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Scientific Articles

Near-term climate change impacts on sub-national malaria transmission

January 16, 2021 - 15:52 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Lubinda J, Haque U, Bi Y, Hamainza B, Moore AJ
Reference: 
Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 12;11(1):751

The role of climate change on global malaria is often highlighted in World Health Organisation reports. We modelled a Zambian socio-environmental dataset from 2000 to 2016, against malaria trends and investigated the relationship of near-term environmental change with malaria incidence using Bayesian spatio-temporal, and negative binomial mixed regression models.

NOT Open Access | Nanotechnological immunoassay for rapid label-free analysis of candidate malaria vaccines

January 16, 2021 - 15:46 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Brunetti G, Padovani F, Hegner M, et al.
Reference: 
Nanoscale. 2021 Jan 13

Malaria is a life-threatening epidemic disease with half of the world's population at risk. Although its incidence rate has fallen since 2010, this ratio dramatically stalled between 2014 and 2018. New fast and optimized tools in vaccine analysis and seroconversion testing are critically needed. We developed a clinical diagnostic device based on piezo-actuated nanoresonators that perform as quantitative in situ calibrated nano-bio sensors for specific detection of multiple target molecules in serum samples. The immunoassay successfully diagnoses humoral immune responses induced by malaria vaccine candidates and reveals the timeline and stage of the infection.

Plasmodium-a brief introduction to the parasites causing human malaria and their basic biology

January 16, 2021 - 09:54 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Sato S
Reference: 
J Physiol Anthropol. 2021 Jan 7;40(1):1

Malaria is one of the most devastating infectious diseases of humans. It is problematic clinically and economically as it prevails in poorer countries and regions, strongly hindering socioeconomic development. The causative agents of malaria are unicellular protozoan parasites belonging to the genus Plasmodium. These parasites infect not only humans but also other vertebrates, from reptiles and birds to mammals. To date, over 200 species of Plasmodium have been formally described, and each species infects a certain range of hosts.

Etiology of lactic acidosis in malaria

January 16, 2021 - 09:42 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Possemiers H, Vandermosten L, Van den Steen PE
Reference: 
PLoS Pathog. 2021 Jan 7;17(1):e1009122

Lactic acidosis and hyperlactatemia are common metabolic disturbances in patients with severe malaria. Lactic acidosis causes physiological adverse effects, which can aggravate the outcome of malaria. Despite its clear association with mortality in malaria patients, the etiology of lactic acidosis is not completely understood. In this review, the possible contributors to lactic acidosis and hyperlactatemia in patients with malaria are discussed. Both increased lactate production and impaired lactate clearance may play a role in the pathogenesis of lactic acidosis.

Accessing the syndemic of COVID-19 and malaria intervention in Africa

January 16, 2021 - 09:39 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Shi B, Zheng J, Xia S, Lin S, Wang X, Liu Y, Zhou XN, Liu J
Reference: 
Infect Dis Poverty. 2021 Jan 7;10(1):5

The pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused substantial disruptions to health services in the low and middle-income countries with a high burden of other diseases, such as malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. The aim of this study is to assess the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on malaria transmission potential in malaria-endemic countries in Africa.

Polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum dihydropteroate synthetase and dihydrofolate reductase genes in Nigerian children with uncomplicated malaria using high-resolution melting technique

January 16, 2021 - 09:38 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Kayode AT, Ajogbasile FV, Akano K, Uwanibe JN, Oluniyi PE, Eromon PJ, Folarin OA, Sowunmi A, Wirth DF, Happi CT
Reference: 
Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 12;11(1):471

In 2005, the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health revised the treatment policy for uncomplicated malaria with the introduction of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). This policy change discouraged the use of Sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) as the second-line treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria. However, SP is used as an intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy (IPTp) and seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) in children aged 3-59 months. There have been increasing reports of SP resistance especially in the non-pregnant population in Nigeria, thus, the need to continually monitor the efficacy of SP as IPTp and SMC by estimating polymorphisms in dihydropteroate synthetase (dhps) and dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) genes associated with SP resistance.

