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Africa

Performance evaluation of a prototype rapid diagnostic test for combined detection of gambiense-human African trypanosomiasis and malaria

April 10, 2020 - 16:41 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Lumbala C, Matovu E, Sendagire H, Kazibwe AJN, Likwela JL, Muhindo Mavoko H, Kayembe S, Lutumba P, Biéler S, Van Geertruyden JP, Ndung'u JM
Reference: 
PLoS Negl Trop Dis 14(4): e0008168

Malaria is endemic in all regions where gambiense or rhodesiense human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is reported, and both diseases have similarities in their symptomatology. A combined test could be useful for both diseases and would facilitate integration of the screening for gambiense HAT (gHAT) and malaria diagnosis. This study aimed to evaluate a combined prototype rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for gHAT and malaria.

Targeted deep amplicon sequencing of kelch 13 and cytochrome b in Plasmodium falciparum isolates from an endemic African country using the Malaria Resistance Surveillance (MaRS) protocol

March 19, 2020 - 08:39 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
L'Episcopia M, Kelley J, Patel D, Schmedes S, Ravishankar S, Menegon M, Perrotti E, Nurahmed AM, Talha AA, Nour BY, Lucchi N, Severini C, Talundzic E
Reference: 
Parasit Vectors. 2020 Mar 14; 13(1):137

Routine molecular surveillance for imported drug-resistant malaria parasites to the USA and European Union is an important public health activity. The obtained molecular data are used to help keep chemoprophylaxis and treatment guidelines up to date for persons traveling to malaria endemic countries. Recent advances in next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies provide a new and effective way of tracking malaria drug-resistant parasites.

A Randomized Controlled Trial of Three- versus Five-Day Artemether-Lumefantrine Regimens for Treatment of Uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum Malaria in Pregnancy in Africa

March 2, 2020 - 14:01 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Onyamboko MA, Hoglund RM, Lee SJ, Kabedi C, Kayembe D, Badjanga BB, Turner GDH, Jackson NV, Tarning J, McGready R, Nosten F, White NJ, Day NPJ, Fanello C
Reference: 
Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2020 Feb 21;64(3). pii: e01140-19

Artemether-lumefantrine antimalarial efficacy in pregnancy could be compromised by reduced drug exposure. Population-based simulations suggested that therapeutic efficacy would be improved if the treatment duration was increased. We assessed the efficacy, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of an extended 5-day regimen of artemether-lumefantrine compared to the standard 3-day treatment in 48 pregnant women and 48 nonpregnant women with uncomplicated falciparum malaria in an open-label, randomized clinical trial. Babies were assessed at birth and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months.

Patients with positive malaria tests not given artemisinin-based combination therapies: a research synthesis describing under-prescription of antimalarial medicines in Africa

February 10, 2020 - 15:53 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Shennae O’Boyle, Katia J. Bruxvoort, Heidi Hopkins, et al.
Reference: 
BMC Med 18, 17 (2020)

There has been a successful push towards parasitological diagnosis of malaria in Africa, mainly with rapid diagnostic tests (mRDTs), which has reduced over-prescribing of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACT) to malaria test-negative patients. The effect on prescribing for test-positive patients has received much less attention. Malaria infection in endemic Africa is often most dangerous for young children and those in low-transmission settings. This study examined non-prescription of antimalarials for patients with malaria infection demonstrated by positive mRDT results, and in particular these groups who are most vulnerable to poor outcomes if antimalarials are not given.

Long-term immunogenicity and immune memory response to the hepatitis B antigen in the RTS,S/AS01E malaria vaccine in African children: a randomized trial

January 24, 2020 - 15:04 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Valéa I, Adjei S, Agbenyega T, et al.
Reference: 
Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2020 Jan 17:1-7

RTS,S/AS01E malaria vaccine contains the hepatitis B virus surface antigen and may thus serve as a potential hepatitis B vaccine. To evaluate the impact of RTS,S/AS01E when implemented in the Expanded Program of Immunization, infants 8–12 weeks old were randomized to receive either RTS,S/AS01E or a licensed hepatitis B control vaccine (HepB), both co-administered with various combinations of the following childhood vaccines: diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis-Haemophilus influenzae type b, trivalent oral poliovirus, pneumococcal non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae protein D conjugate and human rotavirus vaccine.

