Recently research has shown that larviciding can be an effective tool for integrated malaria vector control. Nevertheless, the uptake of this intervention has been hampered by the need to re-apply larvicides frequently. There is a need to explore persistent, environmentally friendly larvicides for malaria vector control to reduce intervention efforts and costs by reducing the frequency of application. In this study, the efficacy of a 0.5% pyriproxyfen granule (Surmilarv®0.5G, Sumitomo Chemicals) was assessed for the control of Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto and Anopheles arabiensis, the major malaria vectors in sub-Saharan Africa.
Dose–response and standardized field tests were implemented following standard procedures of the World Health Organization’s Pesticide Evaluation Scheme to determine: (i) the susceptibility of vectors to this formulation; (ii) the residual activity and appropriate retreatment schedule for field application; and, (iii) sub-lethal impacts on the number and viability of eggs laid by adults after exposure to Sumilarv®0.5G during larval development.
Anopheles gambiae s.s. and An. arabiensis were highly susceptible to Sumilarv®0.5G. Estimated emergence inhibition (EI) values were very low and similar for both species. The minimum dosage that completely inhibited adult emergence was between 0.01-0.03 parts per million (ppm) active ingredient (ai). Compared to the untreated control, an application of 0.018 ppm ai prevented 85% (95% confidence interval (CI) 82%-88%) of adult emergence over six weeks under standardized field conditions. A fivefold increase in dosage of 0.09 ppm ai prevented 97% (95% CI 94%-98%) emergence. Significant sub-lethal effects were observed in the standardized field tests. Female An. gambiae s.s. that were exposed to 0.018 ppm ai as larvae laid 47% less eggs, and females exposed to 0.09 ppm ai laid 74% less eggs than females that were unexposed to the treatment. Furthermore, 77% of eggs laid by females exposed to 0.018 ppm ai failed to hatch, whilst 98% of eggs laid by females exposed to 0.09 ppm ai did not hatch.
Anopheles gambiae s.s. and An. arabiensis are highly susceptible to Sumilarv®0.5G at very low dosages. The persistence of this granule formulation in treated habitats under standardized field conditions and its sub-lethal impact, reducing the number of viable eggs from adults emerging from treated ponds, enhances its potential as malaria vector control tool. These unique properties warrant further field testing to determine its suitability for inclusion in malaria vector control programmes.
Malaria is a serious public health problem in Indonesia, particularly in areas outside Java and Bali. The spread of resistance to the currently available anti-malarial drugs or insecticides used for mosquito control would cause an increase in malaria transmission. To better understand patterns of transmission and resistance in Indonesia, an integrated mosquito survey was conducted in three areas with different malaria endemicities, Purworejo in Central Java, South Lampung District in Sumatera and South Halmahera District in North Mollucca.
Mosquitoes were collected from the three areas through indoor and outdoor human landing catches (HLC) and indoor restinging catches. Specimens were identified morphologically by species and kept individually in 1.5 ml Eppendorf microtube. A fragment of the VGSC gene from 95 mosquito samples was sequenced and kdr allelic variation determined.
The molecular analysis of these anopheline mosquitoes revealed the existence of the 1014F allele in 4 major malaria vectors from South Lampung. These species include, Anopheles sundaicus, Anopheles aconitus, Anopheles subpictus and Anopheles vagus. The 1014F allele was not found in the other areas.
The finding documents the presence of this mutant allele in Indonesia, and implies that selection pressure on the Anopheles population in this area has occurred. Further studies to determine the impact of the resistance allele on the efficacy of pyrethroids in control programmes are needed.
Asymptomatic malaria parasitaemia has been reported in areas with high malaria transmission. It may serve as a reservoir for continued transmission, and furthermore complicates diagnostics, as not all individuals with a positive malaria test are necessarily ill due to malaria, although they may present with malaria-like symptoms. Asymptomatic malaria increases with age as immunity to malaria gradually develops. As mortality and morbidity of malaria is higher among younger children it is important to know the prevalence of asymptomatic malaria parasitaemia in this population in order to interpret laboratory results for malaria correctly.
A total of 108 children that had neither been treated for malaria nor had a fever the previous four weeks were recruited consecutively at a maternal and child health clinic (MCHC) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. A rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for malaria and dried blood spot (DBS) on filter paper were taken from each child. Social and clinical data were recorded. DNA was extracted from the DBS of study participants by a method using InstaGeneTM matrix. PCR targeting the Plasmodium mitochondrial genome was performed on all samples.
Median age was 4.6 months (range 0.5-38). All the RDTs were negative. PCR was negative for all study subjects.
The study suggests that asymptomatic malaria may not be present in apparently healthy children up to the age of three years in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. However, because of the small sample size and low median age of the study population, the findings cannot be generalized. Larger studies, including higher age groups, need to be done to clarify whether asymptomatic malaria parasitaemia is present in the general population in the Dar es Salaam area.
The Malaria Policy Advisory Committee to the World Health Organization met for the first time from 31 January to 2 February 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland. This article provides a summary of the discussions, conclusions and recommendations from that meeting, as part of the newly launched Malaria Journal thematic series “WHO Malaria Policy Advisory Committee: Reports and Recommendations”.
Summaries are provided, referencing the relevant background documents, for the meeting sessions on global malaria control, drug resistance and containment, rapid diagnostic test procurement criteria, larviciding, classification of countries for elimination, estimating malaria cases and deaths, and seasonal malaria chemoprevention. Policy statements, position statements, and guidelines that will arise from the MPAC meeting conclusions and recommendations will be formally issued and disseminated to World Health Organization member states by the World Health Organization Global Malaria Programme.
Tafenoquine (TQ) is an 8-aminoquinoline (8AQ) that has been tested in several Phase II and Phase III clinical studies and is currently in late stage development as an anti-malarial prophylactic agent. NPC-1161B is a promising 8AQ in late preclinical development. It has recently been reported that the 8AQ drug primaquine requires metabolic activation by CYP 2D6 for efficacy in humans and in mice, highlighting the importance of pharmacogenomics in the target population when administering primaquine. A logical follow-up study was to determine whether CYP 2D activation is required for other compounds in the 8AQ structural class.
In the present study, the anti-malarial activities of NPC-1161B and TQ were assessed against luciferase expressing Plasmodium berghei in CYP 2D knock-out mice in comparison with normal C57BL/6 mice (WT) and with humanized/CYP 2D6 knock-in mice by monitoring luminescence with an in vivo imaging system. These experiments were designed to determine the direct effects of CYP 2D metabolic activation on the anti-malarial efficacy of NPC-1161B and TQ.
NPC-1161B and TQ exhibited no anti-malarial activity in CYP 2D knock-out mice when dosed at their ED100 values (1 mg/kg and 3 mg/kg, respectively) established in WT mice. TQ anti-malarial activity was partially restored in humanized/CYP 2D6 knock-in mice when tested at two times its ED100.
The results reported here strongly suggest that metabolism of NPC-1161B and TQ by the CYP 2D enzyme class is essential for their anti-malarial activity. Furthermore, these results may provide a possible explanation for therapeutic failures for patients who do not respond to 8AQ treatment for relapsing malaria. Because CYP 2D6 is highly polymorphic, variable expression of this enzyme in humans represents a significant pharmacogenomic liability for 8AQs which require CYP 2D metabolic activation for efficacy, particularly for large-scale prophylaxis and eradication campaigns.
The C-terminal region of Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein-1 (PfMSP-1(19)) is a leading malaria vaccine candidate antigen. However, the existence of different variants of this antigen can limit efficacy of the vaccine development based on this protein. Therefore, in this study, the main objective was to define the frequency of PfMSP-1(19) haplotypes in malaria hypoendemic region of Iran and also to analyse cross-reactive and/or variant-specific antibody responses to four PfMSP-1(19) variant forms.
The PfMSP-1(19) was genotyped in 50 infected subjects with P. falciparum collected during 2006-2008. Four GST-PfMSP-1(19) variants (E/TSR/L, E/TSG/L, E/KNG/F and Q/KNG/L) were produced in Escherichia coli and naturally occurring IgG antibody to these proteins was evaluated in malaria patients' sera (n = 50) using ELISA. To determine the cross-reactivity of antibodies against each PfMSP-1(19) variant in P. falciparum-infected human sera, an antibody depletion assay was performed in eleven corresponding patients' sera.
Sequence data of the PfMSP-1(19) revealed five variant forms in which the haplotypes Q/KNG/L and Q/KNG/F were predominant types and the second most frequent haplotype was E/KNG/F. In addition, the prevalence of IgG antibodies to all four PfMSP-1(19) variant forms was equal and high (84%) among the studied patients' sera. Immunodepletion results showed that in Iranian malaria patients, Q/KNG/L variant could induce not only cross-reactive antibody responses to other PfMSP-1(19) variants, but also could induce some specific antibodies that are not able to recognize the E/TSG/L or E/TSR/L variant forms.
The present findings demonstrated the presence of non-variant specific antibodies to PfMSP-1(19) in Iranian falciparum malaria patients. This data suggests that polymorphism in PfMSP-1(19) is less important and one variant of this antigen, particularly Q/KNG/L, may be sufficient to be included in PfMSP-1(19)-based vaccine.
Plasmodium vivax merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP-1) is an antigen considered to be one of the leading malaria vaccine candidates. PvMSP-1 is highly immunogenic and evidences suggest that it is target for protective immunity against asexual blood stages of malaria parasites. Thus, this study aims to evaluate the acquired cellular and antibody immune responses against PvMSP-1 in individuals naturally exposed to malaria infections in a malaria-endemic area in the north-eastern Amazon region of Brazil.
