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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Malaria is a major cause of death in children under five years old in low- and middle-income countries such as Malawi. Accurate diagnosis and management of malaria can help reduce the global burden of childhood morbidity and mortality. Trained healthcare workers in rural health centers manage malaria with limited supplies of malarial diagnostic tests and drugs for treatment. A clinical decision support system that integrates predictive models to provide an accurate prediction of malaria based on clinical features could aid healthcare workers in the judicious use of testing and treatment. We developed Bayesian network (BN) models to predict the probability of malaria from clinical features and an illustrative decision tree to model the decision to use or not use a malaria rapid diagnostic test (mRDT).
In endemic settings where asymptomatic malaria infections are common, malaria infection can complicate fever diagnosis. Factors influencing fever misdiagnosis, including accuracy of malaria rapid diagnostic tests (mRDTs) and the malaria-attributable fraction of fevers (MAF), require further investigation. We conducted facility-based surveillance in Malawi, from January 2012 through December 2013 in settings of high perennial (Chikhwawa), high seasonal (Thoylo), and moderate seasonal (Ndirande) malaria transmission.
To further reduce malaria burden, identification of areas with highest burden for targeted interventions needs to occur. Routine health information has the potential to indicate where and when clinical malaria occurs the most. Developing countries mostly use paper-based data systems however they are error-prone as they require manual aggregation, tallying and transferring of data. Piloting was done using electronic data capture (EDC) with a cheap and user friendly software in rural Malawian primary healthcare setting to improve the quality of health records.
Artesunate therapy for severe malaria syndromes has been associated with post-treatment hemolysis and anemia. We defined post-malaria anemia as any decrease in hematocrit between the index hospitalization for severe malaria and 1 month after. We determined the incidence and severity of post-malaria anemia in Malawian children surviving cerebral malaria (CM) by analyzing hospital and follow-up data from a long-standing study of CM pathogenesis. Children enrolled before 2014 and treated with quinine (N = 258) were compared with those admitted in 2014 and after, and treated with artesunate (N = 235).
In areas where malaria remains entrenched, novel transmission-reducing interventions are essential for malaria elimination. We report the impact screening-and-treatment of asymptomatic Malawian schoolchildren (n = 364 in the rainy season and 341 in the dry season) had on gametocyte-the parasite stage responsible for human-to-mosquito transmission-carriage.