agency. If yes, please state the country when replying.

It would help a great deal if MalariaWorld readers would reply or comment so that I would know this blog has at least been read or considered. Please don't remain silent. Silence can lead to the equivalent of misinformation in this case.

Either a 'No' or a 'Yes + country' will suffice.

Thank you.

Anton Alexander

Who was directing the eradication campaigns in those countries certified by WHO as malaria-free?

June 8, 2013 - 07:10 -- Anton Alexander

I wish to consider the situations prevailing in those countries where within the last 90 years, malaria had previously been endemic but which countries have since been certified by WHO as malaria-free. In particular, I wish to examine generally whether or not the methods of eradication were initiated/directed/managed/controlled on a daily basis by persons of that country OR by persons from outside agencies.

Paying authors for Open Access publishing: Open Access 3.0?

June 6, 2013 - 21:18 -- Bart G.J. Knols

This week I wrote on MalariaWorld about the constant email spamming by publishers to submit our manuscripts to them. After receiving yet another invitation today, this time from HINDAWI publisher (who constantly nag me by the way) I started thinking about the future of Open Access. When we started the MalariaWorld Journal, we wanted a journal with a focus on malaria where you don't pay to publish and don't pay to read, which we termed Open Access 2.0. The reasons for this were outlined in my other article this week but here I want to take this a step further and ask a simple question...why should we scientists, who have worked hard to get grants, do the science, analyse the data, and write up manuscripts pay for our work  to be published by a publisher that wants to make profits? So perhaps it is time for Open Access 3.0?

In Memoriam: Frans Herwig Jansen

June 5, 2013 - 15:07 -- Ingeborg van Schayk
On 3 June 2013, we lost a great Belgium doctor, an inspiring malaria professional, and a wonderful person. Mr Frans Herwig Jansen passed away at the age of 71 years.
 
Doctor of Medicine-Internist
Doctor of Chemistry
Founder of Dafra Pharma nv
Member of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine
Member of the American Society of Tropical Medicine

Offer: 20% discount on Integrated Vector Management, by Graham Matthews

June 5, 2013 - 13:36 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

John Wiley & Sons Publisher offers MalariaWorld subscribers a 20% discount on the book Integrated Vector Management by Graham Matthews.

ISBN: 978-0-470-65966-3
Hardcover, 248 pages
October 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
£80.00 / €96.00

Special price for MalariaWorld subscribers: £64.00/€76.80

Spam: 'We invite you to submit an article to our Open Access journal'

June 4, 2013 - 19:24 -- Bart G.J. Knols

Every week I receive several emails from publishers that invite me to submit an article to their journal. I am convinced that the same happens to many of you as well. Frankly, I am getting very tired of this - the reason why this happens is not that these journals are approaching us because of what we do or who we are. It is all about money. Under the umbrella of 'our journal is Open Access' publishers have found a new way to generate income by lobbying hard for our manuscripts. For which of course we need to pay to get them published. Today I received another invitation from MDPI AG Publishers (Basel, Switzerland) which triggered me to do a bit of research...

Mosquitonets

June 2, 2013 - 17:09 -- Cris van Beek

Hello,

Who can tell me where I can find good LLIM mosquitonets for a good price.
We need about 2500 nets for 19 villages in Malawi.

If I do nou buy in Malawi, do we have to pay a certain tax and VAT importing in Malawi?
Thank you for your help.
Cris van Beek
Ritas kleine Schritte in Malawi (small steps)

MalariaWorld Journal publishes Grand Challenges Exploration special

May 27, 2013 - 21:03 -- Bart G.J. Knols

This week we are publishing seven research articles that were all funded by the Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges Explorations programme. This special series within the MalariaWorld Journal highlights the findings of seven GCE projects and is accompanied by an Editorial from the Gates Foundation. 

At MalariaWorld we were keen to hear more about the fate of these generally high-risk projects. What was the grand idea that researchers had in mind? And what was the outcome of the $100.000 grant that they undertook in 12-18 months?

Read for yourself how these GCE projects all showed very interesting results and thus underpin the value of the GCE programme of the Gates Foundation.

MalariaWorld Journal is proud to publish these articles and any recipient of a GCE grant is encouraged to also send us a manuscript upon completion of the project. We feel that it is important that these results are shared in the broader scientific community.

MalariaWorld Journal continues to be Open Access 2.0: where you don't pay to read and you don't pay to publish. We look forward to receiving your manuscript in due course.

Link to the articles: www.malariaworld.org/mwj

Teun Bousema (Editor-in-Chief, MalariaWorld Journal)

African Malaria Dialogue focusses on classical methods for malaria control

May 25, 2013 - 15:27 -- William Jobin

SUMMARY OF RECENT AFRICAN MALARIA DIALOGUE at BENTLEY UNIVERSITY on 21 MAY 2013

Fifteen of us attended from Bentley, BU, Yale, Harvard and MIT, and from Ghana, Sudan, Nigeria, Canada and US. Derek Willis from Columbia U also joined us via Skype.

Malaria prophylaxis with Neem

May 24, 2013 - 16:41 -- Pierre Lutgen

The Makerere University at Kampala has been able to demonstrate over the recent years that the regular consumption of Artemisia annua tea may lead to a strong preventive effect against malaria. ( PE Ogwang et al., Trop J Pharmac Res, 2012,13:3, 445-453; PE Ogwang et al., Brit J Pharmac Res 201, 1 :4, 124.132). This research effort sponsored by government of Uganda and Carnegie corporation USA, has led to the development of drug called Artavol® which is now available in pharmacies in Uganda. This product contains ingredients from three medicinal herbs.

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