The study was carried out in Paragominas, Para State, in the Brazilian Amazon. Blood samples were collected from 35 individuals with uncomplicated malaria. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated and the cellular proliferation and activation was analysed in presence of 19 kDa fragment of MSP-1 (PvMSP-119) and Plasmodium falciparum PSS1 crude antigen. Antibodies IgE, IgM, IgG and IgG subclass and the levels of TNF, IFN-gamma and IL-10 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
The prevalence of activated CD4+ was greater than CD8+ T cells, in both ex-vivo and in 96 h culture in presence of PvMSP-119 and PSS1 antigen. A low proliferative response against PvMSP-119 and PSS1 crude antigen after 96 h culture was observed. High plasmatic levels of IFN-gamma and IL-10 as well as lower TNF levels were also detected in malaria patients. However, in the 96 h supernatant culture, the dynamics of cytokine responses differed from those depicted on plasma assays; in presence of PvMSP-119 stimulus, higher levels of TNF were noted in supernatant 96 h culture of malaria patient's cells while low levels of IFN-gamma and IL-10 were verified. High frequency of malaria patients presenting antibodies against PvMSP-119 was evidenced, regardless class or IgG subclass. PvMSP-119-induced antibodies were predominantly on non-cytophilic subclasses.
The results presented here shows that PvMSP-119 was able to induce a high cellular activation, leading to production of TNF and emphasizes the high immunogenicity of PvMSP-119 in naturally exposed individuals and, therefore, its potential as a malaria vaccine candidate.
With high DDT resistance present throughout much of West Africa, carbamates and organophosphates are increasingly important alternatives to pyrethroids for indoor residual spraying (IRS). Though less widespread, resistance to both of these alternative insecticide classes has also been documented within the Anopheles gambiae species pair (formerly the M and S molecular forms) in West Africa. To manage insecticide efficacy, it is important to predict how and where resistance is likely to occur and spread, which could be aided by using molecular diagnostics with high predictive value.
Anopheles coluzzii and An. gambiae s.s. were collected from 18 sites throughout southern Ghana and bioassayed with bendiocarb, the most commonly applied carbamate, and an organophosphate, fenitrothion. The Ace-1 target site substitution G119S was genotyped by qPCR.
Fenitrothion induced higher mortality than bendiocarb, though phenotypes correlated strongly across populations. Ace-1 119S was found at much higher frequency in An. gambiae s.s than An. coluzzii, exceeding 90 % in a population from Greater Accra, the highest frequency reported to date. Ace-1 G119S was very strongly associated with resistance to both insecticides, providing high predictive power for diagnosis, though with some evidence for a differential effect between molecular forms for bendiocarb. Sequencing of the gene revealed a lack of variation in resistant alleles precluding determination of origin, but Ace-1 copy number variation was detected for the first time in Ghana.
The results validate the utility of G119S as a useful diagnostic of organophosphate and carbamate resistance within and among populations, whilst highlighting the potential for an aggregate nature of Ace-1 genotypes, which may comprise both single-copy and duplicated genes. Further work is now required to determine the distribution and resistance-association of Ace-1 duplication.
Monitoring of sterile to wild insect ratios in field populations can be useful to follow the progress in genetic control programmes such as the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). Of the numerous methods for marking insects most are not suitable for use in mass rearing and mass release. Suitable ones include dye marking, genetic marking and chemical marking.
The feasibility of using the stable isotope of carbon, 13C, as a potential chemical marker for Anopheles arabiensis was evaluated in the laboratory. Labeled-13C glucose was incorporated into the larval diet in a powder or liquid form. The contribution of adult sugar feeding to the total mosquito carbon pool and the metabolically active carbon pool was determined by tracing the decline of the enrichment of the adult male mosquito as it switched from a labeled larval diet to an unlabeled adult diet. This decline in the adult was monitored by destructive sampling of the whole mosquito and analyzed using isotope ratio mass spectrometry.
A two-pool model was used to describe the decline of the 13C-enrichment of adult mosquitoes. The proportion of the total adult carbon pool derived from the adult sugar diet over the life span of mosquitoes was determined and the ratio of structural carbon, with a low turnover rate to metabolically active non-structural carbon was assessed. The uptake and turnover of sugar in the metabolically active fraction suggests that after 3 days >70% of the active fraction carbon is derived from sugar feeding (increasing to >90% by day 7), indicating the high resource demand of male mosquitoes.
It was possible to "fix" the isotopic label in adult An. arabiensis and to detect the label at an appropriate concentration up to 21 days post-emergence. The optimum labeling treatment would cost around 250 US$ per million mosquitoes. Stable isotope marking may thus aid research on the fate of released insects besides other population-based ecological studies.
To be effective, national malaria guidelines must be properly followed. This study evaluated nurses' practices in the management of uncomplicated malaria cases at a District Hospital. Its objective was to identify the reasons for discrepancies between official guidelines and usual practices.
This study took place at Oussouye hospital, south-western Senegal. Blood smears were available for biological diagnosis in patients aged more than five years while the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness recommended treating fevers presumptively in children under five. First line anti-malarial was Amodiaquine plus sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (AQ+SP) bi-therapy. Hospital records of children under 13 years of age seen between 2004 and 2005 were reviewed.
Among children treated with anti-malarials, 74% (2, 063/2, 789) received AQ+SP. However, only 22% (406/1, 879) of febrile children and 19% (429/2, 198) of children diagnosed with malaria got a blood smear. Moreover, an anti-malarial was prescribed for 80% (377/474) of children with a negative blood smear.
The transition from chloroquine to AQ+SP was well followed. Nonetheless, blood smear use was very low and many over-prescriptions were reported. Reasons for discrepancies between guidelines and practices can be classified in three main categories: ambiguous guidelines, health system's dysfunctions and nurses' own considerations. Aside from the strengthening of the public health system, in order to guarantee practices complying with guidelines, training content should be more adapted to nurses' own considerations.
While significant focus has been given to net distribution, little is known about what is done with nets that leave a household, either to be used by others or when they are discarded. To better understand the magnitude of sharing LLIN between households and patterns of discarding LLIN, the present study pools data from 14 post-campaign surveys to draw larger conclusions about the fate of nets that leave households.
Data from 14 sub-national post-campaign surveys conducted in Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria (10 states), and Uganda between 2009 and 2012 were pooled. Survey design and data collection methods were similar across surveys. The timing of surveys ranged from 2-16 months following their respective mass LLIN distributions.
Among the 14 surveys a total of 14,196 households reported owning 25,447 nets of any kind, of which 23,955 (94%) were LLINs. In addition, a total of 4,102 nets were reported to have left the households in the sample: 63% were discarded, and 34% were given away. Only 255 of the discarded nets were reported used for other purposes, representing less than 1% of the total sample of nets. The majority (62.5%) of nets given away were given to or taken by relatives, while 31.1% were given to non-relatives. Campaign nets were almost six times (OR 5.95, 4.25-8.32, p < 0.0001) more likely to be given away than non-campaign nets lost during the same period. Nets were primarily given away within the first few months after distribution. The overall rate of net redistribution was 5% of all nets.Discussion and conclusion: Intra-household re-allocation of nets does occur, but was sensitive to current household net ownership and the time elapsed since mass distribution. These factors can be addressed programmatically to further facilitate reallocation within a given community. Secondly, the overwhelming majority of nets were used for malaria prevention. Of the repurposed nets (<1% overall), the majority were already considered too torn, indicating they had already served out their useful life for malaria prevention. National programmes and donor agencies should remain confident that overall, their investments in LLIN are being appropriately used.
Plasmodium vivax has a dormant hepatic stage, called the hypnozoite, which can cause relapse months after the initial attack. For 50 years, primaquine has been used as a hypnozoitocide to radically cure P. vivax infection, but major concerns remain regarding the side-effects of the drug and adherence to the 14-day regimen. This study examined the effectiveness of using the directly-observed therapy (DOT) method for the radical treatment of P. vivax malaria infection, to prevent reappearance of the parasite within the 90-day follow-up period. Other potential risk factors for the reappearance of P. vivax were also explored.
A randomized trial was conducted from May 2007 to January 2009 in a low malaria transmission area along the Thai-Myanmar border. Patients aged ≥ 3 years diagnosed with P. vivax by microscopy, were recruited. All patients were treated with the national standard regimen of chloroquine for three days followed by primaquine for 14 days. Patients were randomized to receive DOT or self-administered therapy (SAT). All patients were followed for three months to check for any reappearance of P. vivax.
Of the 216 patients enrolled, 109 were randomized to DOT and 107 to SAT. All patients recovered without serious adverse effects. The vivax reappearance rate was significantly lower in the DOT group than the SAT group (3.4/10,000 person-days vs. 13.5/10,000 person-days, p = 0.021). Factors related to the reappearance of vivax malaria included inadequate total primaquine dosage received (< 2.75 mg/kg), duration of fever ≤ 2 days before initiation of treatment, parasite count on admission ≥ 10,000/µl, multiple P. vivax-genotype infection, and presence of P. falciparum infection during the follow-up period.
Adherence to the 14-day primaquine regimen is important for the radical cure of P. vivax malaria infection. Implementation of DOT reduces the reappearance rate of the parasite, and may subsequently decrease P. vivax transmission in the area.
The selection of point mutation at codon 164 (from isoleucine to leucine) of the dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) enzyme in Plasmodium falciparum is associated with high sulfadoxine /pyrimethamine (SP) resistance. Using the yeast expression system that allows the detection of dhfr allele present at low level, the presence of this mutation had previously been reported between 1998-1999 in Muheza, Tanzania, an area of high SP resistance. Eighty five P. falciparum isolates, obtained from the same area between 2002 and 2003, were analysed for the presence of Leu-164 mutation, using standard protocol based on PCR-RFLP. None of the isolates had the Leu-164 mutation.
The two main puzzles of this study are the onset and then sudden stopping of severe epidemics in western Provence (a highly malaria-endemic region of Mediterranean France) without any deliberate counter-measures and in the absence of significant population flux.
Malaria epidemics during the period from 1745 to 1850 were analysed against temperature and rainfall records and several other potentially relevant factors.
Statistical analyses indicated that relatively high temperatures in early spring and in September/October, rainfall during the previous winter (principally December) and even from November to September and epidemics during the previous year could have played a decisive role in the emergence of these epidemics. Moreover, the epidemics were most likely not driven by other parameters (e.g., social, cultural, agricultural and geographical). Until 1776, very severe malarial epidemics affected large areas, whereas after this date, they were rarer and generally milder for local people and were due to canal digging activities. In the latter period, decreased rainfall in December, and more extreme and variable temperatures were observed. It is known that rainfall anomalies and temperature fluctuations may be detrimental to vector and parasite development.
