In parallel with the clinical trials run by a team of medical doctors in the province of Maniema on the efficiency of Artemisia annua and Artemisia afra against malaria, (see Breaking News Jan.5 on www.malariaworld.org) they have completed another large scale randomized, double blind trial against schistosomiasis, Artemisia vs Praziquantel.
Artemisia plants are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) which generate prostaglandins and stimulate monocytes. PUFAs possess well documented antimalarial and prophylactic properties. Their half-life in plasma is several days and in adipose tissue several weeks. This may explain the prophylactic effect of regular consumption of Artemisia infusion or powder.
From the recent reports out of California and other places, it appears that anophelines can be genetically modified so that (1) they are no longer susceptible to plasmodium infections, and (2) their progeny will be all males! If this can be developed for field use, it looks to me like it is the Beginning of the End of malaria in Africa. But I am an engineer with no experience in genetics. Do you think that this technique can be developed for field application?
A team of medical doctors in RDCongo, Jerome Munyangi and Michel Idumbo, have run randomized clinical trials on a large scale in the Maniema province with the participation of some 1000 malaria infected patients. The trials were run in conformity with the WHO procedures and compared Artemisia annua and Artemisia afra with ACTs (Coartem and ASAQ). For all the parameters tested herbal treatment was significantly better than ACTs: faster clearance for fever and parasitemia, absence of parasites on day 28 for 99.5% of the Artemisia treatments and 79.5% only for the ACT treatments.
H₂O₂ is omnipresent in plants and animals.
A recent report from a laboratory in California offers the hope for a method of genetic modification which could lead to species elimination from large geographical areas, such as Anopheles gambiae elimination from Africa. To quote the New York Times Science section of 22 December, “A gene drive designed to render a population extinct is known as a crash drive. A crash drive being developed for mosquitoes consists of a gene engineered into the Y chromosome that shreds the X chromosome in the cells that make the mosquito’s sperm, thus ensuring that all progeny are male.
As stated in previous blogs diabetes is on the rise everywhere. It is a debilitating and often fatal disease per se but it also increases the incidence of malaria because higher glucose contents in the blood are a fertile terrain for Plasmodium falciparum.
Diabetes burden is rising sharply in the African Region according to Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Regional Director for Africa. Reports of type 2 diabetes in children – previously rare – is a growing concern. In some countries, children and adolescents account for almost half of all newly diagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, amputation, kidney failure and heart disease.
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 (http://www.africairs.net). Read on to discover the exciting new contributions to the vector control field.
Rosine D. Chougouo NKuitchou1, Ernest Djoko1, Jonas Kouamouo1, Diane F. Domko1, Pierre Tane2, Denis Wouessidjewe1,3.
1 Faculty of Pharmacy, Université des Montagnes »P O Box 208 Bangangte, Cameroon 2 Laboratory of Natural Products Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Dschang P O Box 67 Dschang Cameroon 3 UFR of Pharmacy, Department of Molecular Pharmacochemistry, University of Joseph Fourrier of Grenoble PO Box 53 38041 Grenoble Cedex 9.
The amino acid arginine is the only molecule in our food known to generate nitric oxide NO via NOS enzymes. It plays a key role in malaria therapy and cerebral malaria as described in previous blogs on www.malariaworld.org. NO derived from arginine is not only lethal for merozoites but also for gametocytes. NO is efficient against other diseases like leishmaniasis or filariasis (R O’Connor et al., Infection and Immunity, 2000, 68, 6101-6107).
The MESA Track database is now one year old. Thanks to your collaboration, the database has grown to 700 projects over the past year. MESA Track is an open and online platform for sharing information on current research projects relevant to malaria elimination.
More than 25 institutions from across the world have shared their full research portfolio in MESA Track, including institutions working on basic science, product development and operational research.
Our partners at the Al Quds University in Palestine have found that a zinc-arginine complex strongly inhibits beta-hematin crystallization, like quinine does, but that zinc or arginine alone are not effective. Arginine and zinc play an important role in the human physiology. The plants from the Artemisia family are rich in these constituents which play probably a key role against malaria and other diseases. They easily form a complex in a large range of reagent concentrations (E Bottari et al., Monatshefte Chemie 2014, 145, 1707-1714).
A blog posted on www.malariaworld.org 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.
