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Last week at MalariaWorld: And the Nobel Prize goes to…

October 21, 2016 - 12:14 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

Artemisinin unraveled
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2015 went (partial) to the Chinese Youyou Tu for the discovery of artemisinin as an anti-malarial drug. Pierre Lutgen explains that the Serbs described the use of artemisinin before the Chinese did… Read the blog “Artemisinin first discovered by the Serbs long before the Chinese” here.

Artemisinin, however, is not yet available to all in need. It is very costly to extract and purify the drug from Artemisia annua. A study, published on 20 October in Molecular Plant, now demonstrates that the tobacco plant can be engineered to synthesise artemisinin. Will this become an affordable alternative anti-malaria drug? Read The Molecular Plant article “Compartmentalized Metabolic Engineering for Artemisinin Biosynthesis and Effective Malaria Treatment by Oral Delivery of Plant Cells” here.

Reminder deadline EOI promotion of south-centred collabotations in VBD's
Kindly be reminded that the deadline for the EOI regarding the promotion of south-centred collabotations in vector-borne diseases is approaching  (3rd November). If you are interested to contrube then read the full announcement ‘Promoting south-centred collaborations in vector-borne diseases’ here.

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Promoting south-centred collaborations in vector-borne diseases

October 14, 2016 - 07:00 -- Bart G.J. Knols
The below contribution was submitted to MalariaWorld by Dr. Gerry Killeen
Dear Colleagues,
Please find attached a concept note I have just posted on the extranet discussion board for the following UK-BBSRC funding mechanism to support networks in vector-borne disease (VBD) research:
If the idea of such a research networking platform, which is governed, managed and hosted by institutions in the developing countries most afflicted by VBDs appeals to you, please send an E-mail to , to request registration for their extranet networking web site. Once registered please visit the community discussion board to review this idea and any others you like. To access the attachments for each discussion item, click on the “Properties” icon. Then please reply with comments you feel we should take on board as we develop this idea further, and build towards a full expression of interest (EOI) submission. If you’d like to “like” it or add a “note”, that helps too but note that “tag” insertions are visible only to you.

In memoriam: Anuj Nathalal Shah (1960-2016)

September 16, 2016 - 09:19 -- Bart G.J. Knols
The article below was contributed by Nick Brown of A-Z Textile Mills Ltd.
Anuj Shah was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the family company A to Z Textile Mills Limited in 1995. Although A to Z had been producing polyester netting for the local market since 1972, the re-start of the previously abandoned attempt to eradicate malaria had only just begun. “Net Gain – A new method for preventing malaria deaths” was only published (by IDRC and WHO) in 1996 and Anuj Shah was there from the very start of this new fight against malaria. Don de Savigny (Swiss TPH) and the late Tim Manchester (PSI) met Anuj in Arusha in 1997 and pointed out there would be a substantial market for high quality, large coloured nets and Anuj accepted the challenge. As Jane Miller, then working at PSI recalls, “Anuj was simply a visionary”.

Guest editorial: “End Malaria for Good”- a few key messages based on the Cambodian experience

June 23, 2016 - 07:27 -- Bart G.J. Knols
The editorial below was contributed by Sara E Canavati and Jack S Richards. Contact details below.
World Malaria Day (WMD) is an international observance established in 2007 and commemorated every year on 25 April to recognize global efforts to control malaria. The theme for 2016 was “End Malaria For Good”, which focused on malaria elimination. Following the great progress made under the Millennium Development Goals, it is important to continue building on this success as we transition into the Sustainable Development Goals [1] and the recently launched Global Technical Strategy for Malaria (GTS) [2]. The aim of the piece is to briefly reflect on WMD 2016 and consider a few key operational issues on malaria elimination that may lie ahead for the coming year.

New report from WHO on malaria elimination

June 5, 2016 - 21:09 -- Bart G.J. Knols
This report, presented on World Malaria Day 2016, focuses on the third goal from the Global Technical Strategy for malaria: 2016-2030: malaria elimination. It offers a brief analysis of recent country-level progress towards elimination and spotlights countries that are poised to reach the finish line in the next  five years.
A number of countries have had remarkable success in controlling malaria, and these achievements are hard-won. But in many respects, the hardest work is yet to come. This WHO report highlights the considerable challenges countries will face in their e orts to drive down malaria cases to zero and to prevent resurgences of this deadly disease.

Press release: Researchers receive $10.2 million to study new malaria-prevention method

December 11, 2015 - 06:43 -- Ingeborg van Schayk
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- In collaboration with partners in Europe and Africa, researchers at Penn State have received a five-year, $10.2-million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to investigate a new method for preventing the transmission of malaria. The method involves limiting mosquito access to houses by blocking openings and installing "eave tubes" that contain a unique type of insecticide-laced mosquito netting developed by Dutch partner In2Care that kills the insects as they attempt to enter. 

Quarterly report on recent developments in Vector Control

December 8, 2015 - 09:28 -- Bart G.J. Knols

This quarterly report, produced by Vector Works, is meant to update the malaria community in general, and particularly those interested in vector control, on recently published research related to the improvement or development of new or alternative vector control tools. The report summarizes relevant new studies and highlights possible interpretations and implications, and it provides links to the original work. Aspects of indoor residual spraying are not included here as they are addressed in another newsletter ( Read on to discover the exciting new contributions to the vector control field.

Report: RBM-VCWG Consensus statement on housing and malaria

November 8, 2015 - 16:11 -- Bart G.J. Knols
This Consensus Statement on Housing and Malaria, released this month by the Vector Control Working Group of RBM, aims to review current evidence on the interaction between incremental housing improvements and malaria and to identify opportunities to contribute to global efforts for the control and elimination of malaria in line with the Global Technical Strategy (GTS) and Action and Investment to defeat Malaria (AIM). It is hoped that this docu‐ ment will encourage broader partnerships to realise the full potential of this promising complimentary approach and will help focus the research efforts required. Key actions for endemic countries and their partners are listed in the attached report. 
The full report is attached below.

Message from Dr. Pedro Alonso -Director, Global Malaria Programme (WHO)

October 30, 2015 - 07:23 -- Bart G.J. Knols

The message below, from Dr. Pedro Alonso, the Director of WHO's Global Malaria Programme was circulated today, 24 October 2015.

Dear colleagues and partners, 
In recent weeks, you may have seen press articles stating that the United Nations and partners are calling on the world to eradicate malaria by the year 2040. 
The World Health Organization (WHO) shares the vision of a malaria-free world and – to that end – we welcome the commitment of all of our partners. However, I would like to clarify the strategy, targets and timeline that our organization has endorsed at this point in time. 


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