This study showed the particular characteristics of malaria in historical Provence. Contrary to the situation in most other Mediterranean areas, Plasmodium falciparum was most likely not involved (during the years with epidemics, the mean temperature during the months of July and August, among other factors, did not play a role) and the population had no protective mutation. The main parasite species was Plasmodium vivax, which was responsible for very severe diseases, but contrary to in northern Europe, it is likely that transmission occurred only during the period where outdoor sporogony was possible, and P. vivax sporogony was always feasible, even during colder summers. Possible key elements in the understanding of the course of malaria epidemics include changes in the virulence of P. vivax strains, the refractoriness of anophelines and/or the degree or efficiency of acquired immunity. This study could open new lines of investigation into the comprehension of the conditions of disappearance/emergence of severe malaria epidemics in highly endemic areas.
The Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Binding Antigen-175 (EBA-175) is an antigen considered to be one of the leading malaria vaccine candidates. EBA-175 mediates sialic acid-dependent binding to glycophorin A on the erythrocytes playing a crucial role during invasion of the P. falciparum in the host cell. Dimorphic allele segments, termed C-fragment and F-fragment, have been found in high endemicity malaria areas and associations between the dimorphism and severe malaria have been described. In this study, the genetic dimorphism of EBA-175 was evaluated in P. falciparum field isolates from Brazilian malaria endemic area.
The study was carried out in rural villages situated near Porto Velho, Rondonia State in the Brazilian Amazon in three time points between 1993 and 2008. The allelic dimorphism of the EBA-175 was analysed by Nested PCR.
The classical allelic dimorphism of the EBA-175 was identified in the studied area. Overall, C-fragment was amplified in a higher frequency than F-fragment. The same was observed in the three time points where C-fragment was observed in a higher frequency than F-fragment. Single infections (one fragment amplified) were more frequent than mixed infection (two fragments amplified).
These findings confirm the dimorphism of EBA175, since only the two types of fragments were amplified, C-fragment and F-fragment. Also, the results show the remarkable predominance of CAMP allele in the studied area. The comparative analysis in three time points indicates that the allelic dimorphism of the EBA-175 is stable over time.
The erythrocyte binding antigen 175 (EBA-175) is a 175 kDa antigen of Plasmodium falciparum and plays a major role in erythrocyte recognition by the parasite. The antigen is also supposed to be partly responsible for the invasion of erythrocytes by merozoites. EBA-175 has been sequenced from the FCR-3 and CAMP strains of P. falciparum. The sequences were identical in most parts of the gene. Differences were apparent in a 423 bp segment in the FCR-3 strain, the F-Fragment, that is not found in the CAMP-strain and a 342 bp segment, the C-Fragment, which is present in the CAMP-strain but not in the FCR-3-strain. The aim of this study was to assess the distribution of the two EBA-175-alleles in the Lao PDR.
Altogether, 240 blood-samples were collected in two areas of the country: Attapeu in the south and Lung Namtha in the north. Subsequently, the material was scanned for the F-and C-fragments.
In the whole study population, 52% carried the F-fragment, and 41% the C-fragment while seven percent of the patients were infected with at least two parasite strains and showed both alleles.
Distribution of the alleles showed significant differences between the north and the south province. Reasons for this include possible importation of different parasite strains from neighbouring countries.
Clinical immunity to malaria in human populations is developed after repeated exposure to malaria. Regulation and balance of host immune responses may lead to optimal immunity against malaria parasite infection. Polysaccharides (ABPS) derived from the Chinese herb ox knee Achyranthes bidentata possess immuno-modulatory functions. The aim of this study is to use the rodent malaria model Plasmodium yoelii 17XL (P. y17XL) to examine whether pretreatment with ABPS will modulate host immunity against malaria infection and improve the outcome of the disease.
To determine whether ABPS could modulate immunity against malaria, mice were pretreated with ABPS prior to blood-stage infection by P. y17XL. Host survival and parasitaemia were monitored daily. The effect of pretreatment on host immune responses was studied through the quantitation of cytokines, dendritic cell populations, and natural regulatory T cells (Treg).
Pretreatment with ABPS prior to infection significantly extended the survival time of mice after P. y17XL infection. At three and five days post-infection, ABPS pretreated mice developed stronger Th1 immune responses against malaria infection with the number of F4/80+CD36+ macrophages and levels of IFN-γ, TNF-α and nitric oxide being significantly higher than in the control group. More importantly, ABPS-treated mice developed more myeloid (CD11c+CD11b+) and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (CD11c+CD45R+/B220+) than control mice. ABPS pretreatment also resulted in modulated expression of MHC-II, CD86, and especially Toll-like receptor 9 by CD11c+ dendritic cells. In comparison, pretreatment with ABPS did not alter the number of natural Treg or the production of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10.
Pretreatment with the immuno-modulatory ABPS selectively enhanced Th1 immune responses to control the proliferation of malaria parasites, and prolonged the survival of mice during subsequent malaria infection.
Malaria afflicts 300-500 million people causing over 1 million deaths globally per year. The immunopathogenesis of malaria is mediated partly by co mplex cellular and immunomodulator interactions involving co-regulators such as cytokines and adhesion molecules. However, the role of chemokines and their receptors in malaria immunopathology remains unclear. RANTES (Regulated on Activation Normal T-Cell Expressed and Secreted) is a chemokine involved in the generation of inflammatory infiltrates. Recent studies indicate that the degradation of cell-cell junctions, blood-brain barrier dysfunction, recruitment of leukocytes and Plasmodium-infected erythrocytes into and occlusion of microvessels relevant to malaria pathogenesis are associated with RANTES expression. Additionally, activated lymphocytes, platelets and endothelial cells release large quantities of RANTES, thus suggesting a unique role for RANTES in the generation and maintenance of the malaria-induced inflammatory response. The hypothesis of this study is that RANTES and its corresponding receptors (CCR1, CCR3 and CCR5) modulate malaria immunopathogenesis. A murine malaria model was utilized to evaluate the role of this chemokine and its receptors in malaria.
The alterations in immunomodulator gene expression in brains of Plasmodium yoelii 17XL-infected mice was analysed using cDNA microarray screening, followed by a temporal comparison of mRNA and protein expression of RANTES and its corresponding receptors by qRT-PCR and Western blot analysis, respectively. Plasma RANTES levels was determined by ELISA and ultrastructural studies of brain sections from infected and uninfected mice was conducted.
RANTES (p < 0.002), CCR1 (p < 0.036), CCR3 (p < 0.033), and CCR5 (p < 0.026) mRNA were significantly upregulated at peak parasitaemia and remained high thereafter in the experimental mouse model. RANTES protein in the brain of infected mice was upregulated (p < 0.034) compared with controls. RANTES plasma levels were significantly upregulated; two to three fold in infected mice compared with controls (p < 0.026). Some distal microvascular endothelium in infected cerebellum appeared degraded, but remained intact in controls.
The upregulation of RANTES, CCR1, CCR3, and CCR5 mRNA, and RANTES protein mediate inflammation and cellular degradation in the cerebellum during P. yoelii 17XL malaria.
Since 2004, the Tanzanian National Voucher Scheme has increased availability and accessibility of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) to pregnant women and infants by subsidizing the cost of nets purchased. From 2008 to 2010, a mass distribution campaign delivered nine million long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) free-of-charge to children under-five years of age in Tanzania mainland. In 2010 and 2011, a Universal Coverage Campaign (UCC) led by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW) was implemented to cover all sleeping spaces not yet reached through previous initiatives.
The UCC was coordinated through a unit within the National Malaria Control Programme. Partners were contracted by the MoHSW to implement different activities in collaboration with local government authorities. Volunteers registered the number of uncovered sleeping spaces in every household in the country. On this basis, LLINs were ordered and delivered to village level, where they were issued over a three-day period in each zone (three regions). Household surveys were conducted in seven districts immediately after the campaign to assess net ownership and use.
The UCC was chiefly financed by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria with important contributions from the US President's Malaria Initiative. A total of 18.2 million LLINs were delivered at an average cost of USD 5.30 per LLIN. Overall, 83% of the expenses were used for LLIN procurement and delivery and 17% for campaign associated activities. Preliminary results of the latest Tanzania HIV Malaria Indicator Survey (2011-12) show that household ownership of at least one ITN increased to 91.5%. ITN use, among children under-five years of age, improved to 72.7% after the campaign. ITN ownership and use data post-campaign indicated high equity across wealth quintiles.
Close collaboration among the MoHSW, donors, contracted partners, local government authorities and volunteers made it possible to carry out one of the largest LLIN distribution campaigns conducted in Africa to date. Through the strong increase of ITN use, the recent activities of the national ITN programme will likely result in further decline in child mortality rates in Tanzania, helping to achieve Millennium Development Goals 4 and 6.
Erythrocyte invasion by Plasmodium falciparum parasites represents a key mechanism during malaria pathogenesis. Erythrocyte binding antigen-181 (EBA-181) is an important invasion protein, which mediates a unique host cell entry pathway. A novel interaction between EBA-181 and human erythrocyte membrane protein 4.1 (4.1R) was recently demonstrated using phage display technology. In the current study, recombinant proteins were utilized to define and characterize the precise molecular interaction between the two proteins.
4.1R structural domains (30, 16, 10 and 22 kDa domain) and the 4.1R binding region in EBA-181 were synthesized in specific Escherichia coli strains as recombinant proteins and purified using magnetic bead technology. Recombinant proteins were subsequently used in blot-overlay and histidine pull-down assays to determine the binding domain in 4.1R.
Blot overlay and histidine pull-down experiments revealed specific interaction between the 10 kDa domain of 4.1R and EBA-181. Binding was concentration dependent as well as saturable and was abolished by heat denaturation of 4.1R.
