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High prevalence of asymptomatic malaria infections in adults, Ashanti Region, Ghana, 2018

October 13, 2020 - 12:43 -- Open Access
Melina Heinemann, Richard O. Phillips, Christof D. Vinnemeier, Christina C. Rolling, Egbert Tannich and Thierry Rolling
Malaria Journal 2020 19:366, 12 October 2020

Ghana is among the high-burden countries for malaria infections and recently reported a notable increase in malaria cases. While asymptomatic parasitaemia is increasingly recognized as a hurdle for malaria elimination, studies on asymptomatic malaria are scarce, and usually focus on children and on non-falciparum species. The present study aims to assess the prevalence of asymptomatic Plasmodium falciparum and non-falciparum infections in Ghanaian adults in the Ashanti region during the high transmission season.

Discovery of FNDR-20123, a histone deacetylase inhibitor for the treatment of Plasmodium falciparum malaria

October 13, 2020 - 12:41 -- Open Access
Vijay Potluri, Radha K. Shandil, R. Gavara, Ganesh Sambasivam, Brice Campo, Sergio Wittlin and Shridhar Narayanan
Malaria Journal 2020 19:365, 12 October 2020

Emergence of anti-malarial drug resistance and perpetual increase in malaria incidence necessitates the development of novel anti-malarials. Histone deacetylases (HDAC) has been shown to be a promising target for malaria, despite this, there are no HDAC inhibitors in clinical trials for malaria treatment. This can be attributed to the poor pharmacokinetics, bioavailability and selectivity of the HDAC inhibitors.

Comparison of leucocyte profiles between healthy children and those with asymptomatic and symptomatic Plasmodium falciparum infections

October 13, 2020 - 12:39 -- Open Access
Diana Ahu Prah, Linda Eva Amoah, Matthew P. Gibbins, Yaw Bediako, Aubrey J. Cunnington, Gordon A. Awandare and Julius Clemence R. Hafalla
Malaria Journal 2020 19:364, 9 October 2020

The immune mechanisms that determine whether a Plasmodium falciparum infection would be symptomatic or asymptomatic are not fully understood. Several studies have been carried out to characterize the associations between disease outcomes and leucocyte numbers. However, the majority of these studies have been conducted in adults with acute uncomplicated malaria, despite children being the most vulnerable group.

A comprehensive RNA handling and transcriptomics guide for high-throughput processing of Plasmodium blood-stage samples

October 13, 2020 - 12:36 -- Open Access
Michal Kucharski, Jaishree Tripathi, Sourav Nayak, Lei Zhu, Grennady Wirjanata, Rob W. van der Pluijm, Mehul Dhorda, Arjen Dondorp and Zbynek Bozdech
Malaria Journal 2020 19:363, 9 October 2020

Sequencing technology advancements opened new opportunities to use transcriptomics for studying malaria pathology and epidemiology. Even though in recent years the study of whole parasite transcriptome proved to be essential in understanding parasite biology there is no compiled up-to-date reference protocol for the efficient generation of transcriptome data from growing number of samples. Here, a comprehensive methodology on how to preserve, extract, amplify, and sequence full-length mRNA transcripts from Plasmodium-infected blood samples is presented that can be fully streamlined for high-throughput studies.

A cautionary note on the use of unsupervised machine learning algorithms to characterise malaria parasite population structure from genetic distance matrices

October 13, 2020 - 12:34 -- Open Access
Watson JA, Taylor AR, Ashley EA, Dondorp A, Buckee CO, White NJ, Holmes CC
PLoS Genet. 2020 Oct 9;16(10):e1009037

Genetic surveillance of malaria parasites supports malaria control programmes, treatment guidelines and elimination strategies. Surveillance studies often pose questions about malaria parasite ancestry (e.g. how antimalarial resistance has spread) and employ statistical methods that characterise parasite population structure. Many of the methods used to characterise structure are unsupervised machine learning algorithms which depend on a genetic distance matrix, notably principal coordinates analysis (PCoA) and hierarchical agglomerative clustering (HAC).

