Multi-pronged malaria elimination strategies are increasingly being considered for accelerating efforts against malaria transmission in Southeast Asia. Two malaria prevention interventions used in in the region are insecticide-treated bed-nets (ITNs) and mass drug administration (MDA). Universal access to ITNs is recommended and high population coverage (e.g. above 80%) is needed during MDA initiatives to maximize the impact of these interventions. However, variability in ITN use and individual MDA participation exists. This systematic review aims to provide a summary and overview of literature discussing factors influencing uptake of these two malaria control strategies in Southeast Asian countries.
Anopheles stephensi originated in Southeast Asia and the Arabian Peninsula. It has recently emerged as an efficient and invasive urban malaria vector. There are three known forms, 'type', 'intermediate', and 'mysorensis', of which the type and intermediate forms are efficient vectors in both rural and urban environments.
Artemisia annua L. has been used for millennia in Southeast Asia to treat “fever”. Many infectious microbial and viral diseases have been shown to respond to A. annua and communities around the world use the plant as a medicinal tea, especially for treating malaria.
Thalassemias are inherited blood disorders that are found in high prevalences in the Mediterranean, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. These diseases provide varying levels of resistance to malaria and are proposed to have emerged as an adaptive response to malaria in these regions. The transition to agriculture in the Holocene has been suggested to have influenced the selection for thalassemia in the Mediterranean as land clearance for farming encouraged interaction between Anopheles mosquitos, the vectors for malaria, and human groups.
Anopheles sinensis is a key disease vector for human malaria and parasitic diseases such as malayan filariasis, and it is considered to be one of the most important malaria vectors in China and Southeast Asia. As high-throughput sequencing and assembly technology are widely used in An. sinensis, a lot of omics data have been generated, and abundant genome, mRNA transcriptome, miRNA transcriptome and resequencing results have been accumulated.
Plasmodium knowlesi, a simian malaria parasite, has been in the limelight since a large focus of human P. knowlesi infection was reported from Sarawak (Malaysian Borneo) in 2004. Although this infection is transmitted across Southeast Asia, the largest number of cases has been reported from Malaysia. The increasing number of knowlesi malaria cases has been attributed to the use of molecular tools for detection, but environmental changes including deforestation likely play a major role by increasing human exposure to vector mosquitoes, which coexist with the macaque host.
Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) have been vital in reducing malaria mortality rates since the 2000s. Their efficacy, however, is threatened by the emergence and spread of artemisinin resistance in Southeast Asia. The Plasmodium falciparum multidrug resistance protein 1 (PfMDR1) transporter plays a central role in parasite resistance to ACT partner drugs through gene copy number variations (CNV) and/or single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Using genomic epidemiology, we show that multiple pfmdr1 copies encoding the N86 and 184F haplotype are prevalent across Southeast Asia.
Anti-malarial drug resistance is a severe challenge for eventual control and global elimination of malaria. Resistance to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) increases as mutations accumulate in the Pfdhfr and Pfdhps genes. This study aimed to assess the polymorphisms and prevalence of mutation in these genes in the Plasmodium falciparum infecting migrant workers returning to Wuhan, China.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting the maintenance of various disease control programmes, including malaria. In some malaria-endemic countries, funding and personnel reallocations were executed from malaria control programmes to support COVID-19 response efforts, resulting mainly in interruptions of disease control activities and reduced capabilities of health system.
The emergence of multidrug resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Southeast Asia has accelerated regional malaria elimination efforts. Most malaria in this and other low transmission settings exists in asymptomatic individuals, which conventional diagnostic tests lack the sensitivity to detect. This has led to the development of new ultrasensitive diagnostics that are capable of detecting these low parasitemic infections.