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.
Monitoring of Plasmodium falciparum sensitivity to antimalarial drugs in Africa is vital for malaria elimination. However, the commonly used ex-vivo/in-vitro IC50 test is inconsistent for several antimalarials, while the alternative ring-stage survival assay (RSA) for artemisinin derivatives has not been widely adopted. Here we applied an alternative two-colour flow-cytometry based parasite survival rate assay (PSRA) to detect ex-vivo antimalarial tolerance in P. falciparum isolates from The Gambia.
As malaria transmission declines, sensitive diagnostics are needed to evaluate interventions and monitor transmission. Serological assays measuring malaria antibody responses offer a cost-effective detection method to supplement existing surveillance tools.
African houses are frequently too hot and uncomfortable to use a bed net at night. Indoor thermal comfort is often evaluated by measuring temperature and humidity, ignoring ventilation. This study explored ways to measure ventilation in single-roomed rural Gambian houses during the malaria transmission season and evaluated building designs that could increase airflow at night and help keep the occupants comfortable.
Anaemia is a major public health concern especially in African children living in malaria-endemic regions. Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) is elevated during malaria infection and is thought to influence erythropoiesis and iron status. Genetic variants in the IFN-γ gene (IFNG) are associated with increased IFN-γ production. We investigated putative functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and haplotypes of IFNG in relation to nutritional iron status and anaemia in Gambian children over a malaria season.