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An urban-to-rural continuum of malaria risk: new analytic approaches characterize patterns in Malawi

November 18, 2021 - 11:29 -- Open Access
Peter S. Larson, Joseph N. S. Eisenberg, Veronica J. Berrocal, Don P. Mathanga and Mark L. Wilson
Malaria Journal 2021 20:418, 24 October 2021

The urban–rural designation has been an important risk factor in infectious disease epidemiology. Many studies rely on a politically determined dichotomization of rural versus urban spaces, which fails to capture the complex mosaic of infrastructural, social and environmental factors driving risk. Such evaluation is especially important for Plasmodium transmission and malaria disease. To improve targeting of anti-malarial interventions, a continuous composite measure of urbanicity using spatially-referenced data was developed to evaluate household-level malaria risk from a house-to-house survey of children in Malawi.

Plasmodium falciparum clearance time in Malawian children with cerebral malaria: a retrospective cohort study

October 29, 2021 - 14:22 -- Open Access
Alexuse M. Saidi, Geoffrey Guenther, Rima Izem, Xiaojun Chen, Karl Seydel and Douglas Postels
Malaria Journal 2021 20:408, 18 October 2021

Standard treatment for both uncomplicated and severe malaria is artemisinin derivatives. Delayed parasite clearance times preceded the appearance of artemisinin treatment failures in Southeast Asia. Most worldwide malaria cases are in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where clinically significant artemisinin resistance or treatment failure has not yet been detected. The recent emergence of a resistance-conferring genetic mutation in the Plasmodium falciparum parasite in Africa warrants continued monitoring throughout the continent.

Proximity of Residence to Irrigation Determines Malaria Risk and Anopheles Abundance at an Irrigated Agroecosystem in Malawi

October 23, 2021 - 12:44 -- Open Access
Mangani C, Frake AN, Chipula G, Mkwaila W, Kakota T, Mambo I, Chingonda J, Mathanga D, Mzilahowa T, Zulu L, Walker E
Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2021 Oct 18:tpmd210390

As countries of sub-Saharan Africa expand irrigation to improve food security and foster economic growth, it is important to quantify the malaria risk associated with this process. Irrigated ecosystems can be associated with increased malaria risk, but this relationship is not fully understood. We studied this relationship at the Bwanje Valley Irrigation Scheme (800 hectares) in Malawi.

Evaluation of the Sysmex XN-31 automated analyser for blood donor malaria screening at Malawi Blood Transfusion Services

September 30, 2021 - 12:55 -- Open Access
M'baya B, Mfune T, Samon A, Hwandih T, Münster M
Vox Sang. 2021 Sep 23

Balancing blood supply safety and sufficiency is challenging in malaria-endemic countries where the risk of transfusion-transmitted malaria (TTM) is ever-present. In support of reducing this risk, our study aimed at evaluating the performance of the Sysmex XN-31 analyser in blood donor malaria screening, as compared with current practice in Malawi.

Impact of cattle on the abundance of indoor and outdoor resting malaria vectors in southern Malawi

September 1, 2021 - 16:33 -- Open Access
Monicah M. Mburu, Kennedy Zembere, Themba Mzilahowa, Anja D. Terlouw, Tumaini Malenga, Henk van den Berg, Willem Takken and Robert S. McCann
Malaria Journal 2021 20:353, 26 August 2021

Understanding the blood feeding preferences and resting habits of malaria vectors is important for assessing and designing effective malaria vector control tools. The presence of livestock, such as cattle, which are used as blood meal hosts by some malaria vectors, may impact malaria parasite transmission dynamics. The presence of livestock may provide sufficient blood meals for the vectors, thereby reducing the frequency of vectors biting humans. Alternatively, the presence of cattle may enhance the availability of blood meals such that infectious mosquitoes may survive longer, thereby increasing the risk of malaria transmission. This study assessed the effect of household-level cattle presence and distribution on the abundance of indoor and outdoor resting malaria vectors.

NOT Open Access | Occurrence and Distribution of Non-falciparum Malaria Parasite Species among Adolescents and Adults in Malawi

July 14, 2021 - 10:39 -- NOT Open Access
Gumbo A, Topazian HM, Juliano JJ, et al.
J Infect Dis. 2021 Jul 9:jiab353

Plasmodium falciparum malaria dominates throughout sub-Saharan Africa, but the prevalence of P. malariae, P. ovale spp., and P. vivax increasingly contribute to infection in countries which control malaria using P. falciparum-specific diagnostic and treatment strategies.

Not Open Access | The effect of intermittent preventive treatment of malaria during pregnancy and placental malaria on infant risk of malaria

July 6, 2021 - 14:33 -- NOT Open Access
Andronescu LR, Sharma A, Peterson I, Kachingwe M, Kachepa W, Liang Y, Gutman JR, Mathanga DP, Chinkhumba J, Laufer MK
J Infect Dis. 2021 Jul 3:jiab351

Intermittent preventive treatment of malaria during pregnancy (IPTp) with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) provides greater protection from placental malaria than sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP). Some studies suggest placental malaria alters the risk of malaria infection in infants, but few studies have quantified the effect of IPTp on infant susceptibility to malaria.

Cost of community-led larval source management and house improvement for malaria control: a cost analysis within a cluster-randomized trial in a rural district in Malawi

June 16, 2021 - 13:15 -- Open Access
Mphatso Dennis Phiri, Robert S. McCann, Eve Worrall, et al.
Malaria Journal 2021 20:268, 13 June 2021

House improvement (HI) to prevent mosquito house entry, and larval source management (LSM) targeting aquatic mosquito stages to prevent development into adult forms, are promising complementary interventions to current malaria vector control strategies. Lack of evidence on costs and cost-effectiveness of community-led implementation of HI and LSM has hindered wide-scale adoption. This study presents an incremental cost analysis of community-led implementation of HI and LSM, in a cluster-randomized, factorial design trial, in addition to standard national malaria control interventions in a rural area (25,000 people), in southern Malawi.

Whole-genome analysis of Malawian Plasmodium falciparum isolates identifies possible targets of allele-specific immunity to clinical malaria

May 26, 2021 - 09:35 -- Open Access
Shah Z, Naung MT, Takala-Harrison S, et al.
PLoS Genet. 2021 May 25;17(5):e1009576

Individuals acquire immunity to clinical malaria after repeated Plasmodium falciparum infections. Immunity to disease is thought to reflect the acquisition of a repertoire of responses to multiple alleles in diverse parasite antigens. In previous studies, we identified polymorphic sites within individual antigens that are associated with parasite immune evasion by examining antigen allele dynamics in individuals followed longitudinally.

The effect of community-driven larval source management and house improvement on malaria transmission when added to the standard malaria control strategies in Malawi: a cluster-randomized controlled trial

May 26, 2021 - 09:24 -- Open Access
Robert S. McCann, Alinune N. Kabaghe, Kamija S. Phiri, et al.
Malaria Journal 2021 20:232, 22 May 2021

Current standard interventions are not universally sufficient for malaria elimination. The effects of community-based house improvement (HI) and larval source management (LSM) as supplementary interventions to the Malawi National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) interventions were assessed in the context of an intensive community engagement programme.


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