It is important to note a recent report on the predicted impact of climate change on malaria in West Africa, by Teresa K. Yamana, Arne Bomblies and Elfatih A. B. Eltahir. 2016 in the Journal Nature, entitled "Climate change unlikely to increase malaria burden in West Africa." doi:10.1038/nclimate3085
I recommend the following recent publication for your reading on african malaria : Endo and Eltahir Malar J (2016) 15:578 DOI 10.1186/s12936-016-1633-7. The report is 'Environmental determinants of malaria transmission in African villages' by Noriko Endo and Elfatih A. B. Eltahir. You should also take a look at all the preceding publications of the Eltahir research group at MIT, which you can find if you look up the Eltahir research group on the web.
Malar J. 2016; 15: 419.
Published online 2016 Aug 18. doi: 10.1186/s12936-016-1470-8
Towards malaria elimination in the MOSASWA (Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland) region
Devanand Moonasar, Rajendra Maharaj, Simon Kunene, Baltazar Candrinho, Francisco Saute, Nyasatu Ntshalintshali, and Natashia Morris corresponding author.
Would you like to hear some Good News? Here are some nuggets, stimulated partly by recent comments from my colleagues Robert Bos, Tony Kiszewski and Pierre Bush.
Classic Problems we used to face
In a recent analysis of the US Presidential Malaria Initiative (PMI) by Richard Oxborough, it was pointed out that indoor spraying is being reduced and even abandoned as a control measure because of resistance to the cheaper insecticides. In Angola, they have completely abandoned indoor spraying as a method. The newer insecticides are too expensive.
It is alarming that now the only effective control method available is drugs. What will happen when drug resistance spreads? Is PMI prepared for this?
A recent report from a laboratory in California offers the hope for a method of genetic modification which could lead to species elimination from large geographical areas, such as Anopheles gambiae elimination from Africa. To quote the New York Times Science section of 22 December, “A gene drive designed to render a population extinct is known as a crash drive. A crash drive being developed for mosquitoes consists of a gene engineered into the Y chromosome that shreds the X chromosome in the cells that make the mosquito’s sperm, thus ensuring that all progeny are male.
If we limit ourselves to the conventional approaches to fighting malaria - drugs, bednets and biocides - the future looks bleak. It looks like an endless war. The war started about 1950 when DDT and chloroquine looked like perfect weapons. But since then the development of resistance has shown us how ephemeral they were. The mosquitoes began to eat DDT for breakfast, and the malaria parasites learned to swim in chloroquine. Historians are showing us that malaria has incredible tenacity in Africa. We long for a solution to this horrible problem - an Exit Strategy.