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The MalariaWorld Journal

GCE Special: Malaria β-Haematin in blood results in synergistic attenuation enhancement: Studies with a conventional multimode reader and a custom LED device

May 27, 2013 - 19:50 -- Bart G.J. Knols
Author(s): 
Eugene Y. Chan, Kristyn Maiorca, Candice Bae, Nathaniel Sharpe, Vinay Tripuraneni, Julia Z. Sharpe
Reference: 
MWJ 2013, 4, 7

The aim of this GCE project was to develop a non-invasive method for diagnosing malaria. In order to do this, we sought to identify a novel optical property of β-haematin that gives it a robust optical signature. The optical signature needs to be readily detected with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and photodiodes, which are compatible with low-cost operation in the developing world. The product is envisioned to be similar to a commercial fingertip pulse oximeter, which can be purchased for $20 and can be utilised for thousands of tests with a single battery.

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GCE Special: Development of an RNAi based microalgal larvicide to control mosquitoes

May 27, 2013 - 19:45 -- Bart G.J. Knols
Author(s): 
Anil Kumar, Songjie Wang, Ruguang Ou, Mustapha Samrakandi, Brenda T. Beerntsen, Richard T. Sayre
Reference: 
MWJ 2013, 4, 6

This GCE project explored an RNAi strategy to control mosquitoes and prevent spread of mosquito-borne diseases. The strategy involved delivery of double-stranded RNA(dsRNA) elements to mosquito larvae using unicellular, transgenic algae as vectors. Significantly, microorganisms, including microalgae, are the primary source of nutrition for mosquito larvae in water bodies that serve as the breeding grounds for mosquitoes. This strategy of delivering RNA elements to suppress essential target genes in mosquito larvae has many potential advantages over existing technologies.

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GCE Special: Endectocides for controlling transmission of mosquito-borne diseases

May 27, 2013 - 19:40 -- Bart G.J. Knols
Author(s): 
Massamba Sylla, Kevin C. Kobylinski, Brian D. Foy
Reference: 
MWJ 2013, 4, 5

The aim of this GCE project was to develop a control method that targets the most important variables of vectorial capacity (VC) and the basic reproductive number (Ro) so malaria parasite transmission would be maximally impacted, but that did so by targeting mosquitoes through human blood meals. This would a) target all malaria vectors around a community, regardless of when and where they bite, and b) ensure that the effector molecules directly entered the midgut of mosquitoes rather than needing to be efficiently applied in the environment and then efficiently penetrate the vectors’ cuticle.

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GCE Special: Production of a transgenic mosquito, as a flying syringe, to deliver protective vaccine via saliva

May 27, 2013 - 19:15 -- Bart G.J. Knols
Author(s): 
Hiroyuki Matsuoka
Reference: 
MWJ 2013, 4, 4

In this GCE project it was aimed to put a gene encoding a pathogen protein into a mosquito chromosome, causing it to express the protein in its saliva and inject it into animals orhumans during the blood-feeding process. It was anticipated that the host would develop antibodies to the recombinant protein. If transgenic mosquitoes whose saliva contained a vaccine protein against a disease are released in an area where the disease is prevalent, people that are bitten daily by these mosquitoes would develop antibodies to the vaccine protein, and ultimately the entire community would be ‘vaccinated’ against the disease. In this situation, mosquitoes would play the role of vaccine deliverers.

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Case report: Peculiarities of a malaria case imported from Myanmar to Moscow (Russian Federation)

May 2, 2013 - 08:55 -- Bart G.J. Knols
Author(s): 
Anatoly Kondrashin, Susanna Rabinovich, Vladimir Sergiev, Anatoly Tokmalaev
Reference: 
MWJ 2013, 4, 3

An imported case of presumably Chesson strain Plasmodium vivax from Myanmar to Moscow is presented. In the absence of radical treatment with primaquine the patient experienced a series of 5 subsequent relapses after treatment with Delagil (chloroquine). The period between relapses ranged from 47-61 days. It is concluded that importation of Chesson-like strains with high relapse frequencies, in conjunction with their relative tolerance to primaquine and the absence of adequate treatment with this drug, might result in the re-establishment of local transmission in areas free of malaria but with high receptivity.