Evidence of positively selected G6PD A- allele reduces risk of Plasmodium falciparum infection in African population on Bioko Island

January 15, 2020 - 09:10 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Liang XY, Chen JT, Ma YB, Huang HY, Xie DD, Monte-Nguba SM, Ehapo CS, Eyi UM, Zheng YZ, Liu XZ, Zha GC, Lin LY, Chen WZ, Zhou X, Lin M
Reference: 
Mol Genet Genomic Med. 2019 Dec 24:e1061

Glucose‐6‐phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) is an essential enzyme that protects red blood cells from oxidative damage. Although G6PD‐deficient alleles appear to confer a protective effect of malaria, the link with clinical protection against Plasmodium infection is conflicting.

Effects of school-based physical activity and multi-micronutrient supplementation intervention on growth, health and well-being of schoolchildren in three African countries: the KaziAfya cluster randomised controlled trial protocol with a 2 × 2 factorial

January 14, 2020 - 16:09 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Gerber M, Ayekoé SA, Utzinger J, et al.
Reference: 
Trials, 2020 Jan 6; 21(1):22

In low- and middle-income countries, infectious diseases remain a key public health issue. Additionally, non-communicable diseases are a rapidly growing public health problem that impose a considerable burden on population health. One way to address this dual disease burden, is to incorporate (lifestyle) health promotion measures within the education sector. In the planned study, we will (i) assess and compare physical activity, physical fitness, micronutrient status, body composition, infections with soil-transmitted helminths, Schistosoma mansoni, malaria, inflammatory and cardiovascular health risk markers, cognitive function, health-related quality of life, and sleep in schoolchildren in Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa and Tanzania. We will (ii) determine the bi- and multivariate associations between these variables and (iii) examine the effects of a school-based health intervention that consists of physical activity, multi-micronutrient supplementation, or both.

Upsurge of malaria transmission after indoor residual spraying withdrawal in Atacora region in Benin, West Africa

January 7, 2020 - 14:52 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Rock Yves Aïkpon, Gil Padonou, Martin Akogbéto, et al.
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2020 19:3, 3 January 2020

In Benin, malaria vector control mostly relies on long-lasting, insecticidal-treated bed nets (LLINs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS) operations. From 2011 to 2016, an IRS programme has been implemented in Atacora region. However, in 2017 the programme was withdrawn from two other regions in the northern part of the country, with hopes that gains would be relatively sustained because of the seasonality of malaria transmission. What would be the vulnerability of populations to malaria after the withdrawal of IRS?

Not Open Access | Severe Malaria in African Children — The Need for Continuing Investment

December 23, 2019 - 15:23 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Kathryn Maitland
Reference: 
N Engl J Med. 2016 Dec 22; 375(25): 2416–2417.

In large parts of sub-Saharan Africa, the start of the seasonal rains means that within weeks, hospitals will witness a sharp upsurge in admissions to their pediatric wards. Many children who are admitted will be suffering from life-threatening complications of Plasmodium falciparum malaria, such as coma and convulsions (cerebral malaria), severe anemia (requiring urgent lifesaving transfusion), and rapid breathing (due to severe metabolic acidosis).

How far is the journey before malaria is knocked out of Zimbabwe? (or Africa): a commentary

December 17, 2019 - 16:43 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Clive Shiff
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2019 18:423, 16 December 2019

Recent publications and statements have drawn attention to a sustainable system of managing malaria control interventions globally but especially on the Continent of Africa. Arbitrary and unstable governments often interfere with health programmes, causing upsurges in malaria transmission as well as other health issues. A well-run health infrastructure will deal with public health as a whole.

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