The DNA polymerase module of the Pfprex enzyme (PfpPol) is responsible for duplication of the genome of the apicoplast organelle in the malaria parasite. We show that PfpPol can misincorporate oxidized nucleotides such as 8oxodGTP opposite dA. This event gives rise to transversion mutations that are known to lead to adverse physiological outcomes.
Children are highly susceptible to clinical malaria, and in regions where malaria is endemic, their immune systems must face successive encounters with Plasmodium falciparum parasites before they develop immunity, first against severe disease and later against uncomplicated malaria. Understanding cellular and molecular interactions between host and parasites during an infection could provide insights into the processes underlying this gradual acquisition of immunity, as well as to how parasites adapt to infect hosts that are successively more malaria experienced.
Falcipain-2 (FP-2) is hemoglobinase considered an attractive drug target of Plasmodium falciparum. Recently, it has been shown that peptidomimetic nitriles containing a 3-pyridine (3Pyr) moiety at P2 display high affinity and selectivity for FP-2 with respect to human cysteine cathepsins (hCats). Further characterization demonstrated that certain P3 variants of these compounds possess micromolar inhibition of parasite growth in vitro and no cytotoxicity against human cell lines.
Since 2014, seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) with amodiaquine–sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine (AQ–SP) has been implemented on a large scale during the high malaria transmission season in Burkina Faso. This paper reports the prevalence of microscopic and submicroscopic malaria infection at the outset and after the first round of SMC in children under 5 years old in Bama, Burkina Faso, as well as host and parasite factors involved in mediating the efficacy and tolerability of SMC.
The genomes of Plasmodium spp. encode a number of different multigene families that are thought to play a critical role for survival. However, with the exception of the P. falciparum var genes, very little is known about the biological roles of any of the other multigene families. Using the recently developed Selection Linked Integration method, we have been able to activate the expression of a single member of a multigene family of our choice in Plasmodium spp. from its endogenous promoter.
Mass drug administration (MDA) with artemisinin combination therapy is a potentially useful tool for malaria elimination programs, but its success depends partly on drug effectiveness and treatment coverage in the targeted population. As part of a cluster-randomized controlled trial in Southern Province, Zambia evaluating the impact of MDA and household focal MDA (fMDA) with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHAp), sub-studies were conducted investigating population drug adherence rates and effectiveness of DHAp as administered in clearing Plasmodium falciparum infections following household mass administration.
Malaria burden in Zambia has significantly declined over the last decade because of improved coverage of several key malaria interventions (e.g., vector control, case management, bed net distributions, and enhanced surveillance/responses). Campaign-based mass drug administration (MDA) and focal MDA (fMDA) were assessed in a trial in Southern Province, Zambia, to identify its utility in elimination efforts.
As Zambia continues to reduce its malaria incidence and target elimination in Southern Province, there is a need to identify factors that can reintroduce parasites and sustain malaria transmission. To examine the relative contributions of types of human mobility on malaria prevalence, this analysis quantifies the proportion of the population having recently traveled during both peak and nonpeak transmission seasons over the course of 2 years and assesses the relationship between short-term travel and malaria infection status.
In this supplement, we present findings from a cluster randomized controlled trial to assess the relative effectiveness of community-wide mass drug administration (MDA) or house-hold focal MDA (fMDA) compared with the standard of care. The trial was carried out in 60 health facility catchment areas (HFCAs) along Lake Kariba in Zambia’s Southern Province between December 2014 and February 2016.
Whereas data on insecticide resistance and its underlying mechanisms exist for parts of Zambia, data remain limited in the southern part of the country. This study investigated the status of insecticide resistance, metabolic mechanisms, and parasite infection in Anopheles funestus along Lake Kariba in southern Zambia. Indoor-resting mosquitoes were collected from 20 randomly selected houses within clusters where a mass drug administration trial was conducted and raised to F1 progeny.