Plasmodium vivax causes significant public health problems in endemic regions. A vaccine to prevent disease is critical, considering the rapid spread of drug-resistant parasite strains, and the development of hypnozoites in the liver with potential for relapse. A minimally effective vaccine should prevent disease and transmission while an ideal vaccine provides sterile immunity. Areas covered: Despite decades of research, the complex life cycle, technical challenges and a lack of funding have hampered progress of P. vivax vaccine development.
Malaria elimination in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region is challenged by a rising proportion of malaria attributable to P. vivax. Primaquine (PQ) is effective in eliminating the parasite's dormant liver stages and can prevent relapsing infections, but it induces severe haemolysis in patients with Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, highlighting the importance of testing enzyme activity prior to treatment.
Widespread resistance against antimalarial drugs thwarts current efforts for controlling the disease and urges the discovery of new effective treatments. Drug repositioning is increasingly becoming an attractive strategy since it can reduce costs, risks and time-to-market. Herein we have used this strategy to identify novel antimalarial hits. We performed a comparative in silico chemogenomics approach to select Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax proteins as potential drug targets and analyzed these using a computer-assisted drug repositioning pipeline to identify approved drugs with potential antimalarial activity. Among seven drugs identified as promising antimalarial candidates, the anthracycline epirubicin was selected for further experimental validation.
In recent times, Plasmodium vivax (P. vivax) has become a serious threat to public health due to its ability to cause severe infection with fatal outcomes. Its unique biology makes it resilient to control measures that are otherwise effective against P. falciparum. A deeper understanding of P. vivax biology and pathogenesis is, therefore, essential for developing the right control strategies.
Plasmodium relapses are attributed to the activation of dormant liver-stage parasites and are responsible for a significant number of recurring malaria blood-stage infections.
PMT, like the pan-specific LDH biomarker used in RDT tests, is both soluble, present at comparable concentrations in the parasite and constitutes a promising antimalarial drug target.
Asymptomatic human P. knowlesi and P. vivax malaria infections, but not P. cynomolgi and P. inui infections, are occurring within communities affected with malaria.
Severe malaria due to P. falciparum and P. vivax malaria is an existing entity among adults in eastern Sudan. Patients with severe P. falciparum and P. vivax develop similar disease manifestations.
Plasmodium vivax malaria pathophysiology is still poorly understood.
The diagnostics of this human malaria parasite should be taken into account in the context of malaria control and elimination efforts, not only in Mali, but also in sub-Saharan Africa.