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Scientific Articles

Digging for care-seeking behaviour among gold miners in the Guyana hinterland: a qualitative doer non-doer analysis of social and behavioural motivations for malaria testing and treatment

July 7, 2020 - 13:55 -- Open Access
Shirley D. Yan, Jennifer Orkis, Saifra Khan Sohail, Sean Wilson, TrishAnn Davis and J. Douglas Storey
Malaria Journal 2020 19:235, 6 July 2020

Although Guyana has made significant progress toward malaria control, limited access to malaria testing and treatment services threatens those gains. Mining activities create breeding environments for mosquitoes, and the migrant and mobile mining populations are hard to reach with information and services. The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has trained volunteers to test and treat malaria cases in remote regions. However, it remains unclear how miners perceive these testers, the services they provide, or what their malaria care-seeking behaviour is in general. To better address these challenges, Breakthrough ACTION Guyana and MoPH conducted qualitative research from October to November 2018 in Regions 7 and 8 in Guyana.

Hotspots in Plasmodium and RBC Receptor-Ligand Interactions: Key Pieces for Inhibiting Malarial Parasite Invasion

July 7, 2020 - 13:48 -- Open Access
Patarroyo MA, Molina-Franky J, Gómez M, Arévalo-Pinzón G, Patarroyo ME
Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Jul 2;21(13):E4729

Protein-protein interactions (IPP) play an essential role in practically all biological processes, including those related to microorganism invasion of their host cells. It has been found that a broad repertoire of receptor-ligand interactions takes place in the binding interphase with host cells in malaria, these being vital interactions for successful parasite invasion. Several trials have been conducted for elucidating the molecular interface of interactions between some Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax antigens with receptors on erythrocytes and/or reticulocytes.

Janus sword actions of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine against COVID-19

July 7, 2020 - 13:46 -- Open Access
Chen X, Geiger JD
Cell Signal. 2020 Jul 3:109706

Chloroquine (CQ) and its analogue hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) have been thrust into our everyday vernacular because some believe, based on very limited basic and clinical data, that they might be helpful in preventing and/or lessening the severity of the pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, lacking is a temperance in enthusiasm for their possible use as well as sufficient perspective on their effects and side-effects. CQ and HCQ have well-known properties of being diprotic weak bases that preferentially accumulate in acidic organelles (endolysosomes and Golgi apparatus) and neutralize luminal pH of acidic organelles.

NOT Open Access | Rising temperature and its impact on receptivity to malaria transmission in Europe: A systematic review

July 7, 2020 - 13:45 -- NOT Open Access
Fischer L, Gültekin N, Kaelin MB, Fehr J, Schlagenhauf P
Travel Med Infect Dis. 2020 Jul 3:101815

Malaria is one of the most life-threatening vector-borne diseases globally. Recent autochthonous cases registered in several European countries have raised awareness regarding the threat of malaria reintroduction to Europe. An increasing number of imported malaria cases today occur due to international travel and migrant flows from malaria-endemic countries. The cumulative factors of the presence of competent vectors, favourable climatic conditions and evidence of increasing temperatures might lead to the re-emergence of malaria in countries where the infection was previously eliminated.

A pharmacological perspective of Chloroquine in SARS-CoV-2 infection

July 7, 2020 - 13:43 -- Open Access
Oscanoa TJ, Romero-Ortuno R, Carvajal A, Savarino A
Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2020 Jul 3:106078

The pandemic caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is having serious consequences on health and the economy worldwide. All evidence-based treatment strategies need to be considered to combat this new virus. Drugs need to be considered on scientific grounds of efficacy, safety and cost. Chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) are old drugs used in the treatment of malaria; in addition, their antiviral properties have been previously studied, including in coronaviruses, where evidence of efficacy has been found.