The interaction of EBA-181 with the highly conserved 10 kDa domain of 4.1R provides new insight into the molecular mechanisms utilized by P. falciparum during erythrocyte entry. The results highlight the potential multifunctional role of malaria invasion proteins, which may contribute to the success of the pathogenic stage of the parasite's life cycle.
Malaria vaccine efficacy may be compromised if the frequency of non-target alleles increases following vaccination with a genetically polymorphic target. Methods are needed to monitor genetic diversity in polymorphic vaccine antigens, but determining which genetic variants of such antigens are present in infected individuals is complicated by the frequent occurrence of mixed infections.
Pyrosequencing was used to determine allele frequencies at each of six single nucleotide polymorphisms in the Plasmodium falciparum blood-stage vaccine antigen merozoite surface protein 1 19 kDa (MSP-119) in field samples from a vaccine-testing site in Mali. Mixtures of MSP-119 clones were created to validate a haplotype-estimating algorithm that uses maximum likelihood methods to determine the most probable combination of haplotypes given the allele frequencies for an infection and the haplotypes known to be circulating in the population.
Fourteen unique MSP-119 haplotypes were identified among 351 genotyped infections. After adjustment to a standard curve, Pyrosequencing provided accurate and precise estimates of allele frequencies in mixed infections. The haplotype-estimating algorithm provided accurate estimates of haplotypes in mixed infections containing up to three haplotypes. Based on the MSP-119 locus, approximately 90% of the 351 infections contained two or fewer haplotypes.
Pyrosequencing in conjunction with a haplotype-estimating algorithm provides accurate estimates of haplotypes present in infections with up to 3 haplotypes, and can be used to monitor genetic diversity in parasite populations prior to and following introduction of MSP-1-based malaria vaccines.
The 19-kDa C-terminal region of the merozoite surface protein-1 of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfMSP-119) constitutes the major component on the surface of merozoites and is considered as one of the leading candidates for asexual blood stage vaccines. Because the protein exhibits a level of sequence variation that may compromise the effectiveness of a vaccine, the global sequence diversity of PfMSP-119 has been subjected to extensive research, especially in malaria endemic areas. In Thailand, PfMSP-119 sequences have been derived from a single parasite population in Tak province, located along the Thailand-Myanmar border, since 1995. However, the extent of sequence variation and the spatiotemporal patterns of the MSP-119 haplotypes along the Thai borders with Laos and Cambodia are unknown.
Sixty-three isolates of P. falciparum from five geographically isolated populations along the Thai borders with Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia in three transmission seasons between 2002 and 2008 were collected and culture-adapted. The msp-1 gene block 17 was sequenced and analysed for the allelic diversity, frequency and distribution patterns of PfMSP-119 haplotypes in individual populations. The PfMSP-119 haplotype patterns were then compared between parasite populations to infer the population structure and genetic differentiation of the malaria parasite.
Five conserved polymorphic positions, which accounted for five distinct haplotypes, of PfMSP-119 were identified. Differences in the prevalence of PfMSP-119 haplotypes were detected in different geographical regions, with the highest levels of genetic diversity being found in the Kanchanaburi and Ranong provinces along the Thailand-Myanmar border and Trat province located at the Thailand-Cambodia border. Despite this variability, the distribution patterns of individual PfMSP-119 haplotypes seemed to be very similar across the country and over the three malarial transmission seasons, suggesting that gene flow may operate between parasite populations circulating in Thailand and the three neighboring countries.
The major MSP-119 haplotypes of P. falciparum populations in all endemic populations during three transmission seasons in Thailand were identified, providing basic information on the common haplotypes of MSP-119 that is of use for malaria vaccine development and inferring the population structure of P. falciparum populations in Thailand.
Plasmodium falciparum re-emerged in Iquitos, Peru in 1994 and is now hypoendemic (< 0.5 infections/person/year). Purportedly non-immune individuals with discrete (non-overlapping) P. falciparum infections can be followed using this population dynamic. Previous work demonstrated a strong association between this population's antibody response to PfMSP1-19KD and protection against febrile illness and parasitaemia. Therefore, some selection for PfMSP1-19KD allelic diversity would be expected if the protection is to allele-specific sites of PfMSP1-19KD. Here, the potential for allele-specific polymorphisms in this population is investigated, and the allele-specificity of antibody responses to PfMSP1-19KD are determined.
The 42KD region in PfMSP1 was genotyped from 160 individual infections collected between 2003 and 2007. Additionally, the polymorphic block 2 region of Pfmsp1 (Pfmsp1-B2) was genotyped in 781 infection-months to provide a baseline for population-level diversity. To test whether PfMSP1-19KD genetic diversity had any impact on antibody responses, ELISAs testing IgG antibody response were performed on individuals using all four allele-types of PfMSP1-19KD. An antibody depletion ELISA was used to test the ability of antibodies to cross-react between allele-types.
Despite increased diversity in Pfmsp1-B2, limited diversity within Pfmsp1-42KD was observed. All 160 infections genotyped were Mad20-like at the Pfmsp1-33KD locus. In the Pfmsp1-19KD locus, 159 (99.4%) were the Q-KSNG-F haplotype and 1 (0.6%) was the E-KSNG-L haplotype. Antibody responses in 105 individuals showed that Q-KNG and Q-TSR alleles generated the strongest immune responses, while Q-KNG and E-KNG responses were more concordant with each other than with those from Q-TSR and E-TSR, and vice versa. The immuno-depletion ELISAs showed all samples responded to the antigenic sites shared amongst all allelic forms of PfMSP1-19KD.
A non-allele specific antibody response in PfMSP1-19KD may explain why other allelic forms have not been maintained or evolved in this population. This has important implications for the use of PfMSP1-19KD as a vaccine candidate. It is possible that Peruvians have increased antibody responses to the shared sites of PfMSP1-19KD, either due to exposure/parasite characteristics or due to a human-genetic predisposition. Alternatively, these allelic polymorphisms are not immune-specific even in other geographic regions, implying these polymorphisms may be less important in immune evasion that previous studies suggest.
Serological tests to detect antibodies specific to Plasmodium vivax could be a valuable tool for epidemiological studies, for screening blood donors in areas where the malaria is not endemic and for diagnosis of infected individuals. Because P. vivax cannot be easily obtained in vitro, ELISA assays using total or semi-purified antigens are rarely used. Based on this limitation, we tested whether recombinant proteins representing the 19 kDa C-terminal region of the merozoite surface protein-1 of P. vivax (MSP119) could be useful for serological detection of malaria infection.
Three purified recombinant proteins produced in Escherichia coli (GST-MSP119, His6-MSP119 and His6-MSP119-PADRE) and one in Pichia pastoris (yMSP119-PADRE) were compared for their ability to bind to IgG antibodies of individuals with patent P. vivax infection. The method was tested with 200 serum samples collected from individuals living in the north of Brazil in areas endemic for malaria, 53 serum samples from individuals exposed to Plasmodium falciparum infection and 177 serum samples from individuals never exposed to malaria.
Overall, the sensitivity of the ELISA assessed with sera from naturally infected individuals was 95%. The proportion of serum samples that reacted with recombinant proteins GST-MSP119, His6-MSP119, His6-MSP119-PADRE and yMSP119-PADRE was 90%, 93.5%, 93.5% and 93.5%, respectively. The specificity values of the ELISA determined with sera from healthy individuals and from individuals with other infectious diseases were 98.3% (GST-MSP119), 97.7% (His6-MSP119 and His6-MSP119-PADRE) or 100% (yMSP119-PADRE).
Our study demonstrated that for the Brazilian population, an ELISA using a recombinant protein of the MSP119 can be used as the basis for the development of a valuable serological assay for the detection of P. vivax malaria.
Indoor residual spraying and insecticide-treated nets (ITN) are essential components of malaria vector control in Africa. Pyrethroids are the only recommended compounds for nets treatment because they are fast-acting insecticides with low mammalian toxicity. However, there is growing concern that pyrethroid resistance may threaten the sustainability of ITN scaling-up programmes. Here, insecticide susceptibility was investigated in Anopheles gambiae sensu lato from an area of large scale ITN distribution programme in south-western Chad.
Susceptibility to 4% DDT, 0.05% deltamethrin, 0.75% permethrin, 0.1% bendiocarb and 5% malathion was assessed using the WHO standard procedures for adult mosquitoes. Tests were carried out with two to four days-old, non-engorged female mosquitoes. The An. gambiae Kisumu strain was used as a reference. Knockdown effect was recorded every 5 min and mortality scored 24 h after exposure. Mosquitoes were identified to species and molecular form by PCR-RFLP and genotypes at the kdr locus were determined in surviving specimens by Hot Oligonucleotide Ligation Assay (HOLA).
During this survey, full susceptibility to malathion was recorded in all samples. Reduced susceptibility to bendiocarb (mortality rate of 96.1%) was found in one sample out of nine assayed. Increased tolerance to pyrethroids was detected in most samples (8/9) with mortality rates ranging from 70.2 to 96.6% for deltamethrin and from 26.7 to 96.3% for permethrin. Pyrethroid tolerance was not associated with a significant increase of knock-down times. Anopheles arabiensis was the predominant species of the An. gambiae complex in the study area, representing 75 to 100% of the samples. Screening for kdr mutations detected the L1014F mutation in 88.6% (N = 35) of surviving An. gambiae sensu stricto S form mosquitoes. All surviving An. arabiensis (N = 49) and M form An. gambiae s.s. (N = 1) carried the susceptible allele.
This first investigation of malaria vector susceptibility to insecticides in Chad revealed variable levels of resistance to pyrethroid insecticides (permethrin and deltamethrin) in most An. gambiae s.l. populations. Resistance was associated with the L1014F kdr mutation in the S form of An. gambiae s.s.. Alternative mechanisms, probably of metabolic origin are involved in An. arabiensis. These results emphasize the crucial need for insecticide resistance monitoring and in-depth investigation of resistance mechanisms in malaria vectors in Chad. The impact of reduced susceptibility to pyrethroids on ITN efficacy should be further assessed.