Not Open Access | Two in one: bifonctional derivatives of trolox acting as antimalarial and antioxidant agents

October 13, 2020 - 12:31 -- NOT Open Access
Souard F, Nicolle E, Cressend D, Valentin A, Boumendjel A
Future Med Chem. 2020 Oct 9

The aim of the present work was to set-up compounds that are able to act simultaneously as antimalarial and antioxidants. Trolox, a known antioxidant was chosen as a core structure to ensure the antioxidant activity and contribute to antiplasmodial effect.

Rosettes integrity protects Plasmodium vivax of being phagocytized

October 8, 2020 - 15:37 -- Open Access
Albrecht L, Lopes SCP, Costa FTM, et al.
Sci Rep. 2020 Oct 7;10(1):16706

Plasmodium vivax is the most prevalent cause of malaria outside of Africa. P. vivax biology and pathogenesis are still poorly understood. The role of one highly occurring phenotype in particular where infected reticulocytes cytoadhere to noninfected normocytes, forming rosettes, remains unknown. Here, using a range of ex vivo approaches, we showed that P. vivax rosetting rates were enhanced by plasma of infected patients and that total immunoglobulin M levels correlated with rosetting frequency.

Assessing the acoustic behaviour of Anopheles gambiae (s.l.) dsxF mutants: implications for vector control

October 8, 2020 - 15:28 -- Open Access
Su MP, Georgiades M, Bagi J, Kyrou K, Crisanti A, Albert JT
Parasit Vectors. 2020 Oct 7;13(1):507

Release of gene-drive mutants to suppress Anopheles mosquito reproduction is a promising method of malaria control. However, many scientific, regulatory and ethical questions remain before transgenic mosquitoes can be utilised in the field. At a behavioural level, gene-drive carrying mutants should be at least as sexually attractive as the wildtype populations they compete against, with a key element of Anopheles copulation being acoustic courtship. We analysed sound emissions and acoustic preference in a doublesex mutant previously used to collapse Anopheles gambiae (s.l.) cages.

Binding of human serum proteins to Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes and its association with malaria clinical presentation

October 8, 2020 - 15:27 -- Open Access
Mary Lopez-Perez, William van der Puije, Filip C. Castberg, Michael F. Ofori and Lars Hviid
Malaria Journal 2020 19:362, 8 October 2020

The pathogenesis of Plasmodium falciparum malaria is related to the ability of parasite‑infected erythrocytes (IEs) to adhere to the vascular endothelium (cytoadhesion/sequestration) or to surrounding uninfected erythrocytes (rosetting). Both processes are mediated by the expression of members of the clonally variant PfEMP1 parasite protein family on the surface of the IEs. Recent evidence obtained with laboratory-adapted clones indicates that P. falciparum can exploit human serum factors, such as IgM and α2-macroglobulin (α2M), to increase the avidity of PfEMP1-mediated binding to erythrocyte receptors, as well as to evade host PfEMP1-specific immune responses. It has remained unclear whether PfEMP1 variants present in field isolates share these characteristics, and whether they are associated with clinical malaria severity. These issues were investigated here.

Age-dependent carriage of alleles and haplotypes of Plasmodium falciparum sera5, eba-175, and csp in a region of intense malaria transmission in Uganda

October 8, 2020 - 15:25 -- Open Access
Constance Agwang, Joseph Erume, Brenda Okech, Joseph Olobo and Thomas G. Egwang
Malaria Journal 2020 19:361, 8 October 2020

The development of malaria vaccines is constrained by genetic polymorphisms exhibited by Plasmodium falciparum antigens. The project the age-dependent distribution of alleles or haplotypes of three P. falciparum malaria vaccine candidates, Circumsporozoite Protein (csp), Erythrocyte Binding Antigen 175 (eba-175) and Serine Repeat Antigen 5 (sera5) in a region of intense malaria transmission in Uganda.


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