NOT Open Access | Restricted genetic heterogeneity of the Plasmodium vivax transmission-blocking vaccine (TBV) candidate Pvs48/45 in a low transmission setting: Implications for the Plasmodium vivax malaria vaccine development

January 16, 2021 - 09:16 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Asali S, Raz A, Turki H, Mafakher L, Razmjou E, Solaymani-Mohammadi S
Reference: 
Infect Genet Evol. 2021 Jan 6:104710

Plasmodium vivax is the most widespread malaria species parasitizing humans outside Africa, with approximately 100 million cases reported per year. Most human cases of P. vivax are asymptomatic with low parasitemia, making active case detection-based elimination programme challenging and less effective. Despite the widespread distribution of P. vivax, no effective vaccines are currently available. Transmission blocking vaccines have recently emerged as potential vaccine candidates to reduce transmission rates to below the essential levels required for the maintenance of the parasite life cycle.

NOT Open Access | Long-lasting infectivity of Plasmodium vivax present in malarial patient blood to Anopheles aquasalis

January 16, 2021 - 08:54 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Pereira-Silva JW, Martins-Campos KM, Sabrina Dos Reis Martins E, de Souza Menezes A, Guimarães Lacerda MV, Costa Pessoa FA, Ríos-Velásquez CM
Reference: 
Exp Parasitol. 2021 Jan 6:108064

Experimental studies for understanding the relationship between Plasmodium vivax and its vector hosts are difficult, because of to the lack of a long-term, in vitro continuous culture system unavailability of infected blood samples, seasonality of the disease, and the concentration of most cases in remote areas. This study evaluates the duration of the infectivity of P. vivax to Anopheles aquasalis after collecting blood from malaria-infected patients. Blood was collected from patients and stored at 4 ºC and 37 ºC. Every day, for 4 days, the blood was fed to An. aquasalis adult females, and a Giemsa-stained thick blood smear was mounted to account for sexual (gametocytes) and asexual (trophozoites and schizonts) stages and calculate parasitemia.

NOT Open Access | Mammalian Deubiquitinating Enzyme Inhibitors Display in Vitro and in Vivo Activity against Malaria Parasites and Potentiate Artemisinin Action

January 14, 2021 - 08:49 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Simwela NV, Hughes KR, Rennie MT, Barrett MP, Waters AP
Reference: 
ACS Infect Dis. 2021 Jan 5

The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) is an emerging drug target in malaria due to its essential role in the parasite's life cycle stages as well its contribution to resistance to artemisinins. Polymorphisms in the Kelch13 gene of Plasmodium falciparum are primary markers of artemisinin resistance and among other things are phenotypically characterized by an overactive UPS. Inhibitors targeting the proteasome, critical components of the UPS, display activity in malaria parasites and synergize artemisinin action. Here we report the activity of small molecule inhibitors targeting mammalian deubiquitinating enzymes, DUBs (upstream UPS components), in malaria parasites.

Laboratory and microcosm experiments reveal contrasted adaptive responses to ammonia and water mineralisation in aquatic stages of the sibling species Anopheles gambiae (sensu stricto) and Anopheles coluzzii

January 14, 2021 - 08:47 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Akpodiete NO, Tripet F
Reference: 
Parasit Vectors. 2021 Jan 6;14(1):17

The sibling species of the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae (sensu stricto) and Anopheles coluzzii co-exist in many parts of West Africa and are thought to have recently diverged through a process of ecological speciation with gene flow. Divergent larval ecological adaptations, resulting in Genotype-by-Environment (G × E) interactions, have been proposed as important drivers of speciation in these species. In West Africa, An. coluzzii tends to be associated with permanent man-made larval habitats such as irrigated rice fields, which are typically more eutrophic and mineral and ammonia-rich than the temporary rain pools exploited by An. gambiae (s.s.)

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