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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.