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Scientific Articles

A qualitative exploration of the experiences of community health animation on malaria control in rural Malawi

April 6, 2020 - 08:09 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Tumaini Malenga, Frances E. Griffiths, Marrit van den Berg, Henk van den Berg, Michèle van Vugt, Kamija Samuel Phiri, Lucinda Manda-Taylor, Eric Umar
Reference: 
Globalization and Health volume 16, 25 (2020)

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.

Dissecting the role of PfAP2-G in malaria gametocytogenesis

April 6, 2020 - 08:07 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Gabrielle A. Josling, Timothy J. Russell, Jarrett Venezia, Lindsey Orchard, Riëtte van Biljon, Heather J. Painter, Manuel Llinás
Reference: 
Nat Commun. 2020; 11: 1503, Mar 20

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.

The development of complex and controversial innovations. Genetically modified mosquitoes for malaria eradication

April 6, 2020 - 08:05 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Valentina Cisnetto, James Barlow
Reference: 
Research Policy Volume 49, Issue 3, April 2020, 103917

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.

Influence of malaria, soil-transmitted helminths and malnutrition on haemoglobin level among school-aged children in Muyuka, Southwest Cameroon: A cross-sectional study on outcomes

April 6, 2020 - 08:02 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Sumbele IUN, Nkain AJ, Ning TR, Anchang-Kimbi JK, Kimbi HK
Reference: 
PLoS One. 2020 Mar 30;15(3):e0230882

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.

Anopheline bionomics, insecticide resistance and transnational dispersion in the context of controlling a possible recurrence of malaria transmission in Jaffna city in northern Sri Lanka

April 3, 2020 - 09:35 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Surendran SN, Jayadas TTP, Tharsan A, Thiruchenthooran V, Santhirasegaram S, Sivabalakrishnan K, Raveendran S, Ramasamy R
Reference: 
Parasit Vectors. 2020 Mar 30;13(1):156

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.

Classification of induced malaria case in an elimination setting: investigation of transfusion-transmitted malaria cases

March 31, 2020 - 16:06 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Mei-hua Zhang, Sui Xu, Jun Cao, et al.
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2020 19:136, 30 March 2020

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.

Optimization of parasite DNA enrichment approaches to generate whole genome sequencing data for Plasmodium falciparum from low parasitaemia samples

March 31, 2020 - 16:04 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Zalak Shah, Matthew Adams, Kara A. Moser, Biraj Shrestha, Emily M. Stucke, Miriam K. Laufer, David Serre, Joana C. Silva and Shannon Takala-Harrison
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2020 19:135, 30 March 2020

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.

Amplicon deep sequencing of kelch13 in Plasmodium falciparum isolates from Senegal

March 31, 2020 - 16:01 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Amy Gaye, Mouhamad Sy, Daouda Ndiaye, et al.
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2020 19:134, 30 March 2020

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.

“We have this, with my husband, we live in harmony”: exploring the gendered decision-making matrix for malaria prevention and treatment in Nampula Province, Mozambique

March 31, 2020 - 15:59 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Zoe Jane-Lara Hildon, Maria Escorcio-Ymayo, Rose Zulliger, Rosario Arias de Aramburú, Nan Lewicky, Hunter Harig, Jose Braz Chidassicua, Carol Underwood, Liliana Pinto and Maria Elena Figueroa
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2020 19:133, 30 March 2020

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.

Immunization with virus-like particles conjugated to CIDRα1 domain of Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 induces inhibitory antibodies

March 31, 2020 - 15:57 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Charlotte Harmsen, Louise Turner, Susan Thrane, Adam F. Sander, Thor G. Theander and Thomas Lavstsen
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2020 19:132, 30 March 2020

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.

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