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Book review: ‘Improving the US Presidential Malaria Initiative’

March 28, 2013 - 21:45 -- Bart G.J. Knols
Author(s): 
Bart GJ Knols
Reference: 
MWJ 2013, 4, 2

This is a review of Bill Jobin's book 'Improving the US Presidential Malaria Initiative'. It is mainly a review of PMI's first campaign in Angola in 2005/6. Jobin was directly involved in organising a large-scale indoor residual spraying campaign in the south of Angola and writes about the intricacies of getting such a campaign off the ground based on poor data, delays, and a myriad of other challenges. To come to a stunning conclusion: there was hardly any malaria in the region that was sprayed and essentially 2.1 million dollars of the first PMI campaign had gone to waste. Jobin adds a list of essential recommendations to improve the outcome of such campaigns in future. A must-read that can be ordered at Amazon.com.

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Research: Community perception of malaria and its influence on health-seeking behaviour in rural Ghana: a descriptive study

January 8, 2013 - 10:02 -- Bart G.J. Knols
Author(s): 
Alexander Suuk Laar, Amos Kankponang Laar, Philip Ayizem Dalinjong
Reference: 
MWJ 2013, 4, 1

This article is the outcome of a descriptive cross-sectional study that assessed local perceptions on malaria and health seeking behaviour among inhabitants in the Kassena-Nankana district in the Upper East Region of Ghana. A total of 120 respondents were included in the study through a systematic random sampling procedure of households. The majority (65%) of respondents had awareness about malaria and linked it to mosquito bites.

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Research: Formulation of quinine suppository for initiation of early treatment of malaria – a preliminary study

December 10, 2012 - 10:04 -- Bart G.J. Knols
Author(s): 
Rebecca O. Soremekun, Boladale O. Silva, Fola Tayo, Cecilia I. Igwilo
Reference: 
MWJ 2012, 3, 14

The aim of this study was to develop a quinine suppository with adequate release properties that also meets the dual conditions of affordability and ease of administration. Cocoa butter and FattibaseTM were used in the preparation of suppositories containing 200 mg quinine bisulphate. Release profiles of formulations with varying concentrations of polysorbate 80 (0 – 5%) were evaluated by in vitro dissolution in pH 8 buffer medium. Formulations with the two bases released quinine in adequate quantities for the management of malaria.

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Book review: ‘Artemisia annua, Artemisinin, ACTs & Malaria Control in Africa: Tradition, Science and Public Policy’

December 6, 2012 - 10:24 -- Bart G.J. Knols
Author(s): 
Wallace Peters
Reference: 
MWJ 2012, 3, 13

This book describes the fascinating history of one of the most important malaria drugs ever: artemisinin. Its review was written by Emeritus Professor Wallace Peters, one of the scientists involved in the early stages of Artemisia annua drug development. According to Prof. Peters this book 'is truly a masterpiece'.

The pdf of the entire book is attached below.

Research: The role of pre-shipment batch testing in ensuring good medicine quality

December 5, 2012 - 16:50 -- Bart G.J. Knols
Author(s): 
Roger Bate, Kimberly Hess
Reference: 
MWJ 2012, 3, 12

Most donor agencies only procure drugs approved by a Stringent Regulatory Authority or the World Health Organization (WHO) Prequalification Programme in an effort to ensure high quality. This study compares the quality of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) produced by WHO-approved manufacturers with non-approved manufacturers and suggests policy changes to improve quality of donor-procured drugs. The results of this study suggest that ACTs produced by WHO-approved manufacturers perform nearly five times better than those of non-approved manufacturers, but some approved ACTs have too little active pharmaceutical ingredient. The US President’s Malaria Initiative tests every batch of every drug it procures before distribution to recipient countries. Other donors should follow suit to ensure that drugs purchased with taxpayer dollars are of the highest quality.

[The official response to this article from the World Health Organization Prequalification of Medicines Programme was published in December 2012 and is attached below]

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