While great strides have been achieved in fighting malaria through the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) strategy, the recent world malaria report shows an increase in malaria-related deaths compared to previous years. Malaria control tools are efficacious and effective in preventing the disease; however, the human behaviour aspect of the intervention strategies is weak due to heavy reliance on positive human health behaviour. The challenge lies in adoption of control interventions by the target population which, to an extent, may include access to prevention and treatment tools. We present a qualitative assessment of the use of the Health Animator (HA) model for Information, Education and Communication (IEC) to improve adoption and use of malaria control by promoting positive health behaviours.
In the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, the switch from asexual multiplication to sexual differentiation into gametocytes is essential for transmission to mosquitos. The transcription factor PfAP2-G is a key determinant of sexual commitment that orchestrates this crucial cell fate decision. Here we identify the direct targets of PfAP2-G and demonstrate that it dynamically binds hundreds of sites across the genome.
When there is significant uncertainty in an innovation project, research literature suggests that strictly sequencing actions and stages may not be an appropriate mode of project management. We use a longitudinal process approach and qualitative system dynamics modelling to study the development of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes for malaria eradication in an African country.
The health of school-aged children (SAC) is often compromised by malaria parasitaemia (MP), soil-transmitted helminths (STH), and malnutrition in the tropics. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and influence of MP, STH and malnutrition on haemoglobin (Hb) levels as well as identify its predictors.
Malaria was eliminated from Sri Lanka in 2013. However, the influx of infected travelers and the presence of potent anopheline vectors can re-initiate transmission in Jaffna city, which is separated by a narrow strait from the malaria-endemic Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Since the National Malaria Elimination Action Plan was launched in China in 2010, local malaria transmission has decreased rapidly. Zero indigenous cases were reported since 2017. However, after 2010, the proportion of imported cases in China increased from 45.7% in 2010 to 99.9% in 2016, and almost all provinces of China have reported imported cases in recent years. Prevention of the reintroduction of malaria into China is crucial for the maintenance of its malaria-free status. Hence, it is of utmost importance to correctly identify the source of malaria infections within the country.
Owing to the large amount of host DNA in clinical samples, generation of high-quality Plasmodium falciparum whole genome sequencing (WGS) data requires enrichment for parasite DNA. Enrichment is often achieved by leukocyte depletion of infected blood prior to storage. However, leukocyte depletion is difficult in low-resource settings and limits analysis to prospectively-collected samples. As a result, approaches such as selective whole genome amplification (sWGA) are being used to enrich for parasite DNA. However, sWGA has had limited success in generating reliable sequencing data from low parasitaemia samples. In this study, enzymatic digestion with MspJI prior to sWGA and whole genome sequencing was evaluated to determine whether this approach improved genome coverage compared to sWGA alone. The potential of sWGA to cause amplification bias in polyclonal infections was also examined.
In 2006, the Senegalese National Malaria Control Programme recommended artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) with artemether–lumefantrine as the first-line treatment for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria. To date, multiple mutations associated with artemisinin delayed parasite clearance have been described in Southeast Asia in the Pfk13 gene, such as Y493H, R539T, I543T and C580Y. Even though ACT remains clinically and parasitologically efficacious in Senegal, the spread of resistance is possible as shown by the earlier emergence of resistance to chloroquine in Southeast Asia that subsequently spread to Africa. Therefore, surveillance of artemisinin resistance in malaria endemic regions is crucial and requires the implementation of sensitive tools, such as next-generation sequencing (NGS) which can detect novel mutations at low frequency.
Conceptualizing gender dynamics and ways of bridging entrenched gender roles will contribute to better health promotion, policy and planning. Such processes are explored in relation to malaria in Mozambique.
During the erythrocytic cycle, Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites express P. falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) that anchor the infected erythrocytes (IE) to the vascular lining of the host. The CIDRα1 domain of PfEMP1 is responsible for binding host endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR), and increasing evidence support that this interaction triggers severe malaria, accounting for the majority of malaria-related deaths. In high transmission regions, children develop immunity to severe malaria after the first few infections. This immunity is believed to be mediated by antibodies targeting and inhibiting PfEMP1, causing infected erythrocytes to circulate and be cleared in the spleen. The development of immunity to malaria coincides with acquisition of broad antibody reactivity across the CIDRα1 protein family. Altogether, this identifies CIDRα1 as an important vaccine target. However, the antigenic diversity of the CIDRα1 domain family is a challenge for vaccine development.