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Bali, Tuberculosis, Diabetes and Artemisia

August 16, 2016 - 06:17 -- Pierre Lutgen

Most of us ignore that on Nov 3, 2015 a Convention was signed in Bali declaring the fight against the looming TB-Diabetes co-epidemic, one of the greatest global health challenges.

An estimated two billion people, or one third of all people worldwide, live with a tuberculosis (TB) infection, of whom 9.6 million people develop active TB disease annually. TB is the leading cause of death worldwide due to a single infectious pathogen, responsible for 1.5 million human deaths in 2014, and 95 percent of human TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.

Last week at MalariaWorld: It's raining malaria jobs!

August 12, 2016 - 07:35 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

This week we are listing another exciting position at the Sanger Institute:

Position: Staff scientist, Experimental Genetics

There is an opening for a Staff Scientist in the Rayner lab (Sanger Institute) to lead the delivery of large-scale Plasmodium falciparum experimental genetics projects. The candidate will collaborate with the PlasmoGEM team and the Sanger Cellular Genetics Pipeline to lead knockout screens of hundreds of genes. The primary objective is to deliver novel scientific projects that result in high impact publications. The successful candidate will be a strong team player, a self-starter and keen to make the most of this exciting opportunity. It would particularly suit postdoctoral fellows with experience in Plasmodium falciparum genetics, who want to lead and take responsibility for a larger project, and work in a deeply collaborative and technologically rapidly moving environment. For more information, click here.
 
Don't forget last week's positions and keep the deadlines for application in mind:
 
Position: Country Director Equatorial Guinea

An exciting position for a senior manager as Country Director in Equatorial Guinea, with Medical Care Development International (MCDI). He/she will manage and represent its portfolio of health projects in Equatorial Guinea, Central Africa. Ongoing projects include the Bioko Island Malaria Control Project (BIMCP III), the Equatorial Guinea Malaria Vaccine Initiative (EGMVI) and the Equatorial Guinea Cervical Cancer Screening and Treatment Project. Interested? Click here.

5 PhD and 10 Post doc positions available

MARCAD seeks to train African scientists toward building a critical mass for the control and the elimination of malaria, equip them to compete effectively for international funding, offer them international exposure, and facilitate their networking and collaboration with other institutions.  Fellowships will be held at one of the five African-based institutions. Three MARCAD fellows will be hosted within strong interdisciplinary teams at one of the five African institutions, one PhD and two post-docs. Want to know more? Click here.

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Sun, shade or oven drying for Artemisia

August 4, 2016 - 08:41 -- Pierre Lutgen

It has traditionnally been accepted that drying of Artemisia annua should take place in the shade because drying in the sun would destroy many useful molecules. But recent papers have questionned this belief and have studied the effect of ultraviolet radiation on the accumulation or decrease of medicinal compounds in plants (WJ Zhang et al., Fitoterapia, 2009, 80, 207-18). A study in Turkey showed that UV-C radiation had remarkable promoting effects on the accumulation of secondary metabolites in the calli of a grape cultivar (E Cetin, Biological Research, 2014, 47 :37).

Remember to apply for APMEN positions!

July 22, 2016 - 09:50 -- MESA Alliance
Dear colleagues,
 
Time is running out to apply for an exciting position in the new APMEN office in Singapore.  Applications are closing next week on Friday, 29 July.
We would like to encourage our colleagues within and outside of the Network to apply, and to join us in accelerating malaria elimination in the Asia-Pacific region.
The candidates who secure these positions will have the opportunity to be part of the fast-moving malaria elimination agenda. They will work together with the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) team at the heart of the new regional movement for an Asia-Pacific Free of Malaria by 2030.  With 18 member countries and 37 international institutional partners – and still growing, working with us will expose you to an exciting range of contexts, contacts and opportunities. 
If you think you or someone you know has the skills to lead or contribute to a dynamic partnership of program managers, academic, private sector partners to achieve this important common goal – please apply now via one of the links below:
 
 
If you have any questions about these roles, please feel free to contact the APMEN Secretariat at info@apmen.org.
We would be grateful if you would circulate these opportunities among your networks.
 
