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sub-Saharan Africa

Screening and characterization of hypothetical proteins of Plasmodium falciparum as novel vaccine candidates in the fight against malaria using reverse vaccinology

July 21, 2021 - 17:20 -- Open Access
Aguttu C, Okech BA, Mukisa A, Lubega GW
J Genet Eng Biotechnol. 2021 Jul 16;19(1):103

Plasmodium falciparum is the most deadly and leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Africa. About 90% of all malaria deaths in the world today occur in Sub-Saharan Africa especially in children aged < 5 years. In 2018, it was reported that there were 228 million malaria cases that resulted in 405,000 deaths from 91 countries. Currently, a fully effective and long-lasting preventive malaria vaccine is still elusive therefore more effort is needed to identify better effective vaccine candidates. The aim of this study was to identify and characterize hypothetical proteins as vaccine candidates derived from Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 genome by reverse vaccinology.

Intermittent preventive treatment for malaria in infants

July 21, 2021 - 17:07 -- Open Access
Esu EB, Oringanje C, Meremikwu MM
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2021 Jul 17;7:CD011525

Intermittent preventive treatment could help prevent malaria in infants (IPTi) living in areas of moderate to high malaria transmission in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) policy recommended IPTi in 2010, but its adoption in countries has been limited.

Mapping partner drug resistance to guide antimalarial combination therapy policies in sub-Saharan Africa

July 20, 2021 - 13:11 -- Open Access
Ehrlich HY, Bei AK, Weinberger DM, Warren JL, Parikh S
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Jul 20;118(29):e2100685118

Resistance to artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) threatens the global control of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. ACTs combine artemisinin-derived compounds with partner drugs to enable multiple mechanisms of clearance. Although ACTs remain widely effective in sub-Saharan Africa, long-standing circulation of parasite alleles associated with reduced partner drug susceptibility may contribute to the development of clinical resistance.

Relationship between changing malaria burden and low birth weight in sub-Saharan Africa: A difference-in-differences study via a pair-of-pairs approach

July 20, 2021 - 12:48 -- Open Access
Heng S, O'Meara WP, Simmons RA, Small DS
Elife. 2021 Jul 14;10:e65133

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2018, an estimated 228 million malaria cases occurred worldwide with most cases occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. Scale-up of vector control tools coupled with increased access to diagnosis and effective treatment has resulted in a large decline in malaria prevalence in some areas, but other areas have seen little change. Although interventional studies demonstrate that preventing malaria during pregnancy can reduce the rate of low birth weight (i.e. child’s birth weight <2500 g), it remains unknown whether natural changes in parasite transmission and malaria burden can improve birth outcomes.

The epidemiology of Plasmodium vivax among adults in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

July 14, 2021 - 10:15 -- Open Access
Brazeau NF, Mitchell CL, Juliano JJ, et al.
Nat Commun. 2021 Jul 7;12(1):4169

Reports of P. vivax infections among Duffy-negative hosts have accumulated throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Despite this growing body of evidence, no nationally representative epidemiological surveys of P. vivax in sub-Saharan Africa have been performed. To overcome this gap in knowledge, we screened over 17,000 adults in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for P. vivax using samples from the 2013-2014 Demographic Health Survey.

Threats to the effectiveness of insecticide-treated bednets for malaria control: thinking beyond insecticide resistance

July 14, 2021 - 10:08 -- Open Access
Steve W Lindsay, Matthew B Thomas, Immo Kleinschmidt
Lancet Glob Health 2021, June 30, 2021

From 2004 to 2019, insecticide-treated bednets (ITNs) have been the most effective tool for reducing malaria morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Recently, however, the decline in malaria cases and deaths has stalled. Some suggest that this inertia is due to increasing resistance in malaria vectors to the pyrethroid insecticides used for treating ITNs.

Toll-like receptor 9 and 4 gene polymorphisms in susceptibility and severity of malaria: a meta-analysis of genetic association studies

July 7, 2021 - 14:46 -- Open Access
Cho Naing, Siew Tung Wong and Htar Htar Aung
Malaria Journal 2021 20:302, 3 July 2021

Malaria is still a major public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa and South-east Asia. The clinical presentations of malaria infection vary from a mild febrile illness to life-threatening severe malaria. Toll like receptors (TLRs) are postulated to be involved in the innate immune responses to malaria. Individual studies showed inconclusive findings. This study aimed to assess the role of TLR4 (D299G, T399I) and TLR9 (T1237C, T1486C) in severity or susceptibility of malaria by meta-analysis of data from eligible studies.

The Pan African Vivax and Ovale Network (PAVON): Refocusing on Plasmodium vivax, ovale and asymptomatic malaria in sub-Saharan Africa

July 6, 2021 - 14:51 -- Open Access
Quaye IK, Aleksenko L, Greco B, et al.
Parasitol Int. 2021 Jun 30:102415

The recent World Malaria report shows that progress in malaria elimination has stalled. Current data acquisition by NMCPs depend on passive case detection and clinical reports focused mainly on Plasmodium falciparum (Pf). In recent times, several countries in sub-Saharan Africa have reported cases of Plasmodium vivax (Pv) with a considerable number being Duffy negative.

Challenges and opportunities for use of long-lasting insecticidal nets to prevent malaria during overnight travel in Uganda: a qualitative study

June 30, 2021 - 12:21 -- Open Access
Deborah Ekusai-Sebatta, Emmanuel Arinaitwe, Arthur Mpimbaza, Joaniter I. Nankabirwa, Chris Drakeley, Philip J. Rosenthal, Sarah G. Staedke and Herbert Muyinda
Malaria Journal 2021 20:283, 26 June 2021

Travel is a well-recognized risk factor for malaria. Within sub-Saharan Africa, travellers from areas of lower to higher transmission intensity are potentially at high risk of malaria. Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) are the primary tool for prevention of malaria, and their widespread use has contributed to substantial reductions in malaria burden. However, travellers often fail to use LLINs. To further explore the challenges and opportunities of using LLINs, travellers were interviewed in Uganda.

The impact of large and small dams on malaria transmission in four basins in Africa

June 30, 2021 - 09:36 -- Open Access
Kibret S, McCartney M, Lautze J, Nhamo L, Yan G
Sci Rep. 2021 Jun 25;11(1):13355

Expansion of various types of water infrastructure is critical to water security in Africa. To date, analysis of adverse disease impacts has focused mainly on large dams. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of both small and large dams on malaria in four river basins in sub-Saharan Africa (i.e., the Limpopo, Omo-Turkana, Volta and Zambezi river basins).


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