Moving towards malaria elimination in southern Mozambique: Cost and cost-effectiveness of mass drug administration combined with intensified malaria control

July 7, 2020 - 13:41 -- Open Access
Cirera L, Galatas B, Alonso S, Paaijmans K, Mamuquele M, Martí-Soler H, Guinovart C, Munguambe H, Luis F, Nhantumbo H, Montañà J, Bassat Q, Candrinho B, Rabinovich R, Macete E, Aide P, Alonso P, Saúte F, Sicuri E
PLoS ONE 15(7): e0235631

As new combinations of interventions aiming at interrupting malaria transmission are under evaluation, understanding the associated economic costs and benefits is critical for decision-making. This study assessed the economic cost and cost-effectiveness of the Magude project, a malaria elimination initiative implemented in a district in southern Mozambique (i.e. Magude) between August 2015–June 2018. This project piloted a combination of two mass drug administration (MDA) rounds per year for two consecutive years, annual rounds of universal indoor residual spraying (IRS) and a strengthened surveillance and response system on the back of universal long-lasting insecticide treated net (LLIN) coverage and routine case management implemented by the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP). Although local transmission was not interrupted, the project achieved large reductions in the burden of malaria in the target district.

Genome wide distribution of G-quadruplexes and their impact on gene expression in malaria parasites

July 7, 2020 - 13:20 -- Open Access
Gazanion E, Lacroix L, Alberti P, Gurung P, Wein S, Cheng M, Mergny JL, Gomes AR, Lopez-Rubio JJ
PLoS Genet 16(7): e1008917

Mechanisms of transcriptional control in malaria parasites are still not fully understood. The positioning patterns of G-quadruplex (G4) DNA motifs in the parasite's AT-rich genome, especially within the var gene family which encodes virulence factors, and in the vicinity of recombination hotspots, points towards a possible regulatory role of G4 in gene expression and genome stability. Here, we carried out the most comprehensive genome-wide survey, to date, of G4s in the Plasmodium falciparum genome using G4Hunter, which identifies G4 forming sequences (G4FS) considering their G-richness and G-skewness.

NOT Open Access | Hemocyte-specific FREP13 abrogates the exogenous bacterial population in the hemolymph and promotes midgut endosymbionts in Anopheles stephensi

July 7, 2020 - 13:18 -- NOT Open Access
Chauhan C, De TD, Kumari S, Rani J, Sharma P, Tevatiya S, Pandey KC, Pande V, Dixit R
Immunol Cell Biol. 2020 Jul 5

The mosquito's immune blood cells, 'hemocytes' imparts a highly selective immune response against various micro-organisms/pathogens. Among several immune effectors, FREPs (Fibrinogen related proteins) have been recognized as key modulator of cellular immune responses; however, their physiological relevance has not been investigated in detail. Our ongoing comparative RNA-Seq analysis identified a total of 13 FREPs originating from naïve sugar-fed, blood-fed, bacterial challenged, and Plasmodium vivax-infected hemocytes in the mosquito Anopheles stephensi hemocytes.

NOT Open Access | RAGE modulatory effects on cytokines network and histopathological conditions in malarial mice

July 7, 2020 - 13:17 -- NOT Open Access
Chin VK, Chuah YK, Lee TY, Nordin N, Ibraheem ZO, Zakaria ZA, Hassan H, Basir R
Exp Parasitol. 2020 Jul 2:107946

This study was aimed at investigating the involvement of Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products (RAGE) during malaria infection and the effects of modulating RAGE on the inflammatory cytokines release and histopathological conditions of affected organs in malarial animal model. Plasmodium berghei (P. berghei) ANKA-infected ICR mice were treated with mRAGE/pAb and rmRAGE/Fc Chimera drugs from day 1 to day 4 post infection. Survival and parasitaemia levels were monitored daily. At day 5 post infection, mice were sacrificed, blood were drawn for cytokines analysis and major organs including kidney, spleen, liver, brain and lungs were extracted for histopathological analysis. RAGE levels were increased systemically during malaria infection.

NOT Open Access | Systematic review of artemisinin embryotoxicity in animals: Implications for malaria control in human pregnancy

July 7, 2020 - 13:15 -- NOT Open Access
González R, Pons-Duran C, Bardají A, Leke RGF, Clark R, Menendez C
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2020 Jul 2:115127

Pregnant women are one of the most susceptible and vulnerable groups to malaria, the most important parasitic disease worldwide. Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) are recommended for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria in all population groups including pregnant women. However, due to the embryotoxicity observed in animal studies, ACTs have long been contraindicated during the first trimester in pregnant women.


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