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Surveillance of Plasmodium falciparum pfcrt haplotypes in southwestern uganda by high‐resolution melt analysis

March 3, 2021 - 15:30 -- Open Access
Kennedy Kassaza, Anna C. Long, Yap Boum II, et al.
Malaria Journal 2021 20:114, 25 February 2021

Chloroquine (CQ) resistance is conferred by mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum CQ resistance transporter (pfcrt). Following CQ withdrawal for anti-malarial treatment, studies across malaria-endemic countries have shown a range of responses. In some areas, CQ sensitive parasites re-emerge, and in others, mutant haplotypes persist. Active surveillance of resistance mutations in clinical parasites is essential to inform treatment regimens; this effort requires fast, reliable, and cost-effective methods that work on a variety of sample types with reagents accessible in malaria-endemic countries.

Diversity of KIR genes and their HLA-C ligands in Ugandan populations with historically varied malaria transmission intensity

March 3, 2021 - 15:24 -- Open Access
Stephen Tukwasibwe, James A. Traherne, Annettee Nakimuli, et al.
Malaria Journal 2021 20:111, 25 February 2021

Malaria is one of the most serious infectious diseases in the world. The malaria burden is greatly affected by human immunity, and immune responses vary between populations. Genetic diversity in KIR and HLA-C genes, which are important in immunity to infectious diseases, is likely to play a role in this heterogeneity. Several studies have shown that KIR and HLA-C genes influence the immune response to viral infections, but few studies have examined the role of KIR and HLA-C in malaria infection, and these have used low-resolution genotyping. The aim of this study was to determine whether genetic variation in KIR and their HLA-C ligands differ in Ugandan populations with historically varied malaria transmission intensity using more comprehensive genotyping approaches.

Effect of intermittent preventive treatment for malaria with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine on immune responses to vaccines among rural Ugandan adolescents: randomised controlled trial protocol B for the 'POPulation differences in VACcine responses' (POPV

February 25, 2021 - 10:09 -- Open Access
Natukunda A, Nkurunungi G, Elliott AM, et al.
BMJ Open. 2021 Feb 16;11(2):e040427

Drivers of lower vaccine efficacy and impaired vaccine-specific immune responses in low-income versus high-income countries, and in rural compared with urban settings, are not fully elucidated. Repeated exposure to and immunomodulation by parasite infections may be important. We focus on Plasmodium falciparum malaria, aiming to determine whether there are reversible effects of malaria infection on vaccine responses.

Within‐household clustering of genetically related Plasmodium falciparum infections in a moderate transmission area of Uganda

February 3, 2021 - 15:48 -- Open Access
Jessica Briggs, Alison Kuchta, Bryan Greenhouse, et al.
Malaria Journal 2021 20:68, 2 February 2021

Evaluation of genetic relatedness of malaria parasites is a useful tool for understanding transmission patterns, but patterns are not easily detectable in areas with moderate to high malaria transmission. To evaluate the feasibility of detecting genetic relatedness in a moderate malaria transmission setting, relatedness of Plasmodium falciparum infections was measured in cohort participants from randomly selected households in the Kihihi sub-county of Uganda (annual entomological inoculation rate of 27 infectious bites per person).

Usage of and satisfaction with Integrated Community Case Management care in western Uganda: a cross-sectional survey

February 3, 2021 - 15:41 -- Open Access
James S. Miller, Palka Patel, Sara Mian-McCarthy, Andrew Christopher Wesuta, Michael Matte, Moses Ntaro, Shem Bwambale, Jessica Kenney, Geren S. Stone and Edgar Mugema Mulogo
Malaria Journal 2021 20:65, 30 January 2021

In some areas of Uganda, village health workers (VHW) deliver Integrated Community Case Management (iCCM) care, providing initial assessment of children under 5 years of age as well as protocol-based treatment of malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhoea for eligible patients. Little is known about community perspectives on or satisfaction with iCCM care. This study examines usage of and satisfaction with iCCM care as well as potential associations between these outcomes and time required to travel to the household’s preferred health facility.

NOT Open Access | Comparison of capillary versus venous blood for the diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum malaria using rapid diagnostic tests

January 31, 2021 - 15:45 -- NOT Open Access
Gorret AM, Muhindo R, Baguma E, Ntaro M, Mulogo EM, Deutsch-Feldman M, Juliano JJ, Nyehangane D, Boyce RM
J Infect Dis. 2021 Jan 27:jiab032

We enrolled 250 febrile children in western Uganda to compare the results of malaria rapid diagnostic tests when using capillary versus venous blood. Participants were tested with four different RDT types. PCR testing was performed as the reference standard. Sensitivity and specificity were broadly similar across RDT types and sampling method.

A longitudinal study of plasma BAFF levels in mothers and their infants in Uganda, and correlations with subsets of B cells

January 20, 2021 - 07:03 -- Open Access
Rönnberg C, Lugaajju A, Nyman A, Hammar U, Bottai M, Lautenbach MJ, Sundling C, Kironde F, Persson KEM
PLoS One. 2021 Jan 19;16(1):e0245431

Malaria is a potentially life-threatening disease with approximately half of the world's population at risk. Young children and pregnant women are hit hardest by the disease. B cells and antibodies are part of an adaptive immune response protecting individuals continuously exposed to the parasite. An infection with Plasmodium falciparum can cause dysregulation of B cell homeostasis, while antibodies are known to be key in controlling symptoms and parasitemia. BAFF is an instrumental cytokine for the development and maintenance of B cells.

Relationships between test positivity rate, total laboratory confirmed cases of malaria, and malaria incidence in high burden settings of Uganda: an ecological analysis

January 13, 2021 - 14:16 -- Open Access
Jaffer Okiring, Adrienne Epstein, Grant Dorsey, et al.
Malaria Journal 2021 20:42, 13 January 2021

Malaria surveillance is critical for monitoring changes in malaria morbidity over time. National Malaria Control Programmes often rely on surrogate measures of malaria incidence, including the test positivity rate (TPR) and total laboratory confirmed cases of malaria (TCM), to monitor trends in malaria morbidity. However, there are limited data on the accuracy of TPR and TCM for predicting temporal changes in malaria incidence, especially in high burden settings.

Plasma angiopoietin-2 is associated with age-related deficits in cognitive sub-scales in Ugandan children following severe malaria

January 9, 2021 - 13:14 -- Open Access
Benson J. Ouma, Paul Bangirana, John M. Ssenkusu, Dibyadyuti Datta, Robert O. Opoka, Richard Idro, Kevin C. Kain, Chandy C. John and Andrea L. Conroy
Malaria Journal 2021 20:17, 6 January 2021

Elevated angiopoietin-2 (Angpt-2) concentrations are associated with worse overall neurocognitive function in severe malaria survivors, but the specific domains affected have not been elucidated.

Determinants of uptake of malaria preventive interventions among pregnant women in eastern Uganda

January 6, 2021 - 11:43 -- Open Access
Solomon Tsebeni Wafula, Hilbert Mendoza, Aisha Nalugya, David Musoke and Peter Waiswa
Malaria Journal 2021 20:5, 3 January 2021

Consistent use of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) and intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) have been recommended as cost-effective interventions for malaria prevention during pregnancy in endemic areas. However, the coverage and utilization of these interventions during pregnancy in sub-Saharan Africa is still suboptimal. This study aimed to determine the uptake of IPTp and ITNs and associated factors among women during their recent pregnancy in Eastern Uganda.


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