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Co‐developing a common glossary with stakeholders for engagement on new genetic approaches for malaria control in a local African setting

January 27, 2021 - 11:29 -- Open Access
Elinor Chemonges Wanyama, Bakara Dicko, Fatoumata Traoré, et al.
Malaria Journal 2021 20:53, 21 January 2021

Stakeholder engagement is an essential pillar for the development of innovative public health interventions, including genetic approaches for malaria vector control. Scientific terminologies are mainly lacking in local languages, yet when research activities involve international partnership, the question of technical jargon and its translation is crucial for effective and meaningful communication with stakeholders. Target Malaria, a not-for-profit research consortium developing innovative genetic approaches to malaria vector control, carried out a linguistic exercise in Mali, Burkina Faso and Uganda to establish the appropriate translation of its key terminology to local languages of sites where the teams operate.

The causes of holes and loss of physical integrity in long‐lasting insecticidal nets

January 20, 2021 - 08:30 -- Open Access
Amy Wheldrake, Estelle Guillemois, Hamidreza Arouni, Vera Chetty and Stephen J. Russell
Malaria Journal 2021 20:45, 19 January 2021

Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) are expected to last for at least 3 years, but whilst this may be achieved from an insecticidal perspective, physical protection is frequently compromised much earlier because of the rapid accumulation of holes during use. To understand why LLINs are so susceptible to loss of physical integrity, thousands of hole damage sites in LLINs retrieved from the field in Africa and Asia were forensically studied to identify the persistent underlying causes.

Accessing the syndemic of COVID-19 and malaria intervention in Africa

January 16, 2021 - 09:39 -- Open Access
Shi B, Zheng J, Xia S, Lin S, Wang X, Liu Y, Zhou XN, Liu J
Infect Dis Poverty. 2021 Jan 7;10(1):5

The pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused substantial disruptions to health services in the low and middle-income countries with a high burden of other diseases, such as malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. The aim of this study is to assess the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on malaria transmission potential in malaria-endemic countries in Africa.

NOT Open Access | Restricted genetic heterogeneity of the Plasmodium vivax transmission-blocking vaccine (TBV) candidate Pvs48/45 in a low transmission setting: Implications for the Plasmodium vivax malaria vaccine development

January 16, 2021 - 09:16 -- NOT Open Access
Asali S, Raz A, Turki H, Mafakher L, Razmjou E, Solaymani-Mohammadi S
Infect Genet Evol. 2021 Jan 6:104710

Plasmodium vivax is the most widespread malaria species parasitizing humans outside Africa, with approximately 100 million cases reported per year. Most human cases of P. vivax are asymptomatic with low parasitemia, making active case detection-based elimination programme challenging and less effective. Despite the widespread distribution of P. vivax, no effective vaccines are currently available. Transmission blocking vaccines have recently emerged as potential vaccine candidates to reduce transmission rates to below the essential levels required for the maintenance of the parasite life cycle.

Variation of physical durability between LLIN products and net use environments: summary of findings from four African countries

January 13, 2021 - 08:28 -- Open Access
Albert Kilian, Emmanuel Obi, Paul Mansiangi, Ana Paula Abílio, Khamis Ameir Haji, Sean Blaufuss, Bolanle Olapeju, Stella Babalola and Hannah Koenker
Malaria Journal 2021 20:26, 7 January 2021

Physical durability of long-lasting-insecticidal nets (LLIN) is an important aspect of the effectiveness of LLIN as a malaria prevention tool, but there is limited data on performance across locations and products. This secondary analysis of data from the VectorWorks project from 10 sites in four African countries involving six LLIN brands provides such data.

Genetic background and PfKelch13 affect artemisinin susceptibility of PfCoronin mutants in Plasmodium falciparum

December 30, 2020 - 13:55 -- Open Access
Sharma AI, Shin SH, Bopp S, Volkman SK, Hartl DL, Wirth DF
PLoS Genet. 2020 Dec 28;16(12):e1009266

Malaria continues to impose a significant health burden in the continent of Africa with 213 million cases in 2018 alone, representing 93% of cases worldwide. Because of high transmission of malaria within the continent, the selection pressures to develop drug resistance in African parasites are distinct compared to the rest of the world. In light of the spread of resistance to artemisinin conferred by the C580Y mutation in the PfKelch13 propeller domain in Southeast Asia, and its independent emergence in South America, it is important to study genetic determinants of resistance in the African context using African parasites.

NOT Open Access | RTS,S/AS01(E) malaria vaccine induces IgA responses against CSP and vaccine-unrelated antigens in African children in the phase 3 trial

December 30, 2020 - 12:56 -- NOT Open Access
Suau R, Vidal M, Dobaño C, et al.
Vaccine. 2020 Dec 24:S0264-410X(20)31606-6

The evaluation of immune responses to RTS,S/AS01 has traditionally focused on immunoglobulin (Ig) G antibodies that are only moderately associated with protection. The role of other antibody isotypes that could also contribute to vaccine efficacy remains unclear. Here we investigated whether RTS,S/AS01E elicits antigen-specific serum IgA antibodies to the vaccine and other malaria antigens, and we explored their association with protection.

Evidence for Divergent Selection on Immune Genes between the African Malaria Vectors, Anopheles coluzzii and A. gambiae

December 25, 2020 - 17:09 -- Open Access
Lee Y, Souvannaseng L, Collier TC, Main BJ, Norris LC, Fofana A, Traoré SF, Cornel AJ, Luckhart S, Lanzaro GC
Insects. 2020 Dec 18;11(12):E893

During their life cycles, microbes infecting mosquitoes encounter components of the mosquito anti-microbial innate immune defenses. Many of these immune responses also mediate susceptibility to malaria parasite infection. In West Africa, the primary malaria vectors are Anopheles coluzzii and A. gambiae sensu stricto, which is subdivided into the Bamako and Savanna sub-taxa. Here, we performed whole genome comparisons of the three taxa as well as genotyping of 333 putatively functional SNPs located in 58 immune signaling genes.

NOT Open Access | Delayed haemolysis following artesunate in a child with profound anaemia and Coca-Cola-coloured urine

December 23, 2020 - 08:27 -- NOT Open Access
Patel N, Thomson J, Re Ferre L
BMJ Case Rep. 2020 Dec 17;13(12):e238361

An 8-year-old girl of African descent presented to the hospital with a headache, lethargy, pallor and 'Coca-Cola'-coloured urine. She had been admitted 11 days before with Plasmodium falciparum malaria, which was successfully treated with 48 hours of parenteral artesunate. Investigations revealed signs of severe haemolytic anaemia, with a haemoglobin level of 52 g/L that reached a nadir of 10 g/L within 4 hours, in addition to haemoglobinuria, hyperbilirubinaemia and raised lactate dehydrogenase levels.

Influence of a Major Mountainous Landscape Barrier (Mount Cameroon) on the Spread of Metabolic (GSTe2) and Target-Site (Rdl) Resistance Alleles in the African Malaria Vector Anopheles funestus

December 16, 2020 - 12:52 -- Open Access
Amvongo-Adjia N, Riveron JM, Njiokou F, Wanji S, Wondji CS
Genes (Basel). 2020 Dec 11;11(12):E1492

Increased levels of insecticide resistance in major malaria vectors such as Anopheles funestus threaten the effectiveness of insecticide-based control programmes. Understanding the landscape features impacting the spread of resistance makers is necessary to design suitable resistance management strategies. Here, we examined the influence of the highest mountain in West Africa (Mount Cameroon; 4095 m elevation) on the spread of metabolic and target-site resistance alleles in An. funestus populations.


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