Three MESA-funded projects in Cambodia, Kenya and Tanzania looked at what can be done to reduce efficacy decay of malaria interventions in different settings, and the feasibility of clearing parasites from asymptomatic people. As the projects wrap-up, the research groups are sharing findings with National Malaria Control Programmes, Ministries of Health, as well as national research networks.
SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO AVOID THE IMMUNITY TRAP
Inherent in a strategy which requires repeated application of temporary control methods, is the specter of the Immunity Trap. After several years of suppressing malaria transmission by temporary methods, if the methods are suspended for any reason, the previously protected population will be extremely vulnerable to acute disease and death because they will have lost their immunity. The longer the temporary methods are used, the greater will be the risk for the population to fall into the Immunity Trap.
SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO SLOW THE RESISTANCE TREADMILL
Selenium is an essential trace element in human health and disease. It is currently a subject of intense interest and appears to play a key role in malaria. Selenium has important health effects related to the immune response. It appears to be a key nutrient in counteracting the development of virulence and inhibiting HIV progression to AIDS. In the context of health effects, low selenium status in some parts of the world, notably in Africa, is giving cause for concern.
Selenium and immunity
Mark Bennett passed away on 10 February 2015. Mark stood at the cradle of MalariaWorld. He will be missed and remembered.
Read below a tribute to Mark written by Julia Royall. Julia used to be the Director of the communications network of MIM (MIMCom) when she was the Chief, International Programs at NLM/NIH. Mark was appointed as Technical Director of MIMCom and helped 19 malaria research instutes in Africa to get (improved) access to the internet. His efforts have been invaluable to achieving free access to scientific information on malaria for all in need.
Last week the Roll Back Malaria Vector Control Working Group organised its 10th meeting in Geneva. Close to 200 vector control specialists from more than 30 countries attended the three-day event. What started as a small gathering years ago has grown to become what could be considered the equivalent of the annual ASTMH meeting but with an exclusive focus on vectors. And although this 10th meeting was ample reason for celebration, it wasn't. The meeting was officially addressed by WHO's Global Malaria Programme Director Dr. Pedro Alonso, who recently took office. His opening statements were clear: Insecticide resistance is as much a threat to continued successful malaria control, if not more, than the current Asian threat of artemisinin resistance. Pyrethroids were great and have undoubtedly saved many thousands of lives, but the era in which we could safely rely on them, is coming to an end. And that's bad news.
On the UK Parliament's 750th birthday, the All Party Parliamentary Group met to discuss collaborative initiatives in malaria research.
In the historic setting of the Palace of Westminster, on January 20th, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases (APPMG) met to discuss collaborative initiatives in malaria research. Last year, the UK Government pledged to increase funding for the fight against malaria up to £500 million every year, a goal the APPMG hopes to see achieved in 2015.
The association ACECI in Burundi (www.aceci.org) has developed a mosquito repellent based on Nepeta cataria (catmint in english, cataire en français, Katzenminze auf deutsch). The study by local students in medicine in collaboration with Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique together with the Government of Burundi showed that catnip oil reduced the number of bites from mosquitoes by 91.7%. The trial involved 60 volunteers.
On the UK Parliament's 750 birthday, the All Party Parliamentary Group met to discuss collaborative initiatives in malaria
Over the years IFBV-BELHERB accumulated puzzling data concerning Artemisia annua grown on the Bamileke plateau in Cameroon.
Among all the clinical trials we have run in several countries, the infusion from Cameroon gave probably the best results (Rosine Chougouo et al, Proceedings MIM Conf, Nairobi, Kenya, 2 Nov 2009, no 312). The results of the comparative study showed a significantly higher sensistivity for the Artemisia annua concoction (0% late therapeutic failure), much better than 12.5 % for artesunate and 14.3% for artesunate-amodiaquine.
Many anecdotical or scientific results indicate that leaves and stems of Artemisia annua have different therapeutical properties, often higher for leaves, sometimes lower.
Our efforts so far to elucidate key factors explaining these differences have failed. Artemisinin, polyphenols, essential oils are higher in leaves, scopoletin sometimes lower. If the therapeutical properties against malaria, bacteria or nematodes, really are proportional to the concentration of these organic key constituants the healing power of stems should be close to zero.
Following the recommandations in the WHO Tradtional Medicine 2014-2023 document published in Decembrer 2013 in several African countries Centers for Traditional Medicine are stepping up their activities
- Centre de Médecine Traditionnelle de Buta, abbé Léopold Mvukiye
- Homeopharma, Institut de Soins Naturels, Madagascar
- Centre de Médecine Tradtionnelle du Mali (Bandiaraga)
- In the Gambia the National Agricultural Research Institute
- Département de Médecine, INRS, Bamako, Mali
- In Uganda the Ministry of Health and the University of Makerere
Thanks to a collaboration with ASTMH, presenters and ImageAV, MESA has posted a selection of ASTMH webcasts on malaria elimination online. The webcasts are freely available here.
Sessions from ASTMH 2014 include
The column below was contributed by by Rasha Azrag & Guy Reeves.
submitted by Lucile Cornet-Vernet and Pierre Lutgen
As of December 2014, MalariaWorld, the world's largest and only online scientific and social network for malaria professionals, is celebrating its 5th anniversary. It's been an adventure that we never imagined would become what it has become today. Many of you will not know the history of MalariaWorld, so here's a brief summary.
In early 2015, the Malaria Atlas Project (MAP) team will update the global P. vivax endemicity map (see 2010 map here) and use this to generate global estimates of clinical cases. The maps and case estimates have widespread policy and advocacy use, so it is important to make these as robust and up-to-date as possible.
We invite you to collaborate with the MAP team to ensure that the map is fully comprehensive by sharing any parasite rate surveys you have.
In early 2015, the Malaria Atlas Project (MAP) team will update the global P. vivax endemicity map (see 2010 map here) and use this to generate global estimates of clinical cases. The maps and case estimates have widespread policy and advocacy use, so it is important to make these as robust and up-to-date as possible. We invite you to collaborate with the MAP team to ensure that the map is fully comprehensive by sharing any parasite rate surveys you have. Read more...
Although 80% of malaria occurs in children under five years of age, infants under six months of age are known to have low rates of infection and disease. It is not clear why this youngest age group is protected. The perception that malaria is uncommon in young infants has resulted in the paucity of information currently available and the lack of evidence-based treatment guidelines in this population, Many children are dying before malaria is diagnosed and the death toll for infants under aged under six months is estimated at 200 000 – 300 000 annual casualties.
My field experience in fighting malaria in Africa started with five years in central Sudan where I helped organize the Blue Nile Health Project in 1979, aimed at protecting 2 million people in the million acre Gezira Irrigation System. I benefited a great deal from the malaria experience of my Sudanese colleagues, as well as from the Iranians and others in the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean. I also benefited from the support of WHO Geneva, and from Letitia Obeng in UNEP.
Thanks to the collaboration of ASTMH, ImageAV and presenters, MESA is sharing various webcasts from malaria elimination session at ASTMH in New Orleans. Click here to watch and listen to 'The Global Technical Strategy for Malaria & the Global Malaria Action Plan 2' session: