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Frightening: antibiotics enhance malaria transmission!

November 17, 2015 - 10:54 -- Pierre Lutgen

A blog posted on on June 21. 2014 « Aspirin and artemisinin, beware » and another one on July 8 of the same year « Antiretrovirals and antimalarials : a deadly mix » had already highlighted the fact that drugs sold on a large scale in Africa showed strong antagonism with several antimalarial drugs. ARVs reduce the concentration of artemether , quinine, malarone in the blood. Aspirin has an effect on the endothelium and platelet adherence. The time to parasite clearance is significantly longer in children treated with paracetamol and recrudescence is higher. This of course does not prevent the swamping of Africa with these commodities by Bigpharma. You don’t kill a cash cow even if the collateral damage is the death of thousands of children !

And now it was found that antibiotics are helping mosquitos to spread malaria more effectively. A study led by the Imperial College London, looked at a combination of the antibiotics penicillin and streptomycin (M Gendrin et al., Nature Communications, January 2015, doi 10.1038). They found that the presence of antibiotics in the blood of malaria-infected people is a risk of increasing disease transmission. The antibiotics in the ingested blood enhance the susceptibility of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes to malaria infection by disturbing their gut microbiota. It also caused the mosquitoes to live longer, which increased their chances of surviving long enough to pass on the parasite to another person.

This information is not new. Most antibiotics cause a delayed death phenotype (G Pradel et al., Curr Mol Med 2010, 10, 335-49). In 1952 already it was found that antibiotics against malaria have been relatively ineffective (GR Coatney et al., Annals NY Acad Sci. 1952, 55, 1075-81). Among 31 antibiotics tested against the malaria of lower animals 22 were completely inactive against blood induced infections, including penicillin and streptomycin. It would be important to check what effect the antibiotic doxycycline recommended by WHO, has on transmission. Doxycycline impairs Plasmodium asexual development ; however increases gametocyte numbers and their clearance time, in a way similar to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (S Pukrittayakamee et al., Am J Trop Med Hyg 2008, 79, 378-384).

Antibiotic exposure also increases mosquito fecundity, a 32 % higher proportion of egg-laying females (M Gendrin op.cit.). This increased fecundity is likely to augment moquito populations. Recent surveys in Subsaharan African countries estimate antibiotic prescription for feverish children attending health centres at 43-71% and for feverish adults at 36%. Tuberculosis and leprosy patients are prescribed long courses of antibiotics (WHO Model Prescribing Information,1995 and 1998).

Who is going to stop these drug related death sentences tolerated by WHO?

Artemisia annua is an alternative to this chemical swamp. The plant not only cures malaria and reduces fever as the Nobel price confirmed, it is a strong prophylactic against malaria (PE Ogwang Trop J Pharm Res. 2012, 13, 445-453), it has strong anti-inflammatory properties by lowering IL-6 and IL-8 as found at the University of Louvain, it is active against immunodeficiency by raising CD4 as found in Katanga, Uganda and India.


Submitted by Sombroek HLI on

Maybe the old medicine men were not as foolish as we thought, with the intake of soil (geophagy).
Due to the introduction of pesticides etcetera this practice may have become unreliable
The soil may have had the opposite effect in comparison to antibiotics, namely strengthening the gut microbiota of the mosquito and thus decreasing the susceptibility.
Anopheles gambiae oviposits on a specific breedingsites with cues from soil with infusion of microbiotica. This suggests that the gravid mosquito selects a site with specific micro biota to assure an optimal environment for her larvae against harmfull bacteria/parasites.
To reduce malariatransmission we can strengthen the malaria mosquito gut. Why not work on a skin crème with similar bacteria found in the soil from natural undisturbed breedingsites in combination with a supplement to digest with minerals found in that same soil

H.L.I. Sombroek