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Genetic analysis reveals unique characteristics of Plasmodium falciparum parasite populations in Haiti

October 27, 2020 - 15:49 -- Open Access
Rachel F. Daniels, Stella Chenet, Sarah K. Volkman, et al.
Malaria Journal 2020 19:379, 23 October 2020

With increasing interest in eliminating malaria from the Caribbean region, Haiti is one of the two countries on the island of Hispaniola with continued malaria transmission. While the Haitian population remains at risk for malaria, there are a limited number of cases annually, making conventional epidemiological measures such as case incidence and prevalence of potentially limited value for fine-scale resolution of transmission patterns and trends. In this context, genetic signatures may be useful for the identification and characterization of the Plasmodium falciparum parasite population in order to identify foci of transmission, detect outbreaks, and track parasite movement to potentially inform malaria control and elimination strategies.

Age-dependent carriage of alleles and haplotypes of Plasmodium falciparum sera5, eba-175, and csp in a region of intense malaria transmission in Uganda

October 8, 2020 - 15:25 -- Open Access
Constance Agwang, Joseph Erume, Brenda Okech, Joseph Olobo and Thomas G. Egwang
Malaria Journal 2020 19:361, 8 October 2020

The development of malaria vaccines is constrained by genetic polymorphisms exhibited by Plasmodium falciparum antigens. The project the age-dependent distribution of alleles or haplotypes of three P. falciparum malaria vaccine candidates, Circumsporozoite Protein (csp), Erythrocyte Binding Antigen 175 (eba-175) and Serine Repeat Antigen 5 (sera5) in a region of intense malaria transmission in Uganda.

Evaluation of seasonal malaria chemoprevention in two areas of intense seasonal malaria transmission: Secondary analysis of a household-randomised, placebo-controlled trial in Houndé District, Burkina Faso and Bougouni District, Mali

August 25, 2020 - 07:46 -- Open Access
Cairns ME, Sagara I, Dicko A, et al.
PLoS Med. 2020 Aug 21;17(8):e1003214

Seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) is now widely deployed in the Sahel, including several countries that are major contributors to the global burden of malaria. Consequently, it is important to understand whether SMC continues to provide a high level of protection and how SMC might be improved. SMC was evaluated using data from a large, household-randomised trial in Houndé, Burkina Faso and Bougouni, Mali.

Not Open Access | Microgeographic epidemiology of malaria parasites in an irrigated area of western Kenya by deep amplicon sequencing

August 22, 2020 - 09:14 -- NOT Open Access
Hemming-Schroeder E, Zhong D, Kibret S, Chie A, Lee MC, Zhou G, Atieli H, Githeko A, Kazura JW, Yan G
J Infect Dis. 2020 Aug 17:jiaa520

To improve food security, investments in irrigated agriculture are anticipated to increase throughout Africa. However, the extent that environmental changes from water resource development will impact malaria epidemiology remains unclear.

Vector genetics, insecticide resistance and gene drives: An agent-based modeling approach to evaluate malaria transmission and elimination

August 18, 2020 - 14:58 -- Open Access
Selvaraj P, Wenger EA, Bridenbecker D, Windbichler N, Russell JR, Gerardin J, Bever CA, Nikolov M
PLoS Comput Biol. 2020 Aug 14;16(8):e1008121

Vector control has been a key component in the fight against malaria for decades, and chemical insecticides are critical to the success of vector control programs worldwide. However, increasing resistance to insecticides threatens to undermine these efforts. Understanding the evolution and propagation of resistance is thus imperative to mitigating loss of intervention effectiveness.

A mosquito feeding assay to examine Plasmodium transmission to mosquitoes using small blood volumes in 3D printed nano-feeders

August 10, 2020 - 16:07 -- Open Access
Graumans W, Heutink R, van Gemert GJ, van de Vegte-Bolmer M, Bousema T, Collins KA
Parasit Vectors. 2020 Aug 8;13(1):401

To understand the dynamics of malaria transmission, membrane feeding assays with glass feeders are used to assess the transmission potential of malaria infected individuals to mosquitoes. However, in some circumstances, use of these assays is hindered by both the blood volume requirement and the availability of fragile, specially crafted glass feeders. 3D printed plastic feeders that require very small volumes of blood would thus expand the utility of membrane feeding assays.

NOT Open Access | Health policy impacts on malaria transmission in Costa Rica

August 3, 2020 - 16:13 -- NOT Open Access
Chaves LF, Ramírez Rojas M, Prado M, Garcés JL, Salas Peraza D, Marín Rodríguez R
Parasitology. 2020 Aug;147(9):999-1007.

Costa Rica is near malaria elimination. This achievement has followed shifts in malaria health policy. Here, we evaluate the impacts that different health policies have had on malaria transmission in Costa Rica from 1913 to 2018. We identified regime shifts and used regression models to measure the impact of different health policies on malaria transmission in Costa Rica using annual case records.

Estimating the hidden magnitude of the malaria community burden

August 3, 2020 - 15:57 -- Open Access
Ketema T, Bassat Q
Lancet Infect Dis. 2020 Aug; 20(8):881-883

The second push for global malaria eradication, launched more than a decade ago, has motivated a renewed interest in the understanding of malaria transmission, and in the strategies required to interrupt it. In this respect, in order to eliminate malaria from a given geographical area, rapid detection and treatment of the clinical cases is rarely sufficient. In settings where transmission intensity is sufficiently high, populations exposed to continuous infective mosquito bites progressively develop a tolerance to malaria infections during the first few years of their life.

Shifting transmission risk for malaria in Africa with climate change: a framework for planning and intervention

May 4, 2020 - 15:27 -- Open Access
Sadie J. Ryan, Catherine A. Lippi and Fernanda Zermoglio
Malaria Journal 2020 19:170, 1 May 2020

Malaria continues to be a disease of massive burden in Africa, and the public health resources targeted at surveillance, prevention, control, and intervention comprise large outlays of expense. Malaria transmission is largely constrained by the suitability of the climate for Anopheles mosquitoes and Plasmodium parasite development. Thus, as climate changes, shifts in geographic locations suitable for transmission, and differing lengths of seasons of suitability will occur, which will require changes in the types and amounts of resources.

Evaluating malaria programmes in moderate- and low-transmission settings: practical ways to generate robust evidence

February 22, 2020 - 16:45 -- Open Access
Ruth A. Ashton, Debra Prosnitz, Andrew Andrada, Samantha Herrera and Yazoumé Yé
Malaria Journal 2020 19:75, 18 February 2020

Many countries have made substantial progress in scaling-up and sustaining malaria intervention coverage, leading to more focalized and heterogeneous transmission in many settings. Evaluation provides valuable information for programmes to understand if interventions have been implemented as planned and with quality, if the programme had the intended impact on malaria burden, and to guide programmatic decision-making. Low-, moderate-, and heterogeneous-transmission settings present unique evaluation challenges because of dynamic and targeted intervention strategies. This paper provides illustration of evaluation approaches and methodologies for these transmission settings, and suggests how to answer evaluation questions specific to the local context.


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