The genetics underpinning resistance to a frontline malaria drug, artemisinin, have been revealed, scientists say. In South East Asia, malaria parasites have developed tolerance to the treatment, and there are fears that this will spread.
Now, in the largest genetic study to date, scientists have identified mutations in the parasite genome that are linked to resistance. The study is published in Nature Genetics. The researchers say the findings will help them to identify areas where artemisinin resistance could spread. Lead author Dr Olivo Miotto from the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Research Unit (MORU), in Thailand, said: "Artemisinin is the best drug we have had for a very long time, and we want to continue this success story."And for that its effectiveness has to be protected and sustained."
When the first malaria drug, chloroquine, was developed, researchers thought that the disease would be eradicated within years. But the malaria parasite has proved far tougher than they ever imagined. Drug after drug has been rendered useless as the parasite has evolved to evade treatment. Mysteriously, each time resistance has emerged, it has started in the same place - on the Cambodia-Thai border - before spreading across Asia and into Africa. more »
On 17 October 2007, billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates and his wife Melinda stood before a group of 300 malaria researchers, funders and policymakers at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel, Washington, and asked them to reconsider a proposition that had been shelved for nearly four decades: malaria eradication.
Two species of mosquitos have interbred, giving rise to hybrids that can resist the most potent weapons used against them
Study done in collaboration with UMass is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Apparently we no longer live in a world that values technological advancement.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared, "A post-antibiotic era—in which common infections and minor injuries can kill—far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, is instead a very real possibility for the 21st century".
Last year, Prof Henk Bouwman of North-West University and co-authors published a paper in a respectable journal, Environmental Research, claiming that DDT spraying led to thinning of bird eggshells.
The environmental science journal Environmental Research has published an article by nine malaria experts exposing major errors in a research paper on DDT and bird eggshells.
In Southern Africa, the malaria season typically begins with the summer rains in November and ends in April. In this region, the co-ordination of malaria control efforts between neighbouring states has dramatically reduced the incidence of malaria.Read more »
A study of the way malaria parasites behave when they live in human red blood cells has revealed that they can rapidly change the proteins on the surface of their host cells during the course of a single infection in order to hide from the immune system.
West Africa's fight to contain Ebola has hampered the campaign against malaria, a preventable and treatable disease that is claiming many thousands more lives than the dreaded virus.
In the middle of a bustling village hall in Myanmar's Kayin state, a government health worker pricks the finger of a child to extract a tiny drop of blood for a malaria test.
Travellers are being urged to take precaution during the holiday season to guard themselves against malaria. South Africa has recorded a rise in malaria-related deaths, warned the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.
Scientists have released details of a raft of new chemicals with potent anti-malarial properties which could open the way to new drugs to fight the disease.Read more »
Insecticide-treated net use before and after mass distribution in a fishing community along Lake Victoria, Kenya: successes and unavoidable pitfalls
The effectiveness of mass distribution of ITNs, requires careful analysis of successes and failures if impacts are to be sustained over the long term.
To investigate the genomic basis of vectorial capacity and explore new avenues for vector control, we sequenced the genomes of 16 anopheline mosquito species from diverse locations spanning ~100 million years of evolution.
What happens to lost nets: a multi-country analysis of reasons for LLIN attrition using 14 household surveys in four countries
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.
Installation of insecticide-treated durable wall lining: evaluation of attachment materials and product durability under field conditions.
Based on a series of systematic stress tests, optimized fixing products for polyethylene insecticide treated durable wall lining (DL) attachments were identified.
First report of an exophilic Anopheles arabiensis population in Bissau city, Guinea-Bissau: recent introduction or sampling bias?
Results point to the presence of a previously undetected outdoor population of An. arabiensis in Antula, which appears to have expanded recently, highlighting the importance of complementing indoor-based mosquito collections with sampling methods targeting outdoor adults and immature stages for a more complete assessment of mosquito biodiversity.Read more »