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Natural Products: A Potential Source of Malaria Transmission Blocking Drugs

September 23, 2020 - 09:00 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Moyo P, Mugumbate G, Eloff JN, Louw AI, Maharaj VJ, Birkholtz LM
Reference: 
Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2020 Sep 17;13(9):E251

The ability to block human-to-mosquito and mosquito-to-human transmission of Plasmodium parasites is fundamental to accomplish the ambitious goal of malaria elimination. The WHO currently recommends only primaquine as a transmission-blocking drug but its use is severely restricted by toxicity in some populations. New, safe and clinically effective transmission-blocking drugs therefore need to be discovered.

Comparative functional survival and equivalent annual cost of 3 long-lasting insecticidal net (LLIN) products in Tanzania: A randomised trial with 3-year follow up

September 22, 2020 - 10:34 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Lorenz LM, Bradley J, Moore SJ, et al.
Reference: 
PLoS Med. 2020 Sep 18;17(9):e1003248

Two billion long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) have been procured for malaria control. A functional LLIN is one that is present, is in good physical condition, and remains insecticidal, thereby providing protection against vector-borne diseases through preventing bites and killing disease vectors. The World Health Organization (WHO) prequalifies LLINs that remain adequately insecticidal 3 years after deployment. Therefore, institutional buyers often assume that prequalified LLINs are functionally identical with a 3-year lifespan. We measured the lifespans of 3 LLIN products, and calculated their cost per year of functional life, to demonstrate the economic and public health importance of procuring the most cost-effective LLIN product based on its lifespan.

NOT Open Access | Is World Malaria Day an effective awareness campaign? An evaluation of public interest in malaria during World Malaria Day

September 1, 2020 - 11:10 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Michael Anderson J, Stafford AL, Johnson AL, Hartwell M, Jellison S, Vassar M
Reference: 
Trop Med Int Health. 2020 Aug 29

We retrospectively analyzed the relative search interest of malaria to (1) assess the relationship between internet searches for malaria and rates of infection in 11 countries considered “high‐burden” by WHO in 2019 and to (2) determine the ability of World Malaria Day on April 25 to generate interest in the disease.

Insecticide resistance in indoor and outdoor-resting Anopheles gambiae in Northern Ghana

September 1, 2020 - 10:24 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Majidah Hamid-Adiamoh, Alfred Amambua-Ngwa, Davis Nwakanma, Umberto D’Alessandro, Gordon A. Awandare and Yaw A. Afrane
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2020 19:314, 31 August 2020

Selection pressure from continued exposure to insecticides drives development of insecticide resistance and changes in resting behaviour of malaria vectors. There is need to understand how resistance drives changes in resting behaviour within vector species. The association between insecticide resistance and resting behaviour of Anopheles gambiae sensu lato (s.l.) in Northern Ghana was examined.

NOT Open Access | Serum levels of Total human Tau associated with axonal damage among severe malaria patients in Central India

August 25, 2020 - 08:54 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Jain V, Thomas T, Basak S, Sharma RK, Singh N
Reference: 
Acta Trop. 2020 Aug 20:105675

Tau is a microtubule-associated protein (MAP) that is abundant in the axonal part of neurons of the central nervous system. Previous studies among African children and Vietnamese adults suffering from cerebral malaria (CM) showed the pathological significance of measuring circulatory total Tau levels. A pilot investigation was carried out to better characterise neurological pathogenesis among severe malaria patients in Central India.

The lack of K13-propeller mutations associated with artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

August 25, 2020 - 07:55 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Yobi DM, Kayiba NK, Mvumbi DM, Boreux R, Bontems S, Kabututu PZ, De Mol P, Speybroeck N, Mvumbi GL, Hayette MP
Reference: 
PLoS One. 2020 Aug 21;15(8):e0237791

Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) have been recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as first-line treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) malaria since 2005 in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and a regular surveillance of the ACT efficacy is required to ensure the treatment effectiveness. Mutations in the propeller domain of the pfk13 gene were identified as molecular markers of artemisinin resistance (ART-R).

NOT Open Access | Preliminary Report of Pyrethroid Resistance in Anopheles vagus, an Important Malaria Vector in Bangladesh

August 12, 2020 - 15:10 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Alam MS, Al-Amin HM, Khan WA, Haque R, Nahlen BL, Lobo NF
Reference: 
Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Aug;103(2):810-811

According to the WHO, unmanaged insecticide resistance may lead to increases in malaria-related mortality and morbidity. Bangladesh, having made significant progress in malaria control efforts, has recently seen an upswing in malaria cases-58% of which occurred in Bandarban district. Toward identifying entomological drivers of increased malaria, an entomological survey including Anopheles susceptibility to the insecticides in use was conducted in Bandarban.

Safety of Artemisinin Derivatives in the First Trimester of Pregnancy: A Controversial Story

August 5, 2020 - 16:21 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
D'Alessandro S, Menegola E, Parapini S, Taramelli D, Basilico N
Reference: 
Molecules. 2020 Jul 31;25(15):E3505

Artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as first line treatment for uncomplicated malaria both in adults and children. During pregnancy, ACT is considered safe only in the second and third trimester, since animal studies have demonstrated that artemisinin derivatives can cause foetal death and congenital malformation within a narrow time window in early embryogenesis.

NOT Open Access | Characterization of solid lipid dispersions prepared by hot fusion containing a double-fixed dose combination of artemether and lumefantrine

August 4, 2020 - 14:57 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Wilkins CA, du Plessis LH, Viljoen JM
Reference: 
Drug Dev Ind Pharm. 2020 Aug; 46(8):1289-1297

The World Health Organization has called for the development of novel drug delivery systems to combat malaria – the fourth most prevalent cause of death globally. The plausibility of utilizing hot fusion to prepare solid lipid dispersions containing the prescribed first-line, double-fixed dose combination (artemether and lumefantrine), proposed for inclusion in directly compressed lipid matrix tablets, was investigated.

Chloroquine Dosing Recommendations for Pediatric COVID-19 Supported by Modeling and Simulation

August 3, 2020 - 16:06 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Verscheijden LFM, van der Zanden TM, van Bussel LPM, de Hoop-Sommen M, Russel FGM, Johnson TN, de Wildt SN
Reference: 
Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2020 Aug; 108(2):248-252

As chloroquine (CHQ) is part of the Dutch Centre for Infectious Disease Control coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) experimental treatment guideline, pediatric dosing guidelines are needed. Recent pediatric data suggest that existing World Health Organization (WHO) dosing guidelines for children with malaria are suboptimal. The aim of our study was to establish best-evidence to inform pediatric CHQ doses for children infected with COVID-19. A previously developed physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model for CHQ was used to simulate exposure in adults and children and verified against published pharmacokinetic data.

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