Mario Coluzzi is well known to readers of this Journal as an outstanding medical entomologist, malariologist, epidemiologist, and perhaps less well known as an evolutionary biologist. He made important advances in a number of sub-disciplines and, equally importantly, inspired a large number of researchers who continue active research enterprises on the forefront of confronting tropical diseases. After a long struggle with Parkinson’s Disease, Mario Coluzzi died in Rome on October 20, 2012.
Increasing international travel and migration is producing changes in trends in infectious diseases, especially in children from many European cities. The objective of this study was to describe the epidemiology and determine the trends of imported malaria in patients under 20 years old in the city of Barcelona, Spain, during an 18-year period.
The study included malaria cases that were laboratory confirmed and reported to the malaria register at the Public Health Agency of Barcelona from 1990 to 2008, residing in Barcelona and less than 20 years old. Patients were classified as natives (born in Spain) or immigrants. Differences in the distribution of demographic, clinical characteristics, and incidence per 100,000 person-year evolution were analysed. Natives and immigrants were compared by logistic regression by calculating the odds ratio (OR) with a 95% confidence interval (CI) and Chi-square for a linear trend (p<0.05).
Of the total 174 cases, 143 (82.1%) were immigrants, 100 (57.5%) were female, 121 (69.5%) Plasmodium falciparum, and 108 (62.1%) were visiting friends and relatives (VFR) as the reason for travel. Among the immigrants, 99 (67.8%) were from Equatorial Guinea. Immigrant cases more frequently travelled to Africa than natives (p=0.02). The factors associated with imported malaria among immigrant residents was travelling for VFR (OR: 6.2 CI 1.9-20.2) and age 15-19 (OR: 3.7 CI 1-13.3). The incidence increased from 1990 to 1999 (p<0.001) and decreased from 2000 to 2008 (p=0.01), although the global linear trend was not statistically significant (p=0.41). The fatality rate was 0.5%.
The majority of cases of malaria in population less than 20 years in Barcelona were immigrants, travelling to Africa for VFR and Plasmodium falciparum was most frequently detected. The trend analysis of the entire study period did not show a statistically significant decline. It is recommended to be aware of malaria, especially among children of immigrants who travel to their parent's home country for VFR. Better access to pre travel advice should be provided.
In the rural zone of Niakhar in Senegal, the first therapeutic failures for chloroquine (CQ) were observed in 1992. In 2003, the national policy regarding first-line treatment of uncomplicated malaria was modified, replacing CQ by a transitory bi-therapy amodiaquine/sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (AQ/SP), before the implementation of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) in 2006. The aims of the study were to assess the evolution of anti-malarial prescriptions in three health care facilities between 1992 and 2004, in parallel with increasing CQ resistance in the region.
The study was conducted in the area of Niakhar, a demographic surveillance site located in a sahelo-sudanese region of Senegal, with mesoendemic and seasonal malaria transmission. Health records of two public health centres and a private catholic dispensary were collected retrospectively to cover the period 1992-2004.
Records included 110,093 consultations and 292,965 prescribed treatments. Twenty-five percent of treatments were anti-malarials, prescribed to 49% of patients. They were delivered all year long, but especially during the rainy season, and 20% of patients with no clinical malaria diagnosis received anti-malarials. Chloroquine and quinine represented respectively 55.7% and 34.6% of prescribed anti-malarials. Overall, chloroquine prescriptions rose from 1992 to 2000, in parallel with clinical malaria; then the CQ prescription rate decreased from 2000 and was concomitant with the rise of SP and the persistence of quinine use. AQ and SP were mainly used as bi-therapy after 2003, at the time of national treatment policy change.
The results show the overall level of anti-malarial prescription in the study area for a considerable number of patients over a large period of time. Even though resistance to CQ rapidly increased from 1992 to 2001, no change in CQ prescription was observed until the early 2000s, possibly due to the absence of an obvious decrease in CQ effectiveness, a lack of therapeutic options or a blind follow-up of national guidelines.
Monitoring local malaria transmission intensity is essential for planning evidence-based control strategies and evaluating their impact over time. Anti-malarial antibodies provide information on cumulative exposure and have proven useful, in areas where transmission has dropped to low sustained levels, for retrospectively reconstructing the timing and magnitude of transmission reduction. It is unclear whether serological markers are also informative in high transmission settings, where interventions may reduce transmission, but to a level where considerable exposure continues.
This study was conducted through ongoing KEMRI and CDC collaboration. Asembo, in Western Kenya, is an area where intense malaria transmission was drastically reduced during a 1997-1999 community-randomized, controlled insecticide-treated net (ITN) trial. Two approaches were taken to reconstruct malaria transmission history during the period from 1994 to 2009. First, point measurements were calculated for seroprevalence, mean antibody titre, and seroconversion rate (SCR) against three Plasmodium falciparum antigens (AMA-1, MSP-119, and CSP) at five time points for comparison against traditional malaria indices (parasite prevalence and entomological inoculation rate). Second, within individual post-ITN years, age-stratified seroprevalence data were analysed retrospectively for an abrupt drop in SCR by fitting alternative reversible catalytic conversion models that allowed for change in SCR.
Generally, point measurements of seroprevalence, antibody titres and SCR produced consistent patterns indicating that a gradual but substantial drop in malaria transmission (46-70%) occurred from 1994 to 2007, followed by a marginal increase beginning in 2008 or 2009. In particular, proportionate changes in seroprevalence and SCR point estimates (relative to 1994 baseline values) for AMA-1 and CSP, but not MSP-119, correlated closely with trends in parasite prevalence throughout the entire 15-year study period. However, retrospective analyses using datasets from 2007, 2008 and 2009 failed to detect any abrupt drop in transmission coinciding with the timing of the 1997-1999 ITN trial.
In this highly endemic area, serological markers were useful for generating accurate point estimates of malaria transmission intensity, but not for retrospective analysis of historical changes. Further investigation, including exploration of different malaria antigens and/or alternative models of population seroconversion, may yield serological tools that are more informative in high transmission settings.
Drug and multidrug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria has existed in Thailand for several decades. Furthermore, Thailand serves as a sentinel for drug-resistant malaria within the Greater Mekong sub-region. However, the drug resistance situation is highly dynamic, changing quickly over time. Here parasite in vitro drug sensitivity is reported for artemisinin derivatives, mefloquine, chloroquine and quinine, across Thailand.
Blood was drawn from patients infected with P. falciparum in seven sentinel provinces along Thai international borders with Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, and Malaysia. In vitro parasite sensitivity was tested using the World Health Organization's microtest (mark III) (between 1994 and 2002) and the histidine-rich protein-2 (HRP2)-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (in 2010). Following World Health Organization protocol, at least 30 isolates were collected for each province and year represented in this study. Where possible, t-tests were used to test for significant differences.
There appears to be little variation across study sites with regard to parasite sensitivity to chloroquine. Quinine resistance appears to have been rising prior to 1997, but has subsequently decreased. Mefloquine sensitivity appears high across the provinces, especially along the north-western border with Myanmar and the eastern border with Cambodia. Finally, the data suggest that parasite sensitivity to artemisinin and its derivatives is significantly higher in provinces along the north-western border with Myanmar.
Parasite sensitivity to anti-malarials in Thailand is highly variable over time and largely mirrors official drug use policy. The findings with regard to reduced sensitivity to artemisinin derivatives are supported by recent reports of reduced parasite clearance associated with artemisinin. This trend is alarming since artemisinin is considered the last defence against malaria. Continued surveillance in Thailand, along with increased collaboration and surveillance across the entire Greater Mekong sub-region, is clearly warranted.
Malaria is the direct cause of approximately one million deaths worldwide each year, though it is both preventable and curable. Increasing the understanding of the transmission dynamics of falciparum and vivax malaria and their relationship could suggest improvements for malaria control efforts. Here the weekly number of malaria cases due to Plasmodium falciparum (1994-2006) and Plasmodium vivax (1999-2006) in Perú at different spatial scales in conjunction with associated demographic, geographic and climatological data are analysed.
Malaria periodicity patterns were analysed through wavelet spectral analysis, studied patterns of persistence as a function of community size and assessed spatial heterogeneity via the Lorenz curve and the summary Gini index.
Wavelet time series analyses identified annual cycles in the incidence of both malaria species as the dominant pattern. However, significant spatial heterogeneity was observed across jungle, mountain and coastal regions with slightly higher levels of spatial heterogeneity for P. vivax than P. falciparum. While the incidence of P. falciparum has been declining in recent years across geographic regions, P. vivax incidence has remained relatively steady in jungle and mountain regions with a slight decline in coastal regions. Factors that may be contributing to this decline are discussed. The time series of both malaria species were significantly synchronized in coastal (rho = 0.9, P < 0.0001) and jungle regions (rho = 0.76, P < 0.0001) but not in mountain regions. Community size was significantly associated with malaria persistence due to both species in jungle regions, but not in coastal and mountain regions.
Overall, findings highlight the importance of highly refined spatial and temporal data on malaria incidence together with demographic and geographic information in improving the understanding of malaria persistence patterns associated with multiple malaria species in human populations, impact of interventions, detection of heterogeneity and generation of hypotheses.
Malaria is reportedly receding in different epidemiological settings, but local long-term surveys are limited. At Mlomp dispensary in south-western Senegal, an area of moderate malaria transmission, year-round, clinically-suspected malaria was treated with monotherapy as per WHO and national policy in the 1990s. Since 2000, there has been a staggered deployment of artesunate-amodiaquine after parasitological confirmation; this was adopted nationally in 2006.
Data were extracted from clinic registers for the period between January 1996 and December 2010, analysed and modelled.
Over the 15-year study period, the risk of malaria decreased about 32-times (from 0.4 to 0.012 episodes person-year), while anti-malarial treatments decreased 13-times (from 0.9 to 0.07 treatments person-year) and consultations for fever decreased 3-times (from 1.8 to 0.6 visits person-year). This was paralleled by changes in the age profile of malaria patients so that the risk of malaria is now almost uniformly distributed throughout life, while in the past malaria used to concern more children below 16 years of age.
