Malaria remains a major public health problem in South America, mostly in the Amazon region. Among newly proposed ways of controlling malaria transmission to humans, paratransgenesis is a promising alternative. Paratransgenesis aims to inhibit the development of parasites within the vector through the action of genetically modified bacteria. The first step towards successful paratransgenesis in the Amazon is the identification of Anopheles darlingi symbiotic bacteria, which are transmitted vertically among mosquitoes, and are not pathogenic to humans.
The worldwide genus Anopheles Meigen, 1918 is the only genus containing species evolved as vectors of human and simian malaria. Morbidity and mortality caused by Plasmodium Marchiafava & Celli, 1885 is tremendous, which has made these parasites and their vectors the objects of intense research aimed at mosquito identification, malaria control and elimination. DNA tools make the identification of Anopheles species both easier and more difficult. Easier in that putative species can nearly always be separated based on DNA data; more difficult in that attaching a scientific name to a species is often problematic because morphological characters are often difficult to interpret or even see; and DNA technology might not be available and affordable. Added to this are the many species that are either not yet recognized or are similar to, or identical with, named species. The first step in solving Anopheles identification problem is to attach a morphology-based formal or informal name to a specimen. These names are hypotheses to be tested with further morphological observations and/or DNA evidence. The overarching objective is to be able to communicate about a given species under study. In South America, morphological identification which is the first step in the above process is often difficult because of lack of taxonomic expertise and/or inadequate identification keys, written for local fauna, containing the most consequential species, or obviously, do not include species described subsequent to key publication.
Morphological identification of adult females of described species of the genus Anopheles Meigen, 1818 in South America is problematic, but necessary due to their differing roles in the transmission of human malaria. The increase in the number of species complexes uncovered by molecular taxonomy challenges accurate identification using morphology. In addition, the majority of newly discovered species have not been formally described and in some cases the identities of the nominotypical species of species complexes have not been resolved. Here, we provide an up-to-date key to identify Neotropical Anopheles species using female external morphology and employing traditionally used and new characters.
The malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, was introduced into Hispaniola and other regions of the Americas through the slave trade spanning the 16th through the 19th centuries. During this period, more than 12 million Africans were brought across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and other regions of the Americas. Since malaria is holoendemic in West Africa, a substantial percentage of these individuals carried the parasite.
Plasmodium vivax malaria represents a major public health problem. This study presents the quality assessment of clinical practice guidelines for the management of P. vivax malaria.
To research mutations associated to pyrimethamine resistance in dihydrofolate reductase (pvdhfr) of Plasmodium vivax from Mexico and Nicaragua and compare it to that reported in the rest of America.
The Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine transporter gene (pfcrt) is known to be involved in chloroquine and amodiaquine resistance, and more particularly the mutations on the loci 72 to 76 localized within the second exon. Additionally, new mutations (T93S, H97Y, C101F, F145I, M343L, C350R and G353V) were recently shown to be associated with in vitro reduced susceptibility to piperaquine in Asian or South American P. falciparum strains. However, very few data are available on the prevalence of these mutations and their effect on parasite susceptibility to anti-malarial drugs, and more particularly piperaquine in Africa.