Malaria is a life-threatening, multisystem disease caused by the plasmodial parasite with a global incidence of approximately 229 million annually. The parasites are known to have unique and crucial interactions with various body tissues during its life cycle, notably the liver, spleen, and recent work has shown the bone marrow to be a reservoir of infection.
Malaria, disproportionately affects poor people more than any other disease of public health concern in developing countries. In resource-constrained environments, monitoring the occurrence of malaria is essential for the success of national malaria control programs. Militancy and military conflicts have been a major challenge in monitoring the incidence and controlling malaria and other emerging infectious diseases. The conflicts and instability in Afghanistan have resulted in the migration of refugees into the war-torn tribal districts of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province and the possible introduction of many contagious epidemics. Although malaria is very common in all tribal districts, molecular, clinical and epidemiological data are scarce in these high-burden districts. Therefore, for the proper surveillance, detection, and control of malaria, obtaining and analyzing reliable data in these districts is essential.
Diagnostic accuracy of malaria is critical for early treatment, control, and elimination of malaria, especially in war-affected malaria-endemic areas. Microscopic detection of Plasmodium species has been the gold standard in remote malaria-endemic regions. However, the diagnostic accuracy is still questioned, especially in discriminating mixed and submicroscopic parasitic levels. This study was designed to evaluate the diagnostic performance of microscopic examination against nested PCR analysis in war-torn malaria-endemic Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan.
K13 propeller (k13) polymorphism are useful molecular markers for tracking the emergence and spread of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum. Polymorphisms are reported from Cambodia with rapid invasion of the population and almost near fixation in south East Asia. The study describes single nucleotide polymorphisms in Kelch protein propeller domain of P. falciparum associated with artemisinin resistance from Southern Pakistan.
Plasmodium vivax contributes to over 70% malaria burden in Pakistan, but limited data exists on various aspects including genetic diversity of the parasite as compared to other parts of the world. Since the information about the genetic diversity of P. vivax assists to understand the population dynamics of the parasite, the current study was designed to understand population divergence of P. vivax in Pakistan using circumsporozoite protein (pvcsp) and merozoite surface protein-1 (pvmsp-1) genes as molecular markers.
About one quarter of pregnant women in the population of Pakistan are using long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets (LLINs) for prevention of malaria. Past research reported that adequate information and education would act as mediator to change behaviour among patients for prevention of malaria infection. The effective use of LLINs would contribute to reduction of disease burden caused by malaria. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of health education on the adoption of LLINs among pregnant women living in Tharparkar, a remote district in Sindh Province, Pakistan.
The spread of artemisinin resistance in the Greater Mekong Subregion of Southeast Asia poses a significant threat for current anti-malarial treatment guidelines globally. The aim of this study was to assess the current prevalence of molecular markers of drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum in the four provinces with the highest malaria burden in Pakistan, after introducing artemether–lumefantrine as first-line treatment in 2017.
After publication of the original article , we were notified that an author’s name has been erroneously spelled. Aamir Ali Khattak should be replaced with Aamer Ali Khattak.