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Africa

Evaluating insecticide resistance across African districts to aid malaria control decisions

August 27, 2020 - 08:19 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Moyes CL, Athinya DK, Seethaler T, Battle KE, Sinka M, Hadi MP, Hemingway J, Coleman M, Hancock PA
Reference: 
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Aug 25:202006781

Malaria vector control may be compromised by resistance to insecticides in vector populations. Actions to mitigate against resistance rely on surveillance using standard susceptibility tests, but there are large gaps in the monitoring data across Africa. Using a published geostatistical ensemble model, we have generated maps that bridge these gaps and consider the likelihood that resistance exceeds recommended thresholds.

NOT Open Access | Prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum Kelch 13 (PfK13) and ubiquitin-specific protease 1 (pfubp1) gene polymorphisms in returning travellers from Africa reported in Eastern China

August 26, 2020 - 14:53 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Yan H, Kong X, Zhang T, Xiao H, Feng X, Tu H, Feng J
Reference: 
Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2020 Aug 24:AAC.00981-20

Delayed clearance of Plasmodium falciparum by artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) has already been observed in African isolates. Here, we aimed to investigate the prevalence of polymorphisms in two genes correlated with delayed parasite clearance, P. falciparum Kelch 13 (PfK13) and ubiquitin-specific protease 1 (pfubp1), among returning travellers from African countries reported in eastern China and to provide baseline data for antimalarial drug resistance (ART) surveillance and evaluation.

Antimalarial artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACT) and COVID-19 in Africa: In vitro inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 replication by mefloquine-artesunate

August 19, 2020 - 09:15 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Gendrot M, Duflot I, Boxberger M, Delandre O, Jardot P, Le Bideau M, Andreani J, Fonta I, Mosnier J, Rolland C, Hutter S, La Scola B, Pradines B
Reference: 
Int J Infect Dis. 2020 Aug 14:S1201-9712(20)30661-5

At the end of November 2019, a novel coronavirus responsible for respiratory tract infections (COVID-19) emerged in China. Despite drastic containment measures, this virus, known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), spread in Asia and Europe. The pandemic is ongoing with particular hotspot in Southern Europe and America. Many studies predicted a similar epidemic in Africa as that currently seen in Europe and the United States of America. However, reported data do not confirm these predictions. One of the hypotheses that could explain the later emergence and spread of COVID-19 pandemic in African countries is the use of antimalarial drugs to treat malaria, and more particularly artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT).

Induction of long-lived potential aestivation states in laboratory An. gambiae mosquitoes

August 17, 2020 - 13:42 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Krajacich BJ, Sullivan M, Faiman R, Veru L, Graber L, Lehmann T
Reference: 
Parasit Vectors. 2020 Aug 12;13(1):412

How anopheline mosquitoes persist through the long dry season in Africa remains a gap in our understanding of these malaria vectors. To span this period in locations such as the Sahelian zone of Mali, mosquitoes must either migrate to areas of permanent water, recolonize areas as they again become favorable, or survive in harsh conditions including high temperatures, low humidity, and an absence of surface water (required for breeding). Adult mosquitoes surviving through this season must dramatically extend their typical lifespan (averaging 2–3 weeks) to 7 months. Previous work has found evidence that the malaria mosquito An. coluzzii, survives over 200 days in the wild between rainy seasons in a presumed state of aestivation (hibernation), but this state has so far not been replicated in laboratory conditions. The inability to recapitulate aestivation in the lab hinders addressing key questions such as how this state is induced, how it affects malaria vector competence, and its impact on disease transmission.

