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An integrated platform for genome engineering and gene expression perturbation in Plasmodium falciparum

January 13, 2021 - 10:34 -- Open Access
Nasamu AS, Falla A, Pasaje CFA, Wall BA, Wagner JC, Ganesan SM, Goldfless SJ, Niles JC
Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 11;11(1):342

Establishing robust genome engineering methods in the malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, has the potential to substantially improve the efficiency with which we gain understanding of this pathogen's biology to propel treatment and elimination efforts. Methods for manipulating gene expression and engineering the P. falciparum genome have been validated. However, a significant barrier to fully leveraging these advances is the difficulty associated with assembling the extremely high AT content DNA constructs required for modifying the P. falciparum genome.

Increased investment in gametocytes in asymptomatic Plasmodium falciparum infections in the wet season

January 13, 2021 - 10:31 -- Open Access
Oduma CO, Ogolla S, Atieli H, Ondigo BN, Lee MC, Githeko AK, Dent AE, Kazura JW, Yan G, Koepfli C
BMC Infect Dis. 2021 Jan 9;21(1):44

Transmission stemming from asymptomatic infections is increasingly being recognized as a threat to malaria elimination. In many regions, malaria transmission is seasonal. It is not well understood whether Plasmodium falciparum modulates its investment in transmission to coincide with seasonal vector abundance.

Culturable bacteria associated with Anopheles darlingi and their paratransgenesis potential

January 13, 2021 - 10:25 -- Open Access
Elerson Matos Rocha, Osvaldo Marinotti, Wanderli Pedro Tadei, et al.
Malaria Journal 2021 20:40, 13 January 2021

Malaria remains a major public health problem in South America, mostly in the Amazon region. Among newly proposed ways of controlling malaria transmission to humans, paratransgenesis is a promising alternative. Paratransgenesis aims to inhibit the development of parasites within the vector through the action of genetically modified bacteria. The first step towards successful paratransgenesis in the Amazon is the identification of Anopheles darlingi symbiotic bacteria, which are transmitted vertically among mosquitoes, and are not pathogenic to humans.

A comparative evaluation of mobile medical APPS (MMAS) for reading and interpreting malaria rapid diagnostic tests

January 13, 2021 - 10:22 -- Open Access
Theodoor Visser, Sumedh Ramachandra, Emilie Pothin, Jan Jacobs, Jane Cunningham, Arnaud Le Menach, Michelle L. Gatton, Samaly dos Santos Souza, Sydney Nelson, Luke Rooney and Michael Aidoo
Malaria Journal 2021 20:39, 13 January 2021

The World Health Organization recommends confirmatory diagnosis by microscopy or malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDT) in patients with suspected malaria. In recent years, mobile medical applications (MMAs), which can interpret RDT test results have entered the market. To evaluate the performance of commercially available MMAs, an evaluation was conducted by comparing RDT results read by MMAs to RDT results read by the human eye.

Allelic diversity of MSP1 and MSP2 repeat loci correlate with levels of malaria endemicity in Senegal and Nigerian populations

January 13, 2021 - 10:18 -- Open Access
Mary A. Oboh, Tolla Ndiaye, Daouda Ndiaye, et al.
Malaria Journal 2021 20:38, 13 January 2021

Characterizing the genetic diversity of malaria parasite populations in different endemic settings (from low to high) could be helpful in determining the effectiveness of malaria interventions. This study compared Plasmodium falciparum parasite population diversity from two sites with low (pre-elimination) and high transmission in Senegal and Nigeria, respectively.

Isolation and light chain shuffling of a Plasmodium falciparum AMA1-specific human monoclonal antibody with growth inhibitory activity

January 13, 2021 - 10:14 -- Open Access
Melanie Seidel-Greven, Otchere Addai-Mensah, Rolf Fendel, et al.
Malaria Journal 2021 20:37, 11 January 2021

Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite causing malaria, affects populations in many endemic countries threatening mainly individuals with low malaria immunity, especially children. Despite the approval of the first malaria vaccine Mosquirix™ and very promising data using cryopreserved P. falciparum sporozoites (PfSPZ), further research is needed to elucidate the mechanisms of humoral immunity for the development of next-generation vaccines and alternative malaria therapies including antibody therapy. A high prevalence of antibodies against AMA1 in immune individuals has made this antigen one of the major blood-stage vaccine candidates.

Monitoring mosquito nuisance for the development of a citizen science approach for malaria vector surveillance in Rwanda

January 13, 2021 - 10:10 -- Open Access
Marilyn Milumbu Murindahabi, Willem Takken, Constantianus J. M. Koenraadt, et al.
Malaria Journal 2021 20:36, 10 January 2021

Many countries, including Rwanda, have mosquito monitoring programmes in place to support decision making in the fight against malaria. However, these programmes can be costly, and require technical (entomological) expertise. Involving citizens in data collection can greatly support such activities, but this has not yet been thoroughly investigated in a rural African context.

Impact of placental malaria on maternal, placental and fetal cord responses and its role in pregnancy outcomes in women from Blue Nile State, Sudan

January 13, 2021 - 10:08 -- Open Access
Samia Omer, Clara Franco-Jarava, Ali Noureldien, Mona Omer, Mutasim Abdelrahim, Israel Molina and Ishag Adam
Malaria Journal 2021 20:35, 9 January 2021

The sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum infected cells in the placenta results in placental malaria (PM). It activates the mother's immune cells and induces secretion of inflammatory cytokines, which might influence pregnancy outcomes. This study aims to investigate the cytokines (levels IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-17A, and INF γ) in maternal peripheral, placental, and umbilical cord blood in response to PM and the extent to which this may influence maternal haemoglobin levels and birth weight.

New assessment of Anopheles vector species identification using MALDI-TOF MS

January 13, 2021 - 10:03 -- Open Access
Cécile Nabet, Abdoulaye K. Kone, Renaud Piarroux, et al.
Malaria Journal 2021 20:33, 9 January 2021

Anopheles species identification is essential for an effective malaria vector control programme. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS) has been developed to identify adult Anopheles species, using the legs or the cephalothorax. The protein repertoire from arthropods can vary according to compartment, but there is no general consensus regarding the anatomic part to be used.

Molecular characterization of G6PD mutations reveals the high frequency of G6PD Aures in the Lao Theung population

January 13, 2021 - 09:57 -- Open Access
Amkha Sanephonasa, Chalisa Louicharoen Cheepsunthorn, Naly Khaminsou, Onekham Savongsy, Issarang Nuchprayoon and Kamonlak Leecharoenkiat
Malaria Journal 2021 20:30, 7 January 2021

The prevalence and genotypes of G6PD deficiency vary worldwide, with higher prevalence in malaria endemic areas. The first-time assessment of G6PD deficiency prevalence and molecular characterization of G6PD mutations in the Lao Theung population were performed in this study.


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