In rural sub-Saharan Africa, thatch roofs are being replaced by metal roofs. Metal roofing, however, increases indoor temperatures above human comfort levels, and thus makes it more likely that residents will not use an insecticide-treated bed net (ITN) at night. Whether the colour of a metal roof affects indoor temperature and human comfort was assessed.
The scale-up of indoor residual spraying and long-lasting insecticidal nets, together with other interventions have considerably reduced the malaria burden in The Gambia. This study examined the biting and resting preferences of the local insecticide-resistant vector populations few years following scale-up of anti-vector interventions.
Understanding the human malaria infectious reservoir is important for elimination initiatives. Here, we implemented mosquito membrane feeding experiments to prepare for larger studies to quantify the transmission potential and relative contribution of the human infectious reservoir.
Most malaria infections in sub-Saharan Africa are acquired indoors, thus finding effective ways of preventing mosquito house entry should reduce transmission. Since most malaria mosquitoes fly less than 1 m from the ground, we tested whether raising buildings off the ground would prevent the entry of Anopheles gambiae, the principal African malaria vector, in rural Gambia.
In sub-Saharan Africa, cooler houses would increase the coverage of insecticide-treated bednets, the primary malaria control tool. We examined whether improved ventilation, using windows screened with netting, cools houses at night and reduces malaria mosquito house entry in The Gambia. Identical houses were constructed, with badly fitting doors the only mosquito entry points.
Selectively targeting and treating malaria-infected individuals may further decrease parasite carriage in low-burden settings. Using a trans-disciplinary approach, a reactive treatment strategy to reduce Plasmodium falciparum prevalence in participating communities was co-developed and tested.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends consideration of mass drug administration (MDA) for malaria control in low-endemic settings approaching elimination. However, MDA remains a controversial strategy, as multiple individual, social, and operational factors have shown to affect its acceptability at local levels. This is further complicated by inconsistent definitions of key indicators derived from individual and community involvement—coverage, adherence, and compliance—that cast doubts about the actual and potential epidemiological impact of MDA on disease control and elimination. This study aimed to identify limitations and enabling factors impacting involvement at different stages of a large cluster-randomized trial assessing the effect of combining dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) and ivermectin (IVM) in malaria transmission in The Gambia.
The impact of different types of reactive case detection and/or treatment strategies for malaria elimination depends on high coverage and participants' adherence. However, strategies to optimise adherence are limited, particularly for people with asymptomatic or no infections. As part of a cluster-randomized trial to evaluate the effect of reactive treatment in The Gambia, all residents in the compound of a diagnosed clinical malaria patient received dihydro-artemisinin-piperaquine (DP). Using a mixed method approach, we assessed which factors contribute to adherence among the contacts of malaria cases that showed no symptoms.
In 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) updated its policy on intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy with sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP). A global recommendation to revise the WHO policy on the treatment of malaria in the first trimester is under review. We conducted a retrospective study of the national policy adoption process for revised IPTp-SP dosing in four sub-Saharan African countries.
Artemisinin combination therapies are the current frontline therapy for falciparum malaria. Artemisinin is activated by heme iron, and the consequent production of reactive oxygen species and carbon-centered radicals results in rapid parasite clearance. Red blood cells (RBCs) from anemic iron-deficient individuals have decreased levels of heme, and such deficiencies are highly prevalent among children and pregnant women in malaria-endemic countries.