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Eradication or suppresion?

September 21, 2015 - 11:36 -- William Jobin

What are the benefits of eradicating malaria, compared to suppressing it?

Eradication is a distant goal, perhaps one not attainable in our lifetime – perhaps never. Even its definition is somewhat vague, as there are so many forms of malaria. However suppression of malaria transmission is real and immediately attainable, something we are actually doing right now, in various degrees.

Why can't WHO give out accurate data about bednets ?

September 19, 2015 - 20:14 -- William Jobin
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This month’s report by WHO/UNICEF on ‘Achieving the Malaria MDG Target’ indicated that over 50% of Congolese children sleep under bednets. However these overly optimistic assertions are contradicted by a careful malaria survey conducted in 2007 in 8,000 households in the Congo, which indicated a blood-slide positivity of 33.5% and only 7% of children sleeping under bednets (Molecular malaria epidemiology…… by Taylor et al DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016420.

Santonin from Artemisia campestris: a famous forgotten anthelmintic.

September 18, 2015 - 06:04 -- Pierre Lutgen

200 years ago, in 1830 the anthelmintic properties of santonin were discovered , simultaneously by Dr Kahler in Düsseldorf and Dr Alms in Mecklenburg in a plant from Turkestan, Artemisia cina. Its presence, although at lower concentrations, was later found in Artemisia maritima, Artemisia campesris, Artemisia gallica, Artemisia absinthium, Artemisia sieberi. (Berichte der Deutschen Chemischen Gesellschaft , 1867, Vol 6, 875-1670). Stanislao Cannizzaro is known widely for his , "Sunto di un corso di filosofia chimica", on santonin which he presented at the Karlsruhe Congress of 1860.

Dams can be operated in ways to prevent disease, especially malaria

September 11, 2015 - 16:18 -- William Jobin

I fully support the conclusions of Solomon Kibret and colleagues about the health impact of dams in the tropics, especially regarding diseases transmitted by mosquitoes and aquatic snails.
REF just published in Malaria Journal - Malar J. 2015; 14: 339. Published online 2015 Sep 4. doi: 10.1186/s12936-015-0873-2 PMCID: PMC4560078
The title is : Malaria impact of large dams in sub-Saharan Africa: maps, estimates and predictions
by Solomon Kibret,corresponding author and Jonathan Lautze, Matthew McCartney, G. Glenn Wilson, and Luxon Nhamo.

Cod liver oil: a stronger prophylactic against malaria than vaccines!

September 8, 2015 - 14:24 -- Pierre Lutgen

In 1957 the University of London found that dietary cod liver oil suppressed the multiplication of Plasmodium berghei in mice (DG Godfrey, Experimental Parasitology, 1957, 6, 555-565), of Babesia rodhaini (DG Godfrey, Experimental Parasitology 1957, 6-5, 465-485) and of Trypanosoma congolense (D G Godfrey , Experimental Parasitology, 1958, 3, 255-268).

The making of a PNAS paper...here's our story

September 3, 2015 - 20:35 -- Bart G.J. Knols

Once a scientific paper is published online and you can download a pdf of it, this addictive and magnificent feeling gets on to you. This is the fruit of all the hard work: first to get the funding to undertake the research, then the hard work to actually perform all the research, then the hard work to write up the manuscript, then the submission, the reviews, the rebuttal, and eventually acceptance followed by proof reading and then publication. The route from thinking up research to publishing about it is long, tedious, and really hard work. But why don't we ever talk about this route? Why do we publish our papers but don't tell our peers more about how we got there? The fun parts, the sweat and tears, or even the fights? This week we published an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS; attached below). And here's the story you don't know when you read the paper...

African Institute for Ecological Suppression of Malaria

August 31, 2015 - 13:42 -- William Jobin

I invite you to help me imagine a solid and realistic approach to malaria control in Africa, rather than continuing our criticism of the current poorly focussed and unsustainable attempts by WHO, RBM and the US PMI. I think we need a permanent Institute where African malaria people can develop, implement and expand anti-malarial measures. Because the current emphasis on drugs, biocides and bednets is inherently unsustainable, let us take a more sensible and rational approach which utilizes ecological changes.

Artemisia annua efficiently cures bilharzia

August 26, 2015 - 19:36 -- Pierre Lutgen

Bilharzia, schistosomiasis, snail fever, is a disease caused by parasitic worms of the Schistosoma type. It may infect the urinary tract or the intestines. Signs and symptoms may include abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody stool, or blood in the urine. In those who have been infected for a long time, liver damage, kidney failure, infertility, or bladder cancer may occur. Schistosomiasis affects almost 210 million people worldwide, and an estimated 200,000 people die from it a year, 

Artemisia annua from Luxembourg efficiently kills gametocytes!

