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Africa

NOT Open Access | Malaria is a cause of iron deficiency in African children

February 25, 2021 - 08:29 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Muriuki JM, Mentzer AJ, Atkinson SH, et al.
Reference: 
Nat Med. 2021 Feb 22

Malaria and iron deficiency (ID) are common and interrelated public health problems in African children. Observational data suggest that interrupting malaria transmission reduces the prevalence of ID1. To test the hypothesis that malaria might cause ID, we used sickle cell trait (HbAS, rs334 ), a genetic variant that confers specific protection against malaria2, as an instrumental variable in Mendelian randomization analyses.

NOT Open Access | The genetic architecture of target-site resistance to pyrethroid insecticides in the African malaria vectors Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles coluzzii

February 16, 2021 - 15:46 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Clarkson CS, Miles A, Harding NJ, O'Reilly AO, Weetman D, Kwiatkowski D, Donnelly MJ
Reference: 
Mol Ecol. 2021 Feb 16

Resistance to pyrethroid insecticides is a major concern for malaria vector control. Pyrethroids target the voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC), an essential compo nent of the mosquito nervous system. Substitutions in the amino acid sequence can inducing a resistance phenotype. We use whole-genome sequence data from phase 2 of the Anopheles gambiae 1000 Genomes Project (Ag1000G) to provide a comprehensive account of genetic variation in the Vgsc gene across 13 African countries. In addition to known resistance alleles, we describe 20 other non-synonymous nucleotide substitutions at appreciable population frequency, and map these variants onto a protein model to investigate the likelihood of a pyrethroid resistance phenotypes.

Molecular surveillance of pfcrt, pfmdr1 and pfk13-propeller mutations in Plasmodium falciparum isolates imported from Africa to China

February 8, 2021 - 10:54 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Fang Huang, He Yan, Jing-Bo Xue, Yan-Wen Cui, Shui-Sen Zhou, Zhi-Gui Xia, Rabindra Abeyasinghe, Pascal Ringwald and Xiao-Nong Zhou
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2021 20:73, 6 February 2021

The emergence and spread of multidrug resistance poses a significant risk to malaria control and eradication goals in the world. There has been no indigenous malaria cases reported in China since 2017, and China is approaching national malaria elimination. Therefore, anti-malarial drug resistance surveillance and tracking the emergence and spread of imported drug-resistant malaria cases will be necessary in a post-elimination phase in China.

Circumsporozoite Surface Protein-based malaria vaccines: a review

February 6, 2021 - 10:47 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Almeida MEM, Vasconcelos MGS, Tarragô AM, Mariúba LAM
Reference: 
Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo. 2021 Jan 29;63:e11

Malaria represents a serious public health problem, presenting with high rates of incidence, morbidity and mortality in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. According to the World Health Organization, in 2018 there were 228 million cases and 405 thousand deaths caused by this disease in the world, affecting mainly children and pregnant women in Africa. Despite the programs carried out to control this disease, drug resistance and invertebrate vector resistance to insecticides have generated difficulties. An efficient vaccine against malaria would be a strategy with a high impact on the eradication and control of this disease.

Estimating the Fraction of Severe Malaria among Malaria-Positive Children: Analysis of Household Surveys in 19 Malaria-Endemic Countries in Africa

February 6, 2021 - 10:46 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Taylor C, Namaste SML, Lowell J, Useem J, Yé Y
Reference: 
Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2021 Feb 1:tpmd201351

To date, the only robust estimates of severe malaria cases include children who present to the formal healthcare system. It is a challenge to use these data because of varying age ranges of reporting, different diagnosis techniques, surveillance methods, and healthcare utilization. This analysis examined data from 37 Demographic and Health Surveys and Malaria Indicator Surveys across 19 countries in sub-Saharan Africa collected between 2011 and 2018.

NOT Open Access | A prospective mechanism and source of cholesterol uptake by Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes co-cultured with HepG2 cells

February 3, 2021 - 14:57 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Hayakawa EH, Kato H, Nardone GA, Usukura J
Reference: 
Parasitol Int. 2021 Feb;80:102179

Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) parasites still cause lethal infections worldwide, especially in Africa (https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/world-malaria-report-2019). During P. falciparum blood-stage infections in humans, low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein and cholesterol levels in the blood become low. Because P. falciparum lacks a de novo cholesterol synthesis pathway, it must import cholesterol from the surrounding environment. However, the origin of the cholesterol and how it is taken up by the parasite across the multiple membranes that surround it is not fully understood.

Bionomics and ecology of Anopheles merus along the East and Southern Africa coast

February 3, 2021 - 14:25 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Bartilol B, Omedo I, Mbogo C, Mwangangi J, Rono MK
Reference: 
Parasit Vectors. 2021 Jan 28;14(1):84

Malaria transmission persists despite the scale-up of interventions such as long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS). Understanding the entomological drivers of transmission is key for the design of effective and sustainable tools to address the challenge. Recent research findings indicate a shift in vector populations from the notorious Anopheles gambiae (s.s.) as a dominant vector to other species as one of the factors contributing to the persistence of malaria transmission.

Seasonal malaria chemoprevention in the Sahel subregion of Africa: a cost-effectiveness and cost-savings analysis

February 3, 2021 - 14:19 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Gilmartin C, Nonvignon J, Cairns M, Milligan P, Bocoum F, Winskill P, Moroso D, Collins D
Reference: 
Lancet Glob Health. 2021 Feb;9(2):e199-e208

The intermittent administration of seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) is recommended to prevent malaria among children aged 3–59 months in areas of the Sahel subregion in Africa. However, the cost-effectiveness and cost savings of SMC have not previously been evaluated in large-scale studies.

Pharmacokinetic study of rectal artesunate in children with severe malaria in Africa

February 2, 2021 - 16:41 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Fanello C, Hoglund RM, Onyamboko MA, et al.
Reference: 
Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2021 Feb 1:AAC.02223-20

When severe malaria is suspected in children, WHO recommends pre-treatment with a single rectal dose of artesunate before referral to an appropriate facility. This was an individually randomized, open-label, 2-arm, cross-over clinical trial in 83 Congolese children with severe falciparum malaria, to characterize the pharmacokinetics of rectal artesunate. At admission, children received a single dose of rectal artesunate (10 mg/kg) followed 12 hours later by intravenous artesunate (2.4 mg/kg) or the reverse order. All children also received standard doses of intravenous quinine.

Role of human Pegivirus infections in whole Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite vaccination and controlled human malaria infection in African volunteers

January 27, 2021 - 15:30 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Tumbo AM, Schindler T, Daubenberger C, et al.
Reference: 
Virol J. 2021 Jan 26;18(1):28

Diverse vaccination outcomes and protection levels among different populations pose a serious challenge to the development of an effective malaria vaccine. Co-infections are among many factors associated with immune dysfunction and sub-optimal vaccination outcomes. Chronic, asymptomatic viral infections can contribute to the modulation of vaccine efficacy through various mechanisms. Human Pegivirus-1 (HPgV-1) persists in immune cells thereby potentially modulating immune responses. We investigated whether Pegivirus infection influences vaccine-induced responses and protection in African volunteers undergoing whole P. falciparum sporozoites-based malaria vaccination and controlled human malaria infections (CHMI).

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