Historic levels of funding have reduced the global burden of malaria in recent years. Questions remain, however, as to whether scaling up interventions, in parallel with economic growth, has made malaria elimination more likely today than previously. The consequences of "trying but failing" to eliminate malaria are also uncertain. Reduced malaria exposure decreases the acquisition of semi-immunity during childhood, a necessary phase of the immunological transition that occurs on the pathway to malaria elimination.
Asymptomatic carriers of Plasmodium parasites hamper malaria control and eradication. Achieving malaria eradication requires ultrasensitive diagnostics for low parasite density infections (<100 parasites per microliter blood) that work in resource-limited settings (RLS). Sensitive point-of-care diagnostics are also lacking for nonfalciparum malaria, which is characterized by lower density infections and may require additional therapy for radical cure.
Malaria strongly predisposes to bacteremia, which is associated with sequestration of parasitized red blood cells and increased gastrointestinal permeability. The mechanisms underlying this disruption are poorly understood. Here we evaluated the expression of factors associated with mast cell activation and malaria-associated bacteremia in a rodent model. C57BL/6J mice were infected with Plasmodium yoelii yoelli 17XNL and blood and tissues were collected over time to assay for circulating levels of bacterial 16S DNA, IgE, mast cell protease 1 (Mcpt-1) and Mcpt-4, Th1 and Th2 cytokines as well as patterns of ileal mastocytosis and intestinal permeability.
Research on Plasmodium parasites has driven breakthroughs in reducing malaria morbidity and mortality. Experimental analysis of in vivo/ex vivo versus in vitro samples serve unique roles in Plasmodium research. However, these distinctly different environments lead to discordant biology between parasites in host circulation and those under laboratory cultivation.
The rapid and often uncontrolled rural–urban migration in Sub-Saharan Africa is transforming urban landscapes expected to provide shelter for more than 50% of Africa’s population by 2030. Consequently, the burden of malaria is increasingly affecting the urban population, while socio-economic inequalities within the urban settings are intensified. Few studies, relying mostly on moderate to high resolution datasets and standard predictive variables such as building and vegetation density, have tackled the topic of modeling intra-urban malaria at the city extent. In this research, we investigate the contribution of very-high-resolution satellite-derived land-use, land-cover and population information for modeling the spatial distribution of urban malaria prevalence across large spatial extents. As case studies, we apply our methods to two Sub-Saharan African cities, Kampala and Dar es Salaam.
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.
Previous studies have shown that a single season of intermittent preventive treatment in schoolchildren (IPTsc) targeting the transmission season has reduced the rates of clinical malaria, all-cause clinic visits, asymptomatic parasitemia, and anemia. Efficacy over the course of multiple years of IPTsc has been scantly investigated.
The transitions between developmental stages are critical points in the Plasmodium life cycle. The development of Plasmodium in the livers of their mammalian hosts bridges malaria transmission and the onset of clinical symptoms elicited by red blood cell infection. The egress of Plasmodium parasites from the liver must be a carefully orchestrated process to ensure a successful switch to the blood stage of infection.
Low-density (LD) Plasmodium infections are missed by standard malaria rapid diagnostic tests (standard mRDT) when the blood antigen concentration is below the detection threshold. The clinical impact of these LD infections is unknown. This study investigates the clinical presentation and outcome of untreated febrile children with LD infections attending primary care facilities in a moderately endemic area of Tanzania.
For more than one hundred years, several treatments against malaria have been proposed but they have systematically failed, mainly due to the occurrence of drug resistance in part resulting from the exposure of the parasite to low drug doses. Several factors are behind this problem, including (i) the formidable barrier imposed by the Plasmodium life cycle with intracellular localization of parasites in hepatocytes and red blood cells, (ii) the adverse fluidic conditions encountered in the blood circulation that affect the interaction of molecular components with target cells, and (iii) the unfavorable physicochemical characteristics of most antimalarial drugs, which have an amphiphilic character and can be widely distributed into body tissues after administration and rapidly metabolized in the liver.