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Is the bednet era coming to an end?

June 22, 2012 - 12:47 -- Bart G.J. Knols

Whenever I teach on the history of malaria, I talk about the different time periods when certain ideas were fashionable and implemented, and then disappeared, and sometimes came back much later.

Take the 'chloroquine era'. Discovered by Bayer scientists in the early 1930s and saved millions of lives around the globe, followed by resistance popping up in SE Asia and Colombia in the late 1950s. Resistance spreading to Africa in the late 1970s, and its use now largely reduced. End of the 'chloroquine era'.

The science of eradication 2

June 20, 2012 - 01:59 -- Ricardo Ataide

Day 3 of the course started on anti-malaria drugs. We discussed who should take them and some of their effects, what they should be used for ( treatment? Prevention?) and against what (just Pf? Pf and Pv? All parasites?). The most heated debates arose when the issue of resistance came about. Someone mentioned resistance to artemisinin and immediately some voices rose to say that that is still not a given. There are indeed reported cases of treatment that had to be extended but not of treatment failure as such, which means that, real resistance is still not fixed in the parasite population.

Time to give spatial repellency its rightful role in vector control

June 19, 2012 - 19:19 -- Bart G.J. Knols

The following Guest editorial was provided by Richard Tren, Kimberly Hess, and Donald Roberts.

Progress is being made against malaria. As reported by the World Health Organization (WHO), malaria cases have declined by more than 50% between 2000 and 2010, and malaria-specific mortality has declined by 26% [1].  These gains are mainly due to the use of insecticides to control disease-spreading insects (vector control) through insecticide-treated bednets and indoor residual spraying (IRS). Despite the importance of public health insecticides in vector control, there is very little appreciation and understanding of how insecticides actually work in disease prevention.

The science of eradication 1

June 17, 2012 - 12:49 -- Ricardo Ataide

I have just arrived (about 4 days ago) from a leadership course held at the Harvard Business School entitled Malaria: Science of Eradication. This course is a joint effort by Dr Dyann Wirth, Dr Pedro Alonso and Dr Marcel Tanner and is intended to be the first of many. The next course has already been allocated to Barcelona, home of Dr Pedro Alonso's ISGlobal. 

Improving the vector control innovation process

June 7, 2012 - 20:41 -- Bart G.J. Knols

Insecticide resistance and the limits of our current vector control tools threaten our global progress against vector-borne diseases. Innovative vector control tools are therefore urgently needed, but some technical, financial and programmatic barriers may hinder innovation. In October 2011, a gathering of stakeholders including individuals from IVCC, WHO, donor institutions, industry, and other partners issued a joint call for a mapping of the current process to introduce new vector control tools for public health and the need to identify the challenges faced today in this process.

E-interview with Prof. Marc Coosemans (Belgium)

June 6, 2012 - 21:34 -- Bart G.J. Knols

E-interview with Marc Coosemans, senior full professor, medical entomology unit, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium. The team and collaborators of Prof. Coosemans were recently awarded a $ 3 million grant by the Gates Foundation, to study the effects of community-wide use of topical repellents on malaria in Cambodia, when used in conjunction with insecticide-treated bednets.

Are transgenic mosquitoes beating old-school sterile insect technique?

June 5, 2012 - 16:42 -- Mark Benedict


A friend and colleague asked me whether all the media excitement about transgenic mosquitoes represents real accomplishments that beat non-transgenic sterile insect technique (SIT). Good question. In the first of a two-part blog, I’ll tell you where I think things stand, first in SIT. In the second part, I’ll look at population replacement.

The key to successful malaria eradication in Palestine/Israel 90 years ago

June 1, 2012 - 15:25 -- Anton Alexander

The article or blog ‘How was malaria of 100 years ago eradicated in Palestine/Israel? And without vaccine?’ of 21st May 2012 seemed incomplete, and needed an additional essential point explained.

To study vs to destroy

June 1, 2012 - 15:09 -- Ricardo Ataide

At the moment I'm waiting at Boston's International airport for a flight to Detroit to visit a friend, but in a couple of days I'll be back here to participate in a Malaria Eradication Course at Harvard's school of public health. I just browsed through the names and positions of the participants enrolled in the course and got a chill... Not many of us doing research will be there. 


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