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Scientific Articles

Blood group and size dependent stability of P. falciparum infected red blood cell aggregates in capillaries

March 25, 2020 - 14:57 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Jötten AM, Moll K, Wahlgren M, Wixforth A, Westerhausen C
Reference: 
Biomicrofluidics, Volume 14, Issue 2

For Plasmodium falciparum related malaria (B50), one of the outstanding host factors for the development of severe disease is the ABO blood group of malaria patients, where blood group O reduces the probability of severe disease as compared to individuals of groups A, B, or AB.

Modelling the household cost of paediatric malaria treatment in a rural county in Kenya: do non-user fee payments matter? A partial cost of illness analysis

March 25, 2020 - 14:55 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Kodhiambo MO, Oyugi JO, Amugune BK
Reference: 
BMJ Open. 2020 Mar 23;10(3):e033192

The objective of this study was to develop an econometric model for the cost of treatment of paediatric malaria from a patient perspective in a resource scarce rural setting of Homa Bay County, Kenya. We sought to investigate the main contributors as well as the contribution of non-user fee payments to the total household cost of care. Costs were measured from a patient perspective.

NOT Open Access | Plasmodium vivax drug resistance markers: Genetic polymorphisms and mutation patterns in isolates from Malaysia

March 25, 2020 - 14:53 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Cheong FW, Dzul S, Fong MY, Lau YL, Ponnampalavanar S
Reference: 
Acta Trop. 2020 Mar 20:105454

Transmission of Plasmodium vivax still persist in Malaysia despite the government's aim to eliminate malaria in 2020. High treatment failure rate of chloroquine monotherapy was reported recently. Hence, parasite drug susceptibility should be kept under close monitoring. Mutation analysis of the drug resistance markers is useful for reconnaissance of anti-malarial drug resistance. Hitherto, information on P. vivax drug resistance marker in Malaysia are limited.

Validity and reliability of a Hausa language questionnaire assessing information, motivation and Behavioural skills for malaria prevention during pregnancy

March 25, 2020 - 14:51 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Balami AD, Said SM, Zulkefli NM, Bachok N, Audu BM
Reference: 
BMC Public Health. 2020 Mar 24;20(1):384

Many studies on malaria knowledge, attitude and practice among pregnant women have been conducted in Hausa speaking communities in Nigeria. Despite this, no standard and uniform instrument for assessing this important public health problem has been developed in the Hausa language, even though it is widely spoken. The aim of this study was to develop and validate a questionnaire in Hausa language assessing information, motivation, and behavioural skills for malaria prevention during pregnancy.

Structural Variation of the X Chromosome Heterochromatin in the Anopheles gambiae Complex

March 25, 2020 - 14:49 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Sharma A, Kinney NA, Timoshevskiy VA, Sharakhova MV, Sharakhov IV
Reference: 
Genes (Basel). 2020 Mar 19;11(3). pii: E327

Heterochromatin is identified as a potential factor driving diversification of species. To understand the magnitude of heterochromatin variation within the Anopheles gambiae complex of malaria mosquitoes, we analyzed metaphase chromosomes in An. arabiensis, An. coluzzii, An. gambiae, An. merus, and An. quadriannulatus.

Influence of Plasmodium falciparum Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinase 5 (PfCDPK5) on the Late Schizont Stage Phosphoproteome

March 25, 2020 - 14:37 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Karin Blomqvist, Michaela Helmel, Chengqi Wang, Sabrina Absalon, Tetanya Labunska, Rachel M. Rudlaff, Swamy Adapa, Rays Jiang, Hanno Steen and Jeffrey D. Dvorin
Reference: 
mSphere January/February 2020 5:e00921-19

Protein kinases are important mediators of signal transduction in cellular pathways, and calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) compose a unique class of calcium-dependent kinases present in plants and apicomplexans, including Plasmodium parasites, the causative agents of malaria. During the asexual stage of infection, the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum grows inside red blood cells, and P. falciparum calcium-dependent protein kinase 5 (PfCDPK5) is required for egress from the host cell.

Tracking progress towards malaria elimination in China: Individual-level estimates of transmission and its spatiotemporal variation using a diffusion network approach

March 24, 2020 - 12:40 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Routledge I, Lai S, Battle KE, Ghani AC, Gomez-Rodriguez M, Gustafson KB, Mishra S, Unwin J, Proctor JL, Tatem AJ, Li Z, Bhatt S
Reference: 
PLoS Comput Biol 16(3): e1007707

In order to monitor progress towards malaria elimination, it is crucial to be able to measure changes in spatio-temporal transmission. However, common metrics of malaria transmission such as parasite prevalence are under powered in elimination contexts. China has achieved major reductions in malaria incidence and is on track to eliminate, having reporting zero locally-acquired malaria cases in 2017 and 2018. Understanding the spatio-temporal pattern underlying this decline, especially the relationship between locally-acquired and imported cases, can inform efforts to maintain elimination and prevent re-emergence.

Housing and child health in sub-Saharan Africa: A cross-sectional analysis

March 24, 2020 - 12:36 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Lucy S. Tusting, Peter W. Gething, Harry S. Gibson, Brian Greenwood, Jakob Knudsen, Steve W. Lindsay, Samir Bhatt
Reference: 
PLoS Med 17(3): e1003055

Housing is essential to human well-being but neglected in global health. Today, housing in Africa is rapidly improving alongside economic development, creating an urgent need to understand how these changes can benefit health. We hypothesised that improved housing is associated with better health in children living in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of housing conditions relative to a range of child health outcomes in SSA.

A Nonpeptidyl Molecule Modulates Apoptosis-like Cell Death by Inhibiting P.falciparum Metacapase-2

March 24, 2020 - 12:31 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Kumari V, Sankar S, Prasad KM, Kashif M, Kalia I, Rai R, Singh AP, Pandey KC
Reference: 
Biochem J. 2020 Mar 23. pii: BCJ20200050

Metacaspases are novel cysteine proteases found in apicomplexan whose function is poorly understood. Our earlier studies on Plasmodium falciparum metacaspase-2 (PfMCA-2) revealed that the caspase inhibitor, Z-FA-FMK efficiently inhibited PfMCA-2 activity and, expression, and significantly blocked in vitro progression of the parasite developmental cycle via apoptosis-like parasite death.

NOT Open Access | Nano-Focused Scanning X-ray Fluorescence Microscopy Reveals an Effect of Hemoglobin S and C on Biochemical Activities in P. falciparum-Infected Erythrocytes

March 24, 2020 - 12:29 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Fröhlich B, Yang Y, Thoma J, Czajor J, Lansche C, Sanchez C, Lanzer M, Cloetens P, Tanaka M
Reference: 
Anal Chem. 2020 Mar 23

Ample evidence suggesting that carriers of hemoglobin S and C are protected from life-threatening malaria, but little is known about the underlying biochemical mechanisms at the single cell level. Using nano-focused scanning X-ray fluorescence microscopy, we quantify the spatial distribution of individual elements in subcellular compartments, including Fe, S, P, Zn, and Cu, in Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes carrying the wild type or variant hemoglobins.

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