This study provides direct evidence of malaria risk receding between 1996-2010 and becoming equal throughout life where transmission used to be moderate. Infection rates are no longer enough to sustain immunity. Temporally, this coincides with deploying artemisinin combinations on parasitological confirmation, but other contributing causes are unclear.
There is concern that artesunate resistance is developing in Southeast Asia. The purpose of this study is to investigate the prevalence of parasitaemia in the few days following treatment with artesunate-mefloquine (AM), which is an indirect measure of decreased artesunate susceptibility.
This is a retrospective analysis of 31 therapeutic efficacy studies involving 1,327 patients treated with AM conducted by the Thai National Malaria Control Programme from 1997-2007.
The prevalence of patients with parasitaemia on day 2 was higher in the east compared to the west (east: 20%, west: 9%, OR 2.47, 95% CI: 1.77, 3.45). In addition, the prevalence of day-2 parasitaemia increased over time (OR for each year = 1.10, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.19). After controlling for initial parasitaemia and age, year and region remained important determinants of day-2 parasitaemia (OR for region = 3.98, 95%CI 2.63, 6.00; OR for year = 1.28, 95%CI: 1.17, 1.39). The presence of parasitaemia on day 2 and day 3 were specific, but not sensitive predictors of treatment failure.
Delayed resolution of parasitaemia after AM treatment increased in eastern Thailand between 1997 and 2007, which may be an early manifestation of decreased artesunate susceptibility. However, clinical and parasitological treatment failure after 28 days (which is related to both mefloquine and artesunate decreased susceptibility) is not changing over time. The presence of parasitaemia on day 2 is a poor indicator of AM 28-day treatment failure.
The Thai-Myanmar and Thai-Cambodia borders have been historically linked with the emergence and spread of Plasmodium falciparum parasites resistant to antimalarial drugs. Indeed, the areas are often described as harbouring multi-drug resistant parasites. These areas of Thailand have experienced significant changes in antimalarial drug exposure patterns over the past decade. This study describes the in vitro antimalarial susceptibility patterns of 95 laboratory-adapted P. falciparum isolates, collected between 1998 and 2003.
Ninety five P. falciparum isolates were collected from five sites in Thailand between 1998 and 2003. After laboratory adaptation to in vitro culture, the susceptibility of these parasites to a range of established antimalarial drugs (chloroquine [CQ], mefloquine [MQ], quinine [QN] and dihydroartemisinin [DHA]) was determined by the isotopic microtest.
Mefloquine (MQ) sensitivity remained poorest in areas previously described as MQ-resistant areas. Sensitivity to MQ of parasites from this area was significantly lower than those from areas reported to harbour moderate (p = 0.002) of low level MQ resistance (p = 000001). Importantly for all drugs tested, there was a considerable range in absolute parasite sensitivities. There was a weak, but statistically positive correlation between parasite sensitivity to CQ and sensitivity to both QN and MQ and a positive correlation between MQ and QN. In terms of geographical distribution, parasites from the Thai-Cambodia were tended to be less sensitive to all drugs tested compared to the Thai-Myanmar border. Parasite sensitivity to all drugs was stable over the 6-year collection period with the exception of QN.
This study highlights the high degree of variability in parasite drug sensitivity in Thailand. There were geographical differences in the pattern of resistance which might reflect differences in drug usage in each area. In contrast to many other studies there were weak, but statistically significant positive, correlations between sensitivity to CQ and sensitivity to MQ and QN. Over the six years of sample collection, parasite sensitivity appears to have stabilized to these drugs in these sites.
In Mali, malaria is the leading cause of death and the primary cause of outpatient visits for children under five. The twin towns of Mopti and Sévaré have historically had high under-five mortality. This paper investigates the changing malaria burden in children under five in these two towns for the years 1998-2006, and the likely contribution of previous interventions aimed at reducing malaria.
A retrospective analysis of daily outpatient consultation records from urban community health centres (CSCOMs) located in Mopti and Sévaré for the years 1998-2006 was conducted. Risk factors for a diagnosis of presumptive malaria, using logistic regression and trends in presumptive malaria diagnostic rates, were assessed using multilevel analysis.
Between 1998-2006, presumptive malaria accounted for 33.8% of all recorded consultation diagnoses (10,123 out of 29,915). The monthly presumptive malaria diagnostic rate for children under five decreased by 66% (average of 8 diagnoses per month per 1,000 children in 1998 to 2.7 diagnoses per month in 2006). The multi-level analysis related 37% of this decrease to the distribution of bed net treatment kits initiated in May of 2001. Children of the Fulani (Peuhl) ethnicity had significantly lower odds of a presumptive malaria diagnosis when compared to children of other ethnic groups.
Presumptive malaria diagnostic rates have decreased between 1998-2006 among health care-seeking children under five in Mopti and Sévaré. A bed net treatment kit intervention conducted in 2001 is likely to have contributed to this decline. The results corroborate previous findings that suggest that the Fulani ethnicity is protective against malaria. The findings are useful to encourage dialogue around the urban malaria situation in Mali, particularly in the context of achieving the target of reducing malaria morbidity in children younger than five by 50% by 2011 as compared to levels in 2000.
Roll Back Malaria (RBM) interventions such as insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITN) and artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) have become implemented with different velocities in the endemic countries of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in recent years. There is conflicting evidence on how much can be achieved under real life conditions with the current interventions in the highly endemic savannah areas of SSA.
The study took place in a rural area of north-western Burkina Faso, which was defined as holoendemic in 1999. Clinical and parasitological data were compared in two cohorts of young children of the same age range from eight villages. Surveys took place in June and December of the year 1999 and 2009 respectively.
Prevalence of mosquito net use increased from 22% in 1999 to 73% in 2009, with the majority of nets being ITNs in 2009. In 2009, P. falciparum prevalence was significantly lower compared to 1999 (overall reduction of 22.8%).
The reduction in malaria prevalence in young children observed between 1999 and 2009 in a rural and formerly malaria holoendemic area of Burkina Faso is likely attributable to the increase in ITN availability and utilization over time.
Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) is the recommended first-line therapy for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria worldwide but decreased artemisinin susceptibility, phenotypically characterized as slow parasite clearance time (PCT), has now been reported in Southeast Asia. This makes it all too important to measure the dynamics of parasite clearance in African patients treated with ACT over time, to understand trends and detect changes early enough to intervene METHODS: Individual patient data from 27 clinical trials of artesunate-amodiaquine (ASAQ) vs comparators conducted between 1999 and 2009 were analysed for parasite clearance on modified intent-to-treat (ITT) basis.
Overall 15,017 patients treated for uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria at 44 sites in 20 sub-Saharan African countries were included in the analysis; 51% (n=7,660) vs 49% (n=7,357) were treated with ASAQ and comparator treatments, respectively. Seventy-seven per cent (77%) were children under six years of age. The proportion of the patients treated with ASAQ with persistent parasitaemia on Day 2 was 8.6%, and 1.5% on Day 3. Risk factor for not clearing parasites on Day 2 and Day 3 calculated by multivariate logistic regression with random effect on site and controlling for treatment were: high parasitaemia before treatment was (adjusted risk ratios (AOR) 2.12, 95%CI 1.91-2.35, AOR 2.43, 95%CI 1.98-3.00, respectively); non-ACT treatment (p=0.001, for all comparisons). Anaemia (p=0.001) was an additional factor for Day 2 and young age (p=0.005) for Day 3.In patients treated with ASAQ in studies who had complete parasitaemia data every 24 hours up to Day 3 and additionally Day 7, the parasite reduction ratio was 93.9% by Day 1 and 99.9% by Day 2. Using the median parasitaemia before treatment (p0=27,125 muL) and a fitted model, the predicted PCT (pPCT = 3.614*ln (p0) - 6.135, r2 = 0.94) in ASAQ recipients was 31 hours.
Within the period covered by these studies, rapid Plasmodium falciparum clearance continues to be achieved in Sub-Saharan African patients treated with ACT, and in particular with ASAQ. The prediction formula for parasite clearance time could be a pragmatic tool for studies with binary outcomes and once-daily sampling, both for research and monitoring purposes.
In Zanzibar, the Ministry of Health and partners accelerated malaria control from September 2003 onwards. The impact of the scale-up of insecticide-treated nets (ITN), indoor-residual spraying (IRS) and artemisinin-combination therapy (ACT) combined on malaria burden was assessed at six out of seven in-patient health facilities.
Numbers of outpatient and inpatient cases and deaths were compared between 2008 and the pre-intervention period 1999-2003. Reductions were estimated by segmented log-linear regression, adjusting the effect size for time trends during the pre-intervention period.
In 2008, for all age groups combined, malaria deaths had fallen by an estimated 90% (95% confidence interval 55-98%)(p < 0.025), malaria in-patient cases by 78% (48-90%), and parasitologically-confirmed malaria out-patient cases by 99.5% (92-99.9%). Anaemia in-patient cases decreased by 87% (57-96%); anaemia deaths and out-patient cases declined without reaching statistical significance due to small numbers. Reductions were similar for children under-five and older ages. Among under-fives, the proportion of all-cause deaths due to malaria fell from 46% in 1999-2003 to 12% in 2008 (p < 0.01) and that for anaemia from 26% to 4% (p < 0.01). Cases and deaths due to other causes fluctuated or increased over 1999-2008, without consistent difference in the trend before and after 2003.
Scaling-up effective malaria interventions reduced malaria-related burden at health facilities by over 75% within 5 years. In high-malaria settings, intensified malaria control can substantially contribute to reaching the Millennium Development Goal 4 target of reducing under-five mortality by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015.
In high-transmission areas, developing immunity to symptomatic Plasmodium falciparum infections requires 2-10 years of uninterrupted exposure. Delayed malaria-immunity has been attributed to difficult-to-develop and then short-lived antibody responses.
