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Scientific Articles

NOT Open Access | In vitro and in vivo antiplasmodial activity of novel quinoline derivative compounds by molecular hybridization

April 6, 2021 - 13:54 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Marinho JA, Martins Guimarães DS, Abramo C, et al.
Reference: 
Eur J Med Chem. 2021 Apr 5;215:113271

Chloroquine (CQ) has been the main treatment for malaria in regions where there are no resistant strains. Molecular hybridization techniques have been used as a tool in the search for new drugs and was implemented in the present study in an attempt to produce compound candidates to treat malarial infections by CQ-resistant strains. Two groups of molecules were produced from the 4-aminoquinoline ring in conjugation to hydrazones (HQ) and imines (IQ).

H3K36 methylation reprograms gene expression to drive early gametocyte development in Plasmodium falciparum

April 6, 2021 - 13:51 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Connacher J, Josling GA, Orchard LM, Reader J, Llinás M, Birkholtz LM
Reference: 
Epigenetics Chromatin. 2021 Apr 1;14(1):19

The Plasmodium sexual gametocyte stages are the only transmissible form of the malaria parasite and are thus responsible for the continued transmission of the disease. Gametocytes undergo extensive functional and morphological changes from commitment to maturity, directed by an equally extensive control program. However, the processes that drive the differentiation and development of the gametocyte post-commitment, remain largely unexplored. A previous study reported enrichment of H3K36 di- and tri-methylated (H3K36me2&3) histones in early-stage gametocytes. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing, we identify a stage-specific association between these repressive histone modifications and transcriptional reprogramming that define a stage II gametocyte transition point.

Multimodal synergisms in host stimuli drive landing response in malaria mosquitoes

April 6, 2021 - 13:50 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Carnaghi M, Belmain SR, Hopkins RJ, Hawkes FM
Reference: 
Sci Rep. 2021 Apr 1;11(1):7379

Anopheles mosquitoes transmit malaria, which affects one-fifth of the world population. A comprehensive understanding of mosquito behaviour is essential for the development of novel tools for vector control and surveillance. Despite abundant research on mosquito behaviour, little is known on the stimuli that drive malaria vectors during the landing phase of host-seeking.

Multimeric antibodies from antigen-specific human IgM+ memory B cells restrict Plasmodium parasites

April 6, 2021 - 13:48 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Thouvenel CD, Fontana MF, Pepper M, et al.
Reference: 
J Exp Med. 2021 Apr 5;218(4):e20200942

Multimeric immunoglobulin-like molecules arose early in vertebrate evolution, yet the unique contributions of multimeric IgM antibodies to infection control are not well understood. This is partially due to the difficulty of distinguishing low-affinity IgM, secreted rapidly by plasmablasts, from high-affinity antibodies derived from later-arising memory cells. We developed a pipeline to express B cell receptors (BCRs) from Plasmodium falciparum-specific IgM+ and IgG+ human memory B cells (MBCs) as both IgM and IgG molecules.

Testing Mosquitoes for Student Inquiry: Husbandry Lessons in the Lab

April 1, 2021 - 09:14 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Erica Kosal, Beverly I. Anaele
Reference: 
The American Biology Teacher (2021) 83 (3): 180–184.

Because mosquitoes are a public health concern, several chemical insect repellents have been created and used for many years. While some of these products, such as DEET and permethrin, are effective at controlling mosquito populations, their excessive use may lead to animal, human, and environmental harm if applied improperly. Understanding the life cycles of mosquitoes, their feeding preferences, and their responses to natural plant extracts could enable scientists to develop more environmentally safe but still effective insect repellents.

Repurposing of existing therapeutics to combat drug-resistant malaria

April 1, 2021 - 09:06 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Yadav K, Shivahare R, Shaham SH, Joshi P, Sharma A, Tripathi R
Reference: 
Biomed Pharmacother. 2021 Apr;136:111275

In the era of drug repurposing, speedy discovery of new therapeutic options for the drug-resistant malaria is the best available tactic to reduce the financial load and time in the drug discovery process. Six anticancer drugs, three immunomodulators and four antibiotics were selected for the repositioning against experimental malaria owing to their mode of action and published literature. The efficacy of existing therapeutics was evaluated against chloroquine-resistant in vitro and in vivo strains of Plasmodium falciparum and P. yoelii, respectively. All the pre-existing FDA-approved drugs along with leptin were primarily screened against chloroquine-resistant (PfK1) and drug-sensitive (Pf3D7) strains of P. falciparum using SYBR green-based antiplasmodial assay.

NOT Open Access | Spatial and molecular mapping of Pfkelch13 gene polymorphism in Africa in the era of emerging Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinin: a systematic review

April 1, 2021 - 09:03 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Kayiba NK, Yobi DM, Speybroeck N, et al.
Reference: 
Lancet Infect Dis. 2021 Apr;21(4):e82-e92

The spread of Plasmodium falciparum isolates carrying mutations in the kelch13 (Pfkelch13) gene associated with artemisinin resistance (PfART-R) in southeast Asia threatens malaria control and elimination efforts. Emergence of PfART-R in Africa would result in a major public health problem. In this systematic review, we investigate the frequency and spatial distribution of Pfkelch13 mutants in Africa, including mutants linked to PfART-R in southeast Asia. Seven databases were searched (PubMed, Embase, Scopus, African Journal Online, African Index Medicus, Bioline, and Web of Science) for relevant articles about polymorphisms of the Pfkelch13 gene in Africa before January, 2019.

NOT Open Access | A comparative analysis of deep learning architectures on high variation malaria parasite classification dataset

April 1, 2021 - 09:02 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Rahman A, Zunair H, Reme TR, Rahman MS, Mahdy MRC
Reference: 
Tissue Cell. 2021 Apr;69:101473

Malaria, one of the leading causes of death in underdeveloped countries, is primarily diagnosed using microscopy. Computer-aided diagnosis of malaria is a challenging task owing to the fine-grained variability in the appearance of some uninfected and infected class. In this paper, we transform a malaria parasite object detection dataset into a classification dataset, making it the largest malaria classification dataset (63,645 cells), and evaluate the performance of several state-of-the-art deep neural network architectures pretrained on both natural and medical images on this new dataset.

Trends of the global, regional, and national incidence of malaria in 204 countries from 1990 to 2019 and implications for malaria prevention

April 1, 2021 - 09:00 -- Open Access
Tags: 
Author(s): 
Liu Q, Jing W, Kang L, Liu J, Liu M
Reference: 
J Travel Med. 2021 Mar 24:taab046.

Malaria is a life-threatening disease worldwide, but lacks studies on its incidence at the global level. We aimed to describe global trends and regional diversities in incidence of malaria infection, to make global tailored implications for malaria prevention.

NOT Open Access | Multi-omics approaches to improve malaria therapy

April 1, 2021 - 08:55 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Zhou M, Varol A, Efferth T
Reference: 
Pharmacol Res. 2021 Mar 22:105570

Malaria contributes to the most widespread infectious diseases worldwide. Even though current drugs are commercially available, the ever-increasing drug resistance problem by malaria parasites poses new challenges in malaria therapy. Hence, searching for efficient therapeutic strategies is of high priority in malaria control. In recent years, multi-omics technologies have been extensively applied to provide a more holistic view of functional principles and dynamics of biological mechanisms. We briefly review multi-omics technologies and focus on recent malaria progress conducted with the help of various omics methods.

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