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Submicroscopic malaria infection is not associated with fever in cross-sectional studies in Malawi

June 30, 2020 - 14:28 -- Open Access
Jimmy Vareta, Andrea G. Buchwald, Miriam K. Laufer, et al.
Malaria Journal 2020 19:233, 29 June 2020

Submicroscopic Plasmodium falciparum infections are widespread in many areas. However, the contribution of these infections to symptomatic malaria is not well understood. This study evaluated whether participants with submicroscopic P. falciparum infections have higher prevalence of fever than uninfected participants in southern Malawi.

Levels of knowledge regarding malaria causes, symptoms, and prevention measures among Malawian women of reproductive age

June 26, 2020 - 11:11 -- Open Access
Alick Sixpence, Owen Nkoka, Gowokani C. Chirwa, Edith B. Milanzi, Charles Mangani, Don P. Mathanga and Peter A. M. Ntenda
Malaria Journal 2020 19:225, 24 June 2020

Malawi is a malaria-endemic country and approximately 6 million cases are reported annually. Improving knowledge of malaria causes and symptoms, and the overall perception towards malaria and its preventive measures is vital for malaria control. The current study investigated the levels of knowledge of the causes, symptoms and prevention of malaria among Malawian women.

Plasma cell-free DNA predicts pediatric cerebral malaria severity

June 22, 2020 - 16:52 -- Open Access
Vera IM, Kessler A, Kim K, et al.
JCI Insight. 2020 Jun 18;5(12):136279

Prediction of adverse outcomes in cerebral malaria (CM) is difficult. We hypothesized that cell-free DNA (cfDNA) levels would facilitate identification of severe and potentially fatal CM cases.

Environmental modifiers of RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine efficacy in Lilongwe, Malawi

June 15, 2020 - 15:39 -- Open Access
Bell GJ, Loop MS, Hoffman I, et al.
BMC Public Health. 2020 Jun 12; 20(1):910

RTS,S/AS01 is the first vaccine against malaria to undergo pilot implementation, beginning in 2019 and vaccinating 360,000 children per year in Malawi, Ghana, and Kenya. The four-dose vaccine is given as a primary three-dose series with a fourth dose given approximately 18 months later. The efficacy of RTS,S/AS01 was variable among the 11 sites participating in the 2009–2014 phase III trial (MALARIA-055, NCT00866619), possibly due to differences in transmission intensity. However, a within-site examination of environmental factors related to transmission intensity and their impact on vaccine efficacy has yet to be conducted.

NOT Open Access | Characterisation of anopheline larval habitats in southern Malawi

June 3, 2020 - 07:13 -- NOT Open Access
Gowelo SA, Chirombo J, Koenraadt CJM, Mzilahowa T, Berg H, Takken W, McCann RS
Acta Trop. 2020 May 30:105558

Increasing the knowledgebase of anopheline larval ecology could enable targeted deployment of malaria control efforts and consequently reduce costs of implementation. In Malawi, there exists a knowledge gap in anopheline larval ecology and, therefore, basis for targeted deployment of larval source management (LSM) for malaria control, specifically larvicides. We set out to characterize anopheline larval habitats in the Majete area of Malawi on the basis of habitat ecology and anopheline larval productivity to create a basis for larval control initiatives in the country.

NOT Open Access | Case reduction and cost-effectiveness of the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine alongside bed nets in Lilongwe, Malawi

May 6, 2020 - 15:39 -- NOT Open Access
Bell GJ, Loop M, Emch M, et al.
Vaccine. 2020 Apr 30. pii: S0264-410X(20)30511-9

RTS,S/AS01, the most advanced vaccine against malaria, is now undergoing pilot implementation in Malawi, Ghana, and Kenya where an estimated 360,000 children will be vaccinated each year. In this study we evaluate RTS,S/AS01 alongside bed net use and estimate cost-effectiveness.

Effects of Biannual Azithromycin Mass Drug Administration on Malaria in Malawian Children: A Cluster-Randomized Trial

April 29, 2020 - 09:13 -- Open Access
Hart JD, Samikwa L, Sikina F, Kalua K, Keenan JD, Lietman TM, Burr SE, Bailey RL
Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Apr 27

Reductions in malaria morbidity have been reported following azithromycin mass drug administration (MDA) for trachoma. The recent MORDOR trial reported a reduction in child mortality following biannual azithromycin MDA. Here, we investigate the effects of azithromycin MDA on malaria at the MORDOR-Malawi study site. A cluster-randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial, with 15 clusters per arm, was conducted. House-to-house census was updated biannually, and azithromycin or placebo syrup was distributed to children aged 1–59 months for a total of four biannual distributions.

Malaria knowledge and experiences with community health workers among recently pregnant women in Malawi

April 17, 2020 - 14:24 -- Open Access
Ashley Malpass, Jobiba Chinkhumba, Julie R. Gutman, et al.
Malaria Journal 2020 19:154, 15 April 2020

The World Health Organization recommends three or more doses of intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP) to mitigate the negative effects of malaria in pregnancy (MIP). Many pregnant women in Malawi are not receiving the recommended number of doses. Community delivery of IPTp (cIPTp) is being piloted as a new approach to increase coverage. This survey assessed recently pregnant women’s knowledge of MIP and their experiences with community health workers (CHWs) prior to implementing cIPTp.

A qualitative exploration of the experiences of community health animation on malaria control in rural Malawi

April 6, 2020 - 08:09 -- Open Access
Tumaini Malenga, Frances E. Griffiths, Marrit van den Berg, Henk van den Berg, Michèle van Vugt, Kamija Samuel Phiri, Lucinda Manda-Taylor, Eric Umar
Globalization and Health volume 16, 25 (2020)

While great strides have been achieved in fighting malaria through the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) strategy, the recent world malaria report shows an increase in malaria-related deaths compared to previous years. Malaria control tools are efficacious and effective in preventing the disease; however, the human behaviour aspect of the intervention strategies is weak due to heavy reliance on positive human health behaviour. The challenge lies in adoption of control interventions by the target population which, to an extent, may include access to prevention and treatment tools. We present a qualitative assessment of the use of the Health Animator (HA) model for Information, Education and Communication (IEC) to improve adoption and use of malaria control by promoting positive health behaviours.

NOT Open Access | Interactions between antenatal sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum parasites and delivery outcomes in Malawi

March 30, 2020 - 10:21 -- NOT Open Access
Taylor SM, Levitt B, Freedman B, Madanitsa M, Thwai KL, Kalilani-Phiri L, Khairallah C, Mwapasa V, Ter Kuile FO, Meshnick SR
J Infect Dis. 2020 Mar 28. pii: jiaa145

Sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) is used as intermittent preventive therapy in pregnancy (IPTp) for malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. The resistance marker dhps A581G has been associated with reduced IPTp-SP efficacy and enhanced morbidity in SP-recipients.


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