In a study area with <0.5 P. falciparum infections/person/year, antibody responses to the MSP1-19kD antigen were evaluated and associations with P. falciparum infections in children and adults. In months surrounding and during the malaria seasons of 2003-2004, 1,772 participants received > or =6 active visits in one study-year. Community-wide surveys were conducted at the beginning and end of each malaria season, and weekly active visits were completed for randomly-selected individuals each month. There were 79 P. falciparum infections with serum samples collected during and approximately one month before and after infection. Anti-MSP1-19kD IgG levels were measured by ELISA.
The infection prevalence during February-July was similar in children (0.02-0.12 infections/person/month) and adults (0.03-0.14 infections/person/month) and was negligible in the four-month dry season. In children and adults, the seroprevalence was maintained in the beginning (children = 28.9%, adults = 61.8%) versus ending malaria-season community survey (children = 26.7%, adults = 64.6%). Despite the four-month non-transmission season, the IgG levels in Plasmodium-negative adults were similar to P. falciparum-positive adults. Although children frequently responded upon infection, the transition from a negative/low level before infection to a high level during/after infection was slower in children. Adults and children IgG-positive before infection had reduced symptoms and parasite density.
Individuals in low transmission areas can rapidly develop and maintain alphaMSP1-19kD IgG responses for >4 months, unlike responses reported in high transmission study areas. A greater immune capacity might contribute to the frequent asymptomatic P. falciparum infections in this Peruvian population.
Severe malaria results in over a million deaths every year, most of them in children aged less than five years and living in sub-Saharan Africa. Injectable artesunate (AS) was recommended as initial treatment for severe malaria by WHO in 2006. The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) has been developing a novel good manufacturing practice (GMP) injection of AS, which was approved by the US FDA for investigational drug use and distribution by the CDC.
Tolerability and pharmacokinetics of current GMP intravenous AS, as an anti-malarial agent, were evaluated after ascending multiple doses of 2, 4, and 8 mg/kg daily for three days with 2-minute infusion in 24 healthy subjects (divided into three groups) in the Phase 1 clinical trial study.
Results showed that there were no dose-dependent increases in any adverse events. Drug concentrations showed no accumulation and no decline of the drug during the three days of treatment. After intravenous injection, parent drug rapidly declined and was converted to dihydroartemisinin (DHA) with overall mean elimination half-lives ranging 0.15-0.23 hr for AS and 1.23-1.63 hr for DHA, but the peak concentration (Cmax) of AS was much higher than that of DHA with a range of 3.08-3.78-folds. In addition, the AUC and Cmax values of AS and DHA were increased proportionally to the AS climbing multiple doses.
The safety of injectable AS, even at the highest dose of 8 mg/kg increases the probability of therapeutic success of the drug even in patients with large variability of parasitaemia.
Enhanced production of nitric oxide (NO) following upmodulation of the inducible isoform of NO synthase (iNOS) by haemozoin (HZ), inflammatory cytokines and LPS may provide protection against Plasmodium falciparum malaria by killing hepatic and blood forms of parasites and inhibiting the cytoadherence of parasitized erythrocytes (RBC) to endothelial cells. Monocytes and macrophages are considered to contribute importantly to protective upregulation of iNOS and production of NO. Data obtained with murine phagocytes fed with human HZ and synthetic HZ (sHZ) indicate that supplemental treatment of those cells with IFN-gamma elicited significant increases in protein and mRNA expression of iNOS and NO production, providing a potential mechanism linking HZ phagocytosis and increased production of NO. Purpose of this study was to analyse the effect of P. falciparum HZ and sHZ supplemental to treatment with IFN-gamma and/or a stimulatory cytokine-LPS mix on iNOS protein and mRNA expression in immuno-purified human monocytes.
Adherent immunopurified human monocytes (purity >85%), and murine phagocytic cell lines RAW 264.7, N11 and ANA1 were fed or not with P. falciparum HZ or sHZ and treated or not with IFN-gamma or a stimulatory cytokine-LPS mix. Production of NO was quantified in supernatants, iNOS protein and mRNA expression were measured after immunoprecipitation and Western blotting and quantitative RT-PCT, respectively.
Phagocytosis of HZ/sHZ by human monocytes did not increase iNOS protein and mRNA expression and NO production either after stimulation by IFN-gamma or the cytokine-LPS mix. By contrast, in HZ/sHZ-laden murine macrophages, identical treatment with IFN-gamma and the cytokine-LPS mix elicited significant increases in protein and mRNA expression of iNOS and NOS metabolites production, in agreement with literature data.
Results indicate that human monocytes fed or not with HZ/sHZ were constantly unable to express iNOS and generate NOS metabolites even after stimulation with IFN-gamma or a cytokine-LSP mix that were very active on HZ-fed murine phagocytic lines. Present data do not support the hypothesis that monocytes are mediators of anti-parasitic defence in clinical malaria via activation of iNOS and production of NO, and suggest caution in extrapolating data obtained with murine or hybrid systems to human malaria.
Plasmodium vivax is responsible for the majority of malarial infection in the Indian subcontinent. This species of the parasite is generally believed to cause a relatively benign form of the disease. However, recent reports from different parts of the world indicate that vivax malaria can also have severe manifestation. Host response to the parasite invasion is thought to be an important factor in determining the severity of manifestation. In this paper, attempt was made to determine the host metabolic response associated with P. vivax infection by means of NMR spectroscopy-based metabonomic techniques in an attempt to better understand the disease pathology.
NMR spectroscopy of urine samples from P. vivax-infected patients, healthy individuals and non-malarial fever patients were carried out followed by multivariate statistical analysis. Two data analysis techniques were employed, namely, Principal Component Analysis [PCA] and Orthogonal Projection to Latent Structure Discriminant Analysis [OPLS-DA]. Several NMR signals from the urinary metabolites were further selected for univariate comparison among the classes.
The urine metabolic profiles of P. vivax-infected patients were distinct from those of healthy individuals as well as of non-malarial fever patients. A highly predictive model was constructed from urine profile of malarial and non-malarial fever patients. Several metabolites were found to be varying significantly across these cohorts. Urinary ornithine seems to have the potential to be used as biomarkers of vivax malaria. An increasing trend in pipecolic acid was also observed. The results suggest impairment in the functioning of liver as well as impairment in urea cycle.
The results open up a possibility of non-invasive analysis and diagnosis of P. vivax using urine metabolic profile. Distinct variations in certain metabolites were recorded, and amongst these, ornithine may have the potential of being used as biomarker of malaria. Pipecolic acid also showed increasing trend in the malaria patient compared to the other groups.
Antibodies are the main effector molecules in the defense against blood stages of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Understanding the mechanisms by which vaccine-induced anti-blood stage antibodies work in protecting against malaria is essential for vaccine design and testing.
The effects of MSP-1p42-specific antibodies on the development of blood stage parasites were studied using microscopy, flow cytometry and the pLDH assay. To determine allele-specific effects, if present, allele-specific antibodies and the various parasite clones representative of these alleles of MSP-1 were employed.
The mode of action of anti-MSP-1p42 antibodies differs among the parasite clones tested: anti-MSP-1p42 sera act mainly through invasion-inhibitory mechanisms against FVO parasites, by either preventing schizonts from rupturing or agglutinating merozoites upon their release. The same antibodies do not prevent the rupture of 3D7 schizonts; instead they agglutinate merozoites and arrest the development of young parasites at the early trophozoite stage, thus acting through both invasion- and growth inhibitory mechanisms. The second key finding is that antibodies have access to the intra-erythrocytic parasite, as evidenced by the labeling of developing merozoites with fluorochrome-conjugated anti-MSP-1p42 antibodies. Access to the parasite through this route likely allows antibodies to exert their inhibitory activities on the maturing schizonts leading to their inability to rupture and be released as infectious merozoites.
The identification of various modes of action by which anti-MSP-1 antibodies function against the parasite during erythrocytic development emphasizes the importance of functional assays for evaluating malaria vaccines and may also open new avenues for immunotherapy and vaccine development.
The spread of pyrethroid resistance in Anopheles gambiae s.s. is a critical issue for malaria vector control based on the use of insecticide-treated nets. Carbamates and organophosphates insecticides are regarded as alternatives or supplements to pyrethroids used in nets treatment. It is, therefore, essential to investigate on the susceptibility of pyrethroid resistant populations of An. gambiae s.s. to these alternative products.
In September 2004, a cross sectional survey was conducted in six localities in Côte d'Ivoire: Toumbokro, Yamoussoukro, Toumodi in the Southern Guinea savannah, Tiassalé in semi-deciduous forest, then Nieky and Abidjan in evergreen forest area. An. gambiae populations from these localities were previously reported to be highly resistant to pyrethroids insecticides. Anopheline larvae were collected from the field and reared to adults. Resistance/susceptibility to carbamates (0.4% carbosulfan, 0.1% propoxur) and organophosphates (0.4% chlorpyrifos-methyl, 1% fenitrothion) was assessed using WHO bioassay test kits for adult mosquitoes. Then, PCR assays were run to determine the molecular forms (M) and (S), as well as phenotypes for insensitive acetylcholinesterase (AChE1) due to G119S mutation.
Bioassays showed carbamates (carbosulfan and propoxur) resistance in all tested populations of An. gambiae s.s. In addition, two out of the six tested populations (Toumodi and Tiassalé) were also resistant to organophosphates (mortality rates ranged from 29.5% to 93.3%). The M-form was predominant in tested samples (91.8%). M and S molecular forms were sympatric at two localities but no M/S hybrids were detected. The highest proportion of S-form (7.9% of An. gambiae identified) was in sample from Toumbokro, in the southern Guinea savannah. The G119S mutation was found in both M and S molecular forms with frequency from 30.9 to 35.2%.
This study revealed a wide distribution of insensitive acetylcholinesterase due to the G119S mutation in both M and S molecular forms of the populations of An. gambiae s.s. tested. The low cross-resistance between carbamates and organophosphates highly suggests involvement of other resistance mechanisms such as metabolic detoxification or F290V mutation.