With best regards,
 
The APMEN Secretariat

Plasmodium is killed by zinc chelators

July 9, 2016 - 07:43 -- Pierre Lutgen

Plasmodium is thriving on iron. One of the first mistakes of Western medicine in Africa was the iron supplementation to the Somali nomads in 1968. Blood analysis of these nomads had shown that according to European standards they were suffering from anemia (MJ Murray et al., Brit Med J. Oct 1978, 1113-1116). But iron administration was associated with a significant increase of the disease it was supposed to suppress and even to reactivation of pre-existing diseases. The conclusion of the authors was that iron deficiency eventually plays a part in suppressing certain infections

PMI and Swiss Cheese

July 6, 2016 - 13:07 -- William Jobin

There is dangerous obstacle - we call it the Immunity Trap - in malaria prevention strategies which is most dangerous for countries which have relied on the ephemeral methods recommended by WHO and used by PMI, but which have not included permanent methods. In the 19 African countries in the US Presidential Malaria Initiative administered by the PMI for the last decade, of the 30 million who have lost their immunity, about half are also no longer protected by house spraying because of the high cost of new biocides.

Artemisia, CYP3A4 and scopoletin.

June 28, 2016 - 16:11 -- Pierre Lutgen

In a pionneering study in 2010, the University of Louvain had studied the anti-inflammatory effect and modulation of cytochrome P450 activities by Artemisia annua tea infusions in human intestinal Caco-2 cells (Melillo de Magalhães P1, et al.,. Food Chem. 2012 Sep 15;134.:864-71). These assays were done on aqueous infusions (3.3/L) of Artemisia annua samples from 7 different origins.

Don't let the US PMI fall into the Immunity Trap

June 27, 2016 - 18:19 -- William Jobin

A decade ago, I helped the US Presidential Malaria Initiative get its start in Angola. Since then the Malaria Initiative (the US PMI) has expanded under Tim Ziemer to 19 African countries, protecting 30 million people. Consequently, over the last decade these 30 million people have lost their immunity to malaria. Now that might seem obvious and maybe a good thing. But since they live in regions where malaria is endemic, it raises a serious issue about durability of the PMI strategy.

The Resistance Treadmill

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.

Message from the newly elected Chair of the RBM Partnership Board

June 17, 2016 - 07:24 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

Dear Partners and Friends,

After a period of extensive consultation, the RBM Board agreed at its 29th Meeting in December 2015 on a new governance architecture. This included the establishment of a reconstituted Partnership Board, which could take advantage of the tremendous skill, energy and effectiveness of its partners and lead the organization into a new era.

Will malaria suppression cause malnutrition?

June 6, 2016 - 12:57 -- William Jobin
Tags: 

The great benefit in saving so many children by suppressing malaria, might have a negative consequence - malnutrition. As more and more children survive, who will feed them? This reflects the classic dilemna enunciated by the Rev. Malthus some centuries ago. He saw it as a race between population growth and growth in food supply - with the food supply losing. Do we face that same dilemma when we suppress malaria? Let us look at some recent data from Africa.

Malaria suppression improves economic productivity

June 6, 2016 - 11:32 -- William Jobin

In a recent Comment - Does malaria cause poverty or vice-versa? Patrick Sampao explored the relation between malaria and poverty. In accord with his opinions, and in agreement with our dear friend Anton Alexander, I posted three comments, based on statistical analyses of the impact of the US Presidential Malaria Initiative. The comments show us some really Good News about suppressing malaria, especially in Africa where the data is robust. Please take a look at the comments. It is kind of heavy reading but I assure you, it is worthwhile.

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.

Why are Artemisia plants prophylactic? The herbicidal hypothesis.

