Artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum is associated with nonsynonymous mutations in the Kelch 13 (K13) propeller domain.
The Plasmodium falciparum protein VAR2CSA is a critical mediator of placental malaria, and VAR2CSA antibodies (IgGs) are important to protect pregnant women. Although infrequently detected outside pregnancy, VAR2CSA IgGs were reported in men and children from Colombia and Brazil and in select African populations.
Multiple hosts and various life cycle stages prompt the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, to acquire sophisticated molecular mechanisms to ensure its survival, spread, and transmission to its next host. To face these environmental challenges, increasing evidence suggests that the parasite has developed complex and complementary layers of regulatory mechanisms controlling gene expression.
Many mosquito species, including the major malaria vector Anopheles gambiae, naturally undergo multiple reproductive cycles of blood feeding, egg development and egg laying in their lifespan. Such complex mosquito behavior is regularly overlooked when mosquitoes are experimentally infected with malaria parasites, limiting our ability to accurately describe potential effects on transmission.
Recent gains in the fight against malaria are threatened by the emergence and spread of artemisinin and partner drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). When artemisinins are combined with a single partner drug, all recommended artemisinin-based combination therapies have shown reduced efficacy in some countries in the GMS at some point.
Antimalarial agents used as monotherapy are increasingly ineffective due to the emergence of Plasmodium resistant strains. Artemisinin (Arte), extracted from Artemisia annua, presents a good efficiency against the Plasmodium strains and is currently used to treat malaria. To avoid the appearance of new resistant strains to artemisinin, the use of Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT) with another antimalaria agent was recommended by WHO to provide an effective cure and delayed resistance.
Plasmodium knowlesi, a simian malaria parasite, has been in the limelight since a large focus of human P. knowlesi infection was reported from Sarawak (Malaysian Borneo) in 2004. Although this infection is transmitted across Southeast Asia, the largest number of cases has been reported from Malaysia. The increasing number of knowlesi malaria cases has been attributed to the use of molecular tools for detection, but environmental changes including deforestation likely play a major role by increasing human exposure to vector mosquitoes, which coexist with the macaque host.
Traditionally attributed only to Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax has recently been reported to cause a significant burden of complicated malaria cases. The present study aimed to delineate the clinical spectrum and identify predictors for severe disease. This was a prospective observational cohort study conducted at a tertiary care hospital in North India. Patients with acute febrile illness (AFI) aged at least 14 years were included if they were diagnosed with vivax malaria based on rapid kits or peripheral smears.
Malaria elimination in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region is challenged by a rising proportion of malaria attributable to P. vivax. Primaquine (PQ) is effective in eliminating the parasite's dormant liver stages and can prevent relapsing infections, but it induces severe haemolysis in patients with Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, highlighting the importance of testing enzyme activity prior to treatment.
Plasmodium falciparum parasites resistant to antimalarial treatments have hindered malaria disease control. Sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) was used globally as a first-line treatment for malaria after wide-spread resistance to chloroquine emerged and, although replaced by artemisinin combinations, is currently used as intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy and in young children as part of seasonal malaria chemoprophylaxis in sub-Saharan Africa. The emergence of SP-resistant parasites has been predominantly driven by cumulative build-up of mutations in the dihydrofolate reductase (pfdhfr) and dihydropteroate synthetase (pfdhps) genes, but additional amplifications in the folate pathway rate-limiting pfgch1 gene and promoter, have recently been described.