NOT Open Access | Alsinol, an arylamino alcohol derivative active against Plasmodium, Babesia, Trypanosoma, and Leishmania: past and new outcomes

August 10, 2020 - 16:19 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Arias MH, Quiliano M, Deharo E, et al.
Reference: 
Parasitol Res. 2020 Aug 8

Malaria, babesiosis, trypanosomosis, and leishmaniasis are some of the most life-threatening parasites, but the range of drugs to treat them is limited. An effective, safe, and low-cost drug with a large activity spectrum is urgently needed. For this purpose, an aryl amino alcohol derivative called Alsinol was resynthesized, screened in silico, and tested against Plasmodium, Babesia, Trypanosoma, and Leishmania. In silico Alsinol follows the Lipinski and Ghose rules.

The potential public health consequences of COVID-19 on malaria in Africa

August 10, 2020 - 16:04 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Sherrard-Smith E, Hogan AB, Churcher TS, et al.
Reference: 
Nat Med. 2020 Aug 7

The burden of malaria is heavily concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) where cases and deaths associated with COVID-19 are rising1. In response, countries are implementing societal measures aimed at curtailing transmission of SARS-CoV-22,3. Despite these measures, the COVID-19 epidemic could still result in millions of deaths as local health facilities become overwhelmed4.

Emergence and clonal expansion of in vitro artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum kelch13 R561H mutant parasites in Rwanda

August 5, 2020 - 15:14 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Uwimana A, Legrand E, Stokes BH, Ndikumana JM, Warsame M, Umulisa N, Ngamije D, Munyaneza T, Mazarati JB, Munguti K, Campagne P, Criscuolo A, Ariey F, Murindahabi M, Ringwald P, Fidock DA, Mbituyumuremyi A, Menard D
Reference: 
Nat Med. 2020 Aug 3. doi: 10.1038/s41591-020-1005-2

Artemisinin resistance (delayed P. falciparum clearance following artemisinin-based combination therapy), is widespread across Southeast Asia but to date has not been reported in Africa. Here we genotyped the P. falciparum K13 (Pfkelch13) propeller domain, mutations in which can mediate artemisinin resistance, in pretreatment samples collected from recent dihydroarteminisin-piperaquine and artemether-lumefantrine efficacy trials in Rwanda.

The fabric of life: what if mosquito nets were durable and widely available but insecticide-free?

July 21, 2020 - 15:27 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Fredros Okumu
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2020 19:260, 20 July 2020

Bed nets are the commonest malaria prevention tool and arguably the most cost-effective. Their efficacy is because they prevent mosquito bites (a function of physical durability and integrity), and kill mosquitoes (a function of chemical content and mosquito susceptibility). This essay follows the story of bed nets, insecticides and malaria control, and asks whether the nets must always have insecticides.

Polymorphisms of pfcrt, pfmdr1, and K13-propeller genes in imported falciparum malaria isolates from Africa in Guizhou province, China

July 20, 2020 - 15:28 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
She D, Wang Z, Liang Q, Lu L, Huang Y, Zhang K, An D, Wu J
Reference: 
BMC Infect Dis. 2020 Jul 16;20(1):513

Imported falciparum malaria from Africa has become a key public health challenge in Guizhou Province since 2012. Understanding the polymorphisms of molecular markers of drug resistance can guide selection of antimalarial drugs for the treatment of malaria. This study was aimed to analyze the polymorphisms of pfcrt, pfmdr1, and K13-propeller among imported falciparum malaria cases in Guizhou Province, China.

The Effects of High-Altitude Windborne Migration on Survival, Oviposition, and Blood-Feeding of the African Malaria Mosquito, Anopheles gambiae s.l. (Diptera: Culicidae)

July 16, 2020 - 07:53 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Sanogo ZL, Yaro AS, Dao A, Diallo M, Yossi O, Samaké D, Krajacich BJ, Faiman R, Lehmann T
Reference: 
J Med Entomol. 2020 Jul 15:tjaa137

Recent results of high-altitude windborne mosquito migration raised questions about the viability of these mosquitoes despite ample evidence that many insect species, including other dipterans, have been known to migrate regularly over tens or hundreds of kilometers on high-altitude winds and retain their viability. To address these concerns, we subjected wild Anopheles gambiae s.l.

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