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Scientific Articles

EphA2 contributes to disruption of the blood-brain barrier in cerebral malaria

February 10, 2020 - 15:54 -- Open Access
Thayer K. Darling, Patrice N. Mimche, Christian Bray, Banlanjo Umaru, Lauren M. Brady, Colleen Stone, Carole Else Eboumbou Moukoko, Thomas E. Lane, Lawrence S. Ayong, Tracey J. Lamb
PLoS Pathog 16(1):e1008261

Disruption of blood-brain barrier (BBB) function is a key feature of cerebral malaria. Increased barrier permeability occurs due to disassembly of tight and adherens junctions between endothelial cells, yet the mechanisms governing junction disassembly and vascular permeability during cerebral malaria remain poorly characterized. We found that EphA2 is a principal receptor tyrosine kinase mediating BBB breakdown during Plasmodium infection.

Patients with positive malaria tests not given artemisinin-based combination therapies: a research synthesis describing under-prescription of antimalarial medicines in Africa

February 10, 2020 - 15:53 -- Open Access
Shennae O’Boyle, Katia J. Bruxvoort, Heidi Hopkins, et al.
BMC Med 18, 17 (2020)

There has been a successful push towards parasitological diagnosis of malaria in Africa, mainly with rapid diagnostic tests (mRDTs), which has reduced over-prescribing of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACT) to malaria test-negative patients. The effect on prescribing for test-positive patients has received much less attention. Malaria infection in endemic Africa is often most dangerous for young children and those in low-transmission settings. This study examined non-prescription of antimalarials for patients with malaria infection demonstrated by positive mRDT results, and in particular these groups who are most vulnerable to poor outcomes if antimalarials are not given.

What constitutes a neglected tropical disease?

February 10, 2020 - 15:50 -- Open Access
Peter J. Hotez, Serap Aksoy, Paul J. Brindley, Shaden Kamhawi
PLoS Negl Trop Dis 14(1): e0008001

The World Health Organization (WHO) currently classifies 20 diseases and conditions as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). However, since its inception in 2007, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases has considered an expanded list that includes additional diseases with the chronic and/or debilitating, and poverty-promoting features of NTDs.

Reassessing therapeutic antibodies for neglected and tropical diseases

February 10, 2020 - 15:49 -- Open Access
Rob Hooft van Huijsduijnen, Somei Kojima, Dee Carter, Hisafumi Okabe, Akihide Sato, Wataru Akahata, Timothy N. C. Wells, Kei Katsuno
PLoS Negl Trop Dis 14(1):e0007860

In the past two decades there has been a significant expansion in the number of new therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that are approved by regulators. The discovery of these new medicines has been driven primarily by new approaches in inflammatory diseases and oncology, especially in immuno-oncology. Other recent successes have included new antibodies for use in viral diseases, including HIV.

Direct and indirect effects of predation and parasitism on the Anopheles gambiae mosquito

February 10, 2020 - 15:47 -- Open Access
Fedinand Ong’wen, Patrick Ogola Onyango, Tullu Bukhari
Parasites Vectors 13, 43 (2020)

A good understanding of mosquito ecology is imperative for integrated vector control of malaria. In breeding sites, Anopheles larvae are concurrently exposed to predators and parasites. However, to our knowledge, there is no study on combined effects of predators and parasites on development and survival of larvae and their carry-over effects on adult survivorship and susceptibility to further parasite infection.

Influence of house characteristics on mosquito distribution and malaria transmission in the city of Yaoundé, Cameroon

February 3, 2020 - 17:24 -- Open Access
Carmene S. Ngadjeu, Patricia Doumbe-Belisse, Abdou Talipouo, Landre Djamouko-Djonkam, Parfait Awono-Ambene, Sevilor Kekeunou, Wilson Toussile, Charles S. Wondji and Christophe Antonio-Nkondjio
Malaria Journal 2020 19:53, 30 January 2020

Improving house structure is known to limit contact between humans and mosquitoes and reduce malaria transmission risk. In the present study, the influence of house characteristics on mosquito distribution and malaria transmission risk was assessed in the city of Yaoundé.

A zooprophylaxis strategy using l-lactic acid (Abate) to divert host-seeking malaria vectors from human host to treated non-host animals

February 3, 2020 - 17:21 -- Open Access
Elison E. Kemibala, Agenor Mafra-Neto, Teun Dekker, Jesse Saroli, Rodrigo Silva, Anitha Philbert, Kija Nghabi and Leonard E. G. Mboera
Malaria Journal 2020 19:52, 30 January 2020

Zooprophylaxis is a technique in which blood-seeking vectors are diverted to non-host animals in order to lower blood-feeding rates on human hosts. The success of this technique depends on the host preference of the vector being targeted. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of l-lactic acid (Abate) to divert malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae from feeding on human host.

Effect of group versus individual antenatal care on uptake of intermittent prophylactic treatment of malaria in pregnancy and related malaria outcomes in Nigeria and Kenya: analysis of data from a pragmatic cluster randomized trial

February 3, 2020 - 17:17 -- Open Access
Lisa Noguchi, Lindsay Grenier, Oniyire Adetiloye, et al.
Malaria Journal 2020 19:51, 29 January 2020

Every year, malaria in pregnancy contributes to approximately 20% of stillbirths in sub-Saharan Africa and 10,000 maternal deaths globally. Most eligible pregnant women do not receive the minimum three recommended doses of intermittent preventive treatment with Sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP). The objective of this analysis was to determine whether women randomized to group antenatal care (G-ANC) versus standard antenatal care (ANC) differed in IPTp uptake and insecticide-treated nets (ITN) use.

Molecular methods for tracking residual Plasmodium falciparum transmission in a close-to-elimination setting in Zanzibar

February 3, 2020 - 17:07 -- Open Access
Benjamin Grossenbacher, Aurel Holzschuh, Natalie E. Hofmann, Kali Abdullah Omar, Logan Stuck, Bakar Shariff Fakih, Abdullah Ali, Joshua Yukich, Manuel W. Hetzel and Ingrid Felger
Malaria Journal 2020 19:50, 29 January 2020

Molecular detection of low-density Plasmodium falciparum infections is essential for surveillance studies conducted to inform malaria control strategies in close-to-elimination settings. Molecular monitoring of residual malaria infections usually requires a large study size, therefore sampling and diagnostic processes need to be economical and optimized for high-throughput. A method comparison was undertaken to identify the most efficient diagnostic procedure for processing large collections of community samples with optimal test sensitivity, simplicity, and minimal costs.

Vaccination accelerates hepatic erythroblastosis induced by blood-stage malaria

February 3, 2020 - 17:05 -- Open Access
Denis Delic, Frank Wunderlich, Saleh Al-Quraishy, Abdel-Azeem S. Abdel-Baki, Mohamed A. Dkhil and Marcos J. Araúzo-Bravo
Malaria Journal 2020 19:49, 29 January 2020

Vaccination induces survival of otherwise lethal blood-stage infections of the experimental malaria Plasmodium chabaudi. Blood-stage malaria induces extramedullary erythropoiesis in the liver. This study investigates how vaccination affects the course of malaria-induced expression of erythrocytic genes in the liver.


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