August 20, 2015 - 18:56 -- Pierre Lutgen

A team of medical doctors and traditional healers in the Eastern part of the DR Congo just completed the first part of clinical trials studying the efficacy of Artemisia annua against gametocytes. The trials were following a protocol based on the procedures recommended by WHO and are coordinated with a team of medical doctors from France.

Bicarbonates, hydrogen peroxide and malaria.

August 13, 2015 - 15:28 -- Pierre Lutgen

Polyphenols are a large group of antioxidants naturally known for their protective effect against oxygen metabolites, acting as free radical scavengers. In contrast to the beneficial effects it has recently been reported that some polyphenols may promote oxidative damage. These harmful effects are suspected to result from a pro-oxidant action.

Proline: fuel for parasites, worms, bacteria, fungi.

July 31, 2015 - 18:06 -- Pierre Lutgen

After some important research work had been done some 30 years ago on amino acids, the impact these molecules might have on a vast array of diseases has been neglected. But there is increasing evidence that the amino acid proline plays an important role in the virulence mechanism of human and mammalian pathogens.

Testing for malaria reduces overprescription by over 70%

July 24, 2015 - 08:19 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

Introducing rapid diagnostic tests in Ugandan drug shops improves treatment of malaria patients

Using malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) in registered drug shops in a highly endemic region in Uganda substantially reduced overdiagnosis of malaria, improving the use of valuable malaria drugs, according to a new study published in PLOS ONE.

Artemisia: efficient but banished (FRENCH VERSION)

July 22, 2015 - 16:43 -- Pierre Lutgen

As most of the people suffering from malaria are living in French speaking countries we post also a French version

 

Les plantes de la grande famille des armoises sont utilisées comme herbes médicinales depuis des millénaires dans toutes les régions du monde.

L’Artemisia annua est venue sous les feux de la rampe lors de la guerre du Vietnam.

President's Malaria Initiative (PMI): Country insecticide susceptibility summaries

July 17, 2015 - 08:25 -- Bart G.J. Knols
This contribution was provided by Dr. Christen Fornadel, Senior Malaria Vector Control Specialist at PMI.
 
The President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) has made increasing investments in entomological monitoring across all 19 program countries in order to monitor the effects of two of PMI’s four main interventions, distribution of long-lasting, insecticide treated bed nets (LLINs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS), both of which are aimed at controlling mosquito populations. Both of these interventions are insecticide based, so as they are scaled up, one can expect to see changes in the species composition of the vector population and possibly changes in malaria mosquito behavior. But most importantly, we have already seen and are likely to continue to see changes in mosquito susceptibility to the insecticides used on LLINs and for IRS. As malaria vector control has escalated across Africa, so have the number of reports of pyrethroid resistance in both major vector groups, Anopheles gambiae s.l. and An funestus s.l., and today it is rare to find sites in Africa where one or both these vectors do not show some level of pyrethroid resistance. The global community spends hundreds of millions of dollars on malaria control, so it is important to make sure that we are doing entomological monitoring to see that our investments are making an impact, and that those resources are not wasted.

New from MESA: Refreshing the Malaria Eradication Research Agenda

July 9, 2015 - 19:01 -- MESA Alliance

More than four years after the publication of the Malaria Eradication Research Agenda (malERA), which identified knowledge gaps and tools that will be needed to eradicate malaria, the Malaria Eradication Scientific Alliance (MESA) is leading a consultative process to assess the progress made, examine current hypotheses and identify priority research areas in the next 5-10 years.

Arginine, a deadly weapon against gametocytes.

July 5, 2015 - 20:26 -- Pierre Lutgen

Amino-acids in Artemisia annua have barely been studied. The analytical data published by EA Brisibe and J Ferreira date back to 2009 (Food Chemistry, 2009, 115, 1240-1246). Their role in malaria infections has been ignored, except for a study published in Japan (DT Uyen et al., Biol Pharm Bull. 2008, 31, 1483-1488). To gain insight into the mechanism of malarial haemozoin formation, they examined the effects of amino acids on beta hematin formation in vitro. Surprisingly some of these amino acids like arginine, histidine, lysine showed a significant inhibition.

The International PfSPZ Consortium meets to review data and map out the clinical development pathway for the Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite-based vaccines

July 2, 2015 - 17:38 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

Candidate vaccines based on injectable Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) sporozoites (SPZ), are being developed and tested. These include PfSPZ Vaccine, in which the PfSPZ are attenuated by irradiation; PfSPZ-CVac, in which fully infectious PfSPZ, PfSPZ Challenge, are attenuated in vivo by an anti-malarial drug, to allow only liver stage parasites to grow, and PfSPZ-GA1, in which the PfSPZ are attenuated by gene deletions.

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.

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