May 29, 2016 - 13:07 -- Pierre Lutgen

Ἓν οἶδα ὅτι οὐδὲν οἶδα

Σωκράτης

Our association IFBV-BELHERB has received numerous anecdotic reports on the prophylactic effects of Artemisia plants. This effect has been documented in scientific papers. Patrick Ogwang from Uganda (Ogwang PE, et al. Trop J Pharm Res. 2012;11:445–53) showed that an infusion of Artemisia annua consumed once weekly reduced the risk of Plasmodium falciparum episodes due to a yet unidentified constituent.

A case of treatment failure and malarone poisoning

May 20, 2016 - 16:00 -- Pierre Lutgen

Reported by Dr Patrice Bouygues, Paris.

A young French traveller was infected by Plasmodium falciparum during a two week stay in Tchad in 2013. He had been treated prophylactilly and therapeutically with Malarone. After his return home he continued suffering from headaches, high fever surges, rachialgies, cardiac troubles... Several medical services were consulted. Despite the absence of noticeable parasites in blood smears, doctors prescribed a more or less continuous malarone and tardyferon treatment.

Pentacyclic triterpenes in antimalarial plants, a new paradigm

May 8, 2016 - 07:48 -- Pierre Lutgen

Many plants have antiplasmodial properties but nobody really knows why some do and others do not. We have paid most of our attention to artemisinin and derivatives, to flavonoids and antioxidants, swamped and blinded by thousands of papers on these molecules, billions invested and earned in ACTs, the prohibition of clinical trials with Artemisia annua by WHO-Geneva, the Vatican of malaria, and the colonial ITG-Antwerp. And we have forgotten that there are other molecules in Artemisia which may play an equivalent or stronger role.

THE BREAKING NEWS PAPER OF MAVONDO

New from MESA: 5 experts pick a recent eye-opening paper on malaria

May 6, 2016 - 07:09 -- MESA Alliance

 


As a scientific worker we need innovation spirit to find new things” commented Tu Youyou in a telephone interview following the announcement of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.[1] The Chinese scientist was awarded the Prize for her discovery of artemisinin in the 1970s, now a life-saving antimalarial drug. Leading a small team of researchers, she was the first to isolate the active ingredient from the Artemisia plant, using ether to extract it.

ACT Consortium: Free resources to develop malaria diagnosis and treatment interventions

May 6, 2016 - 06:32 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

 

ACT Consortium launches free resources for malaria community 
 

On World Malaria Day, ACT Consortium researchers launched five resources to help guide those working in malaria endemic countries.

25 April 2016 - WHO Report Eliminating Malaria

April 29, 2016 - 10:09 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

In May 2015, the World Health Assembly endorsed a new Global Technical Strategy for Malaria. The strategy includes ambitious goals for malaria control and elimination in the next 15-year period. A key target: eliminating malaria in at least 10 countries by 2020. According to a new analysis from WHO, this goal can be achieved – and surpassed.

Video: What will it take to end malaria? Bill Gates and George Osborne discuss

April 29, 2016 - 10:05 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

This video was released on World Malaria day 2016. In January 2016, Bill Gates and UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne launched a new fund that will mobilize some of Britain’s best scientists to fight malaria. They met in Liverpool to talk about what it will take to end malaria for good.

 

Pulmonary administration of Artemisia afra against tuberculosis

April 29, 2016 - 09:34 -- Pierre Lutgen

Many constituents of medicinal herbs have a low bioavailabity, especially if administered orally. They do not pass the intestinal barrier. This is particularly the case for essential oils. A study (Ryuichi Fujisaki et al., www.tm.mahidol.ac.th/seameo/2012) of the in vitro and in vivo antiplasmodial activity of 47 essential oils showed that several have strong in vitro antiplasmodial activities, with IC50 values < 1.0 µg/ml. But notably these oils showed no efficacy when administered orally.

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