A paper published twenty years ago should have attracted more attention (NM Anstey et al., J Exp Med 1996, 184, 557-567) : the suppression of NO synthesis in cerebral malaria appears to enhance pathogenesis and increased NO synthesis protects against clinical disease. The work was based on in vivo results obtained in Tanzanian children. Already five years earlier the killing of Plasmodium falciparum in vitro by nitric oxide derivatives (NO, nitrite, nitrate) had been demonstrated (KA Rockett et al., Infection and Immunity, 1991, 59, 3280-3283).
Save the Date for the 2017 Keystone Symposia - February 19-23, 2017, Kampala (Uganda) - conference on:
Malaria: From Innovation to Eradication
Organized in collaboration with MESA, this symposium provides a space for malaria eradication scientists to share new information and advance the scientific debate.
Plasmodium falciparum generates substantial amounts of ammonia as a metabolic by-product, but lacks detoxification mechanisms (S Kimoloi et al., Hypothesis and Theory, 2015, 9,article 234). It imports large amounts of glutamine from the host serum. Deamidation and deamination reactions generate two molecules of ammonia per glutamine molecule, particularly in the early trophozoite stages (T Zeuthen et al., Mol Microbiol 2006, 61, 1598-608).
The message below, from Dr. Pedro Alonso, the Director of WHO's Global Malaria Programme was circulated today, 24 October 2015.
Last month there was great news for the malaria world: A detailed analysis of the impact of insecticide-treated bednets (LLINs), ACTs, and indoor residual spraying (IRS), showed that some 6.2 million deaths and 700 million cases were averted between 2000-2015, mostly since 2005. Add up the contribution of the vector control components, and it shows that 78% of all the gains originated from just these two tools: LLINs and IRS. Is it safe to draw the conclusion from this that vector control is and shall remain the integral and critical component that will lead us to a world without malaria by 2040? I think the answer to that is 'yes, very much so'.
The 64th annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) is taking place 25 – 29 October 2015 in Philadelphia, USA.
Partners from across the malaria community will be sharing updates of their work.
A review paper published by Frank van der Kooy in 2013 (Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 150, 1-13) revived our interest in the question why the solubility of artemisinin is higher in Artemisia annua infusions than for the pure substance in distilled water.
We need ways to improve the use of bednets because they are so hot to sleep under, and a group in Ghana is working on this. Peter Nardini and some friends from the US Peace Corps are testing a way to sleep comfortably under a bednet by installing small solar-powred fans inside the nets, along with lights and cell-phone battery chargers. Their website is 'Green World Health Net', and they are doing exciting things with these ideas, in a village on the coast of Ghana. You can contact them for info at;
Parasites are endowed with powerful and host-independant mechanisms which de novo synthesize or regenerate reduced glutathione (GSH) and protect the parasites from oxidative damage. GSH can penetrate from the extracellular space into the host cytosol but the parasite membrane is impermeable to peptides (H Atamna et al., Eur J Biochem 1997, 15, 670-9).. Glutathione is one of the most powerful anti-oxidants. It is a tripeptide formed by the amino acids glycine, cysteine and glutamic acid. It inhibits the action of arginine which produces NO and expels it from the food vacuole.
It is with profound sadness that we took notice today of the untimely death of Dr. Alan Magill, who headed the malaria programme at the Gates Foundation in Seattle. Below we copy the press release from the Gates Foundation.
I met Alan for the first time in Durban, South Africa, during the MIM meeting in 2013. This was not long after he had taken up his new position at the Gates Foundation. This was the man that everyone out of the 1500+ participants would like to talk to, and it was a great privilege that he took some time to sit down and chat with me. It struck me immediately how pleasant Alan was to interact with. Down-to-earth, direct, and above all with passion did he speak of his mission to free the world of malaria. And I vivdly remember his following words: 'Being with the Foundation now gives me the real opportunity to make a difference in this world'.
The second time we met was when I visited the Foundation in January this year. As ever, Alan was pleasant and at the same time razor sharp. He needed two words to understand your full story. Over lunch his passion got hold of him when he stood up and expressed his frustration that we were all going too slow - that we needed to get new technology to the field quicker. Every live mattered, and waiting would only lead to unnecessary waste of lives. So true.
The world has lost a great malariologist. It is now upon us to follow in his footsteps and end malaria.