Malaria is a major public health problem for countries in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). While the endemicity of malaria varies enormously across this region, many of the countries have districts that are prone to periodic epidemics, which can be regional in their extent, and to resurgent outbreaks that are much more localized. These epidemics are frequently triggered by climate anomalies and often follow periods of drought. Many parts of Southern Africa have suffered rainfall deficit over the past three years and countries expect to see increased levels of malaria when the rains return to more 'normal' levels. Problems with drug and insecticide resistance are documented widely and the region contains countries with the highest rates of HIV prevalence to be found anywhere in the world. Consequently, many communities are vulnerable to severe disease outcomes should epidemics occur.
The SADC countries have adopted the Abuja targets for Roll Back Malaria in Africa, which include improved epidemic detection and response, i.e., that 60% of epidemics will be detected within two weeks of onset, and 60% of epidemics will be responded to within two weeks of detection. The SADC countries recognize that to achieve these targets they need improved information on where and when to look for epidemics. The WHO integrated framework for improved early warning and early detection of malaria epidemics has been recognized as a potentially useful tool for epidemic preparedness and response planning. Following evidence of successful adoption and implementation of this approach in Botswana, the SADC countries, the WHO Southern Africa Inter-Country Programme on Malaria Control, and the SADC Drought Monitoring Centre decided to organize a regional meeting where countries could gather to assess their current control status and community vulnerability, consider changes in epidemic risk, and develop a detailed plan of action for the forthcoming 2004–2005 season. The following is a report on the 1st Southern African Regional Epidemic Outlook Forum, which was held in Harare, Zimbabwe, 26th–29th September, 2004.
For many centuries, scientists have debated the cause and best treatment of the disease now known as malaria. Two theories regarding malaria transmission -- that of "bad air" and that of insect vectors -- have been widely accepted at different times throughout history. Treatments and cures have varied accordingly over time. This paper traces the evolution of scientific consensus on malaria aetiology, transmission, and treatment from ancient times to the present day.
Pyrethroid resistance in vectors could limit the efficacy of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) because all LLINs are currently treated with pyrethroids. The goal of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and wash resistance of PermaNet® 3.0 compared to PermaNet® 2.0 in an area of high pyrethroid in Côte d'Ivoire. PermaNet® 3.0 is impregnated with deltamethrin at 85 mg/m2 on the sides of the net and with deltamethrin and piperonyl butoxide on the roof. PermaNet® 2.0 is impregnated with deltamethrin at 55 mg/m2 across the entire net.
The study was conducted in the station of Yaokoffikro, in central Côte d'Ivoire. The efficacy of intact unwashed and washed LLINs was compared over a 12-week period with a conventionally-treated net (CTN) washed to just before exhaustion. WHO cone bioassays were performed on sub-sections of the nets, using wild-resistant An. gambiae and Kisumu strains. Mosquitoes were collected five days per week and were identified to genus and species level and classified as dead or alive, then unfed or blood-fed.
Mortality rates of over 80% from cone bioassays with wild-caught pyrethroid-resistant An. gambiae s.s were recorded only with unwashed PermaNet® 3.0. Over 12 weeks, a total of 7,291 mosquitoes were collected. There were significantly more An. gambiae s.s. and Culex spp. caught in control huts than with other treatments (P < 0.001). The proportion of mosquitoes exiting the huts was significantly lower with the control than for the treatment arms (P < 0.001). Mortality rates with resistant An. gambiae s.s and Culex spp, were lower for the control than for other treatments (P < 0.001), which did not differ (P > 0.05) except for unwashed PermaNet® 3.0 (P < 0.001), which gave significantly higher mortality (P < 0.001).
This study showed that unwashed PermaNet® 3.0 caused significantly higher mortality against pyrethroid resistant An. gambiae s.s and Culex spp than PermaNet® 2.0 and the CTN. The increased efficacy with unwashed PermaNet® 3.0 over PermaNet® 2.0 and the CTN was also demonstrated by higher KD and mortality rates (KD > 95% and mortality rate > 80%) in cone bioassays performed with wild pyrethroid-resistant An. gambiae s.s from Yaokoffikro.
Ethiopia scaled up net distribution markedly starting in 2006. Information on expected net life under field conditions (physical durability and persistence of insecticidal activity) is needed to improve planning for net replacement. Standardization of physical durability assessment methods is lacking.
Permanet(R)2.0 long-lasting insecticidal bed nets (LLINs), available for distribution in early 2007, were collected from households at three time intervals. The number, size and location of holes were recorded for 189 nets used for three to six months from nine sites (2007) and 220 nets used for 14 to 20 months from 11 sites (2008). In 2009, a "finger/fist" sizing method classified holes in 200 nets used for 26 to 32 months from ten sites into small (<2 cm), medium (> = 2 to < =10 cm) and large (>10 cm) sizes. A proportionate hole index based on both hole number and area was derived from these size classifications.
After three to six months, 54.5% (95% CI 47.1-61.7%) of 189 LLINs had at least one hole 0.5 cm (in the longest axis) or larger; mean holes per net was 4.4 (SD 8.4), median was 1.0 (Inter Quartile Range [IQR] 0--5) and median size was 1 cm (IQR 1--2). At 14 to 20 months, 85.5% (95% CI 80.1-89.8%) of 220 nets had at least one hole with mean 29.1 (SD 50.1) and median 12 (IQR 3--36.5) holes per net, and median size of 1 cm (IQR 1--2). At 26 to 32 months, 92.5% of 200 nets had at least one hole with a mean of 62.2 (SD 205.4) and median of 23 (IQR 6--55.5) holes per net. The mean hole index was 24.3, 169.1 and 352.8 at the three time periods respectively. Repairs were rarely observed. The majority of holes were in the lower half of the net walls. The proportion of nets in 'poor' condition (hole index >300) increased from 0% at three to six months to 30% at 26 to 32 months.
Net damage began quickly: more than half the nets had holes by three to six months of use, with 40% of holes being larger than 2 cm. Holes continued to accumulate until 92.5% of nets had holes by 26 to 32 months of use. An almost complete lack of repairs shows the need for promoting proper use of nets and repairs, to increase LLIN longevity. Using the hole index, almost one third of the nets were classed as unusable and ineffective after two and a half years of potential use.
Apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA-1) and merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1) of Plasmodium falciparum are two leading blood-stage malaria vaccine candidates. A P. falciparum chimeric protein 2.9 (PfCP-2.9) has been constructed as a vaccine candidate, by fusing AMA-1 domain III (AMA-1 (III)) with a C-terminal 19 kDa fragment of MSP1 (MSP1-19) via a 28-mer peptide hinge. PfCP-2.9 was highly immunogenic in animal studies, and antibodies elicited by the PfCP-2.9 highly inhibited parasite growth in vitro. This study focused on locating the distribution of epitopes on PfCP-2.9.
A panel of anti-PfCP-2.9 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were produced and their properties were examined by Western blot as well as in vitro growth inhibition assay (GIA). In addition, a series of PfCP-2.9 mutants containing single amino acid substitution were produced in Pichia pastoris. Interaction of the mAbs with the PfCP-2.9 mutants was measured by both Western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
Twelve mAbs recognizing PfCP-2.9 chimeric protein were produced. Of them, eight mAbs recognized conformational epitopes and six mAbs showed various levels of inhibitory activities on parasite growth in vitro. In addition, seventeen PfCP-2.9 mutants with single amino acid substitution were produced in Pichia pastoris for interaction with mAbs. Reduced binding of an inhibitory mAb (mAb7G), was observed in three mutants including M62 (Phe491-->Ala), M82 (Glu511-->Gln) and M84 (Arg513-->Lys), suggesting that these amino acid substitutions are critical to the epitope corresponding to mAb7G. The binding of two non-inhibitory mAbs (mAbG11.12 and mAbW9.10) was also reduced in the mutants of either M62 or M82. The substitution of Leu31 to Arg resulted in completely abolishing the binding of mAb1E1 (a blocking antibody) to M176 mutant, suggesting that the Leu residue at this position plays a crucial role in the formation of the epitope. In addition, the Asn15 residue may also play an important role in the global folding of PfCP-2.9, as its substitution by Arg lead to reduced binding of most mAbs and abolishing the binding of mAb6G and mAbP5-W12.
This study provided valuable information on epitopes of PfCP-2.9 vaccine candidate through generation of a panel of mAbs and a series of PfCP-2.9 mutants. The information may prove to be useful for designing more effective malaria vaccines against blood-stage parasites.
Malaria is a huge public health problem in Africa that is responsible for more than one million deaths annually. In line with the Roll Back Malaria initiative and the Abuja Declaration, Eritrea and other African countries have intensified their fight against malaria. This study examines the impact of Eritrea's Roll Back Malaria Programme: 2000-2004 and the effects and possible interactions between the public health interventions in use.
This study employed cross-sectional survey to collect data from households, community and health facilities on coverage and usage of Insecticide-Treated Nets (ITNs), Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS), larvicidal activities and malaria case management. Comparative data was obtained from a similar survey carried out in 2001. Data from the Health Management Information System (HMIS) and reports of the annual assessments by the National Malaria Control Programme was used to assess impact. Time series model (ARIMA) was used to assess association.
In the period 2000-2004, approximately 874,000 ITNs were distributed and 13,109 health workers and community health agents were trained on malaria case management. In 2004, approximately 81% households owned at least one net, of which 73% were ITNs and 58.6% of children 0-5 years slept under a net. The proportion of malaria cases managed by community health agents rose from 50% in 1999 to 78% in 2004. IRS coverage increased with the combined amount of DDT and Malathion used rising from 6,444 kg, in 2000 to 43,491 kg, in 2004, increasing the population protected from 117,017 to 259,420. Drug resistance necessitated regimen change to chloroquine plus sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine. During the period, there was a steep decline in malaria morbidity and case fatality by 84% and 40% respectively. Malaria morbidity was strongly correlated to the numbers of ITNs distributed (beta = -0.125, p < 0.005) and the amount (kg) of DDT and Malathion used for IRS (beta = -2.352, p < 0.05). The correlation between malaria case fatality and ITNs, IRS, population protected and annual rainfall was not statistically significant.
Eritrea has within 5 years attained key Roll Back Malaria targets. ITNs and IRS contributed most to reducing malaria morbidity.