Over the past decade (2000 – 2009), there have been nine clinical trials of synthetic malaria peptide vaccines designed to target the pre-erythrocytic and erythrocytic stages of the Plasmodium falciparum parasite. The results of these clinical trials, while encouraging, have emphasized the critical roles of immunological assays, in particular functional assays, for the evaluation of potential vaccine candidates. Additional challenges include the need for potent adjuvants for the development of synthetic peptide vaccines that can effectively target multiple stages of the Plasmodium parasite.
It is widely believed that human malaria parasites infect only man as a natural host. However, earlier morphological observations suggest that great apes are likely to be natural reservoirs as well. To identify malaria parasites in great apes, we screened 60 chimpanzees imported into Japan.
Book review of "Primate Parasite Ecology: The dynamics and study of host-parasite relationships" by Michael A. Huffman and Colin A. Chapman (Eds.)
The Fulani of west Africa have been shown to be less susceptible to malaria and to mount a stronger immune response to malaria than sympatric ethnic groups. The analysis of HLA diversity is useful for the assessment of the genetic distance between the Fulani and sympatric populations, which represents the necessary theoretical background for the investigation of genetic determinants of susceptibility to malaria.
Malaria can be controlled in endemic countries by using artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) in combination with indoor residual spraying (IRS) and insecticide-treated nets (ITNs). At least 40 malaria-endemic countries in sub-Saharan Africa now recommend the use of ACT as first-line treatment for uncomplicated falciparum malaria as a cornerstone of their malaria case management.
Using the coalescence theory, we derived a simple expression for the asymptotic inbreeding effective population size of Plasmodium falciparum, the most malignant agent of malaria, in relationship to F-statistics at different hierarchical levels. The logic of the derivation of effective size presented in this study is applicable to any organism showing the same levels of subdivision.
Membrane lipid rafts have been implicated in erythrocyte invasion process by Plasmodium falciparum. In this study, we examined the effect of lidocaine, a local anesthetic, which disrupts lipid rafts reversibly without affecting membrane cholesterol content on parasite invasion. Our findings show that disruption of lipid rafts in the context of normal cholesterol content markedly inhibits parasite invasion and confirm an important role for lipid rafts in invasion of erythrocytes by P. falciparum.
Ahead of a call from WHO for child-friendly medicines, Novartis, working in partnership with Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), started the development of a new formulation of AL for infants and young children: Coartem® Dispersible.
We conclude that possible selection against N-glycans in protists with apicoplasts occurs by eliminating N-glycans (Theileria), reducing their length (Plasmodium), or by reducing the number of N-glycan sites (Toxoplasma). In addition, occupation of N-glycan sites is markedly reduced in apicoplast proteins versus some secretory proteins in both Plasmodium and Toxoplasma.
This article reviews the comprehensive data on the safety and tolerability from over 6,300 patients who have taken artemether/lumefantrine (Coartem®) as part of Novartis-sponsored or independently-sponsored clinical trials.