ICREA Prof Hernando A. del Portillo studied molecular aspects of parasites at the University of Georgia, USA, where he received his PhD, followed by two WHO postdoctoral trainings at the New York University Medical Centre (USA) and the Institut Pasteur (France) where he specialized in molecular biology of malaria parasites. Since then, he has pursued molecular studies in Plasmodium vivax malaria to unveil the mechanisms of virulence and to develop rational control strategies in different institutions.
Since 2006, PMI has partnered with countries hardest hit by malaria, supporting introduction and scaling of proven, life-saving malaria interventions protecting more than 570 million people at risk annually. In countries where PMI works, their investments have significantly contributed to a 27% decline in malaria cases and a 60% decline in malaria deaths.
In a recent review paper we described the strong antimalarial properties of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), but also raised some concerns about the potential risks for viral infections.
Jérôme Munyangi, Pierre Lutgen, Artemisia plants, arachidonic and other polyunsaturated fatty acids. Malaria World Journal MWJ 2020, 11:3.
Malaria Minute, 17 July 2020
Researchers find that the malaria parasite mimics a natural molecule that inhibits the release of NK cells, and the effect of insecticide resistance on the reproductive potential of Anopheles coluzzii mosquitoes has been revealed.
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Malaria Minute, 10 July 2020
Zambian study reveals that mass drug administration is safe, logistically feasible, accepted by communities, and effective in reducing malaria prevalence in the short term, and the Medicines for Malaria Venture launch Malaria Libre, an open-source drug discovery programme.
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Malaria Minute, 03 July 2020
The prevalence of insecticide resistance increases in Africa and researchers find that the malaria parasite interferes with red blood cell development to ensure gametocyte maturation.
Malaria Minute, 26 June 2020
CDK5 regulates atypical cell division in gametogony and is essential for DNA replication, and researchers assess whether two experimental vaccines can be combined to create a multistage vaccine against malaria.
Malaria-free world has been an ultimate goal embraced by WHO just decade after its foundation, however only 38 countries in temperate zone were able to eliminate malaria since then. In 2017, WHO Executive Board reasserted their full and firm support towards malaria eradication. The lancet commission on Malaria eradication has called for global experts and policy makers to agree upon an ambitious target of eradicating malaria by 2050.
As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to evolve it is essential to mitigate risk of increased incidence of other infectious diseases. In malaria-endemic regions, it will be important to understand the potential impact to epidemiological changes, trends in transmission, and clinical presentation of COVID-19 and malaria individually, and as co-infections.
Only a "few" hypnozoites occur in patients who have Plasmodium vivax infections, compared to the large, non-circulating merozoite biomass that is now known to be present.
Therefore, to readily ascribe P. vivax malarial recurrences to hypnozoite activation, as is currently common practice, is no longer appropriate without good reasons for doing so. Forget about what you were taught at university in this context and keep an open mind.
Malaria Minute, 12 June 2020
New mutations to the quinoline drug family identified in South America and Asia are not prevalent in Africa and scientists evaluate a new field-based malaria blood test.
The role of immunoglobulines E
In January 2020 we published together with 3 medical doctors from Africa: “Jérôme, Munyangi, Pascal Gisenya, Patrick Ogwang …Immunoglobulins in the skin lead to long-lasting prophylaxis. Pharm Pharmacol Int Journal, PPIJ, 2020, Issue1”, a paper which, if widely spread, could have had a dramatic impact on the way the present Covid-19 crisis is handled.
One of the key findings of their work is that immunoglobulins are higher in malaria endemic areas.
Malaria Minute, 5 June 2020
Artefenomel is assessed against Plasmodium vivax infection in humans to determine the minimum effective dose required for parasite clearance and a beta version of the Global Vector Hub is launched.
Malaria Minute, 29 May 2020
The spleen plays a major role in the expression of P. vivax genes and the production of antigens associated with clinical protection, and scientists develop an AI that can detect Plasmodium infection in the blood.
As is well known, long-term malarial recurrences are a feature of human infections caused by species of Plasmodium. The frequency of recurrence varies. In P. falciparum malaria, long-term recurrence is rare, but not (contrary to popular belief) non-existent. P. malariae [Pm] and P. vivax [Pv] only will be considered below; and with reference to only the bone marrow as a site of parasite occurrence.
MESA Correspondents bring you cutting-edge coverage from the XVI BioMalPar virtual Conference “Biology and Pathology of the Malaria Parasite”
* MESA only reported the talks that had the approval of the speaker
Day 1 Monday 18th May 2020
In my previous comments on www.malariaworld.org I alerted to the possibility that the widespread malaria infections in sub-Saharan Africa might provide a protection against the Covid virus. Trying to find an explanation for this observation might be important.
Malaria Minute, 15 May 2020
Antibody tests for P. vivax malaria could reduce disease prevalence by up to 69% and scientists develop a sex-distorter gene drive that eliminates populations of mosquitoes in the lab.
After a 3-year study of trends and future projects, WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group on Malaria Eradication has released a detailed report of its key findings and recommendations. The report builds on an executive summary published in August 2019. Members of the advisory group highlight 6 areas in the report that would underpin a successful malaria eradication effort:
1. reinforcing the Global technical strategy for malaria 2016-2030;
2. research & development for new tools;
3. access to affordable, high quality, people-centered health care and services;
4. adequate and sustained financing;
5. strengthened surveillance and response; and
6. engaging communities.
Community-based health care is an essential part of primary care at all times; in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the distinct capacity of trusted community members for social engagement and delivering care where it is needed is ever more critical. This joint WHO, UNICEF and IFRC guidance addresses the role of community-based health care in the pandemic context. It includes practical recommendations for decision makers to help keep communities and health workers safe, to sustain essential services at the community level, and to ensure an effective response to COVID-19. Using this comprehensive and coordinated approach will help countries strengthen the resilience of community-based health services throughout the pandemic, into early recovery and beyond. Read more
The quality of literature on malaria occasionally leaves something to be desired, with lack of attention to detail in one way or another being evident. Note the following selected matters:
Malaria Minute, 1 May 2020
The combined use of mass drug administration and indoor residual spraying is the most effective way to reduce malaria prevalence in low malaria-endemic settings, and antibodies against PfGARP kill malaria-infected cells by inducing cell death.
Watch this exclusive interview & presentation by Dr. Pedro Alonso, WHO Global Malaria Programme Director, on how to tackle both of these global threats simultaneously. Brought to you by Keystone Symposia: