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EY Lukianova-Hleb et al. Hemozoin-generated vapor nanobubbles for transdermal reagent- and needle-free detection of malaria. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

High Impact Journal from Malaria Portal - 31 December 2014 - 12:00am
Successful diagnosis, screening, and elimination of malaria critically depend on rapid and sensitive detection of this dangerous infection, preferably transdermally and without sophisticated reagents or blood drawing. . . .
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KJ Vogel et al. Phylogenetic investigation of Peptide hormone and growth factor receptors in five dipteran genomes. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne)

High Impact Journal from Malaria Portal - 31 December 2014 - 12:00am
Peptide hormones and growth factors bind to membrane receptors and regulate a myriad of processes in insects and other metazoans. . . .
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J Rydzak et al. Human erythrocyte glycophorin C as the receptor for EBA-140 Plasmodium falciparum merozoite ligand. Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online)

High Impact Journal from Malaria Portal - 31 December 2014 - 12:00am
Erythrocyte invasion by the blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum parasites is a multistep process involving specific interactions between parasites and red blood cells. . . .
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R Sundararajan et al. Barriers to Malaria Control among Marginalized Tribal Communities: A Qualitative Study. PLoS One

High Impact Journal from Malaria Portal - 30 December 2014 - 12:00am
Malaria infection accounts for over one million deaths worldwide annually. . . .
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DV Canyon et al. Insights in public health: systems thinking: basic constructs, application challenges, misuse in health, and how public health leaders can pave the way forward. Hawaii J Med Public Health

High Impact Journal from Malaria Portal - 30 December 2014 - 12:00am
The strengthening of health systems is fundamental to improving health outcomes, crisis preparedness, and our capacity to meet global challenges, such as accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, reducing maternal and child mortality, combating HIV, malaria and other diseases, limiting the effects of a new influenza pandemic, and responding appropriately to climate change. . . .
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Parasite detection and identification for automated thin blood film malaria diagnosis

CiteULike malaria tags - 23 April 2014 - 12:07pm
Computer Vision and Image Understanding, Vol. 114, No. 1. (24 January 2010), pp. 21-32, doi:10.1016/j.cviu.2009.08.003

This paper investigates automated detection and identification of malaria parasites in images of Giemsa-stained thin blood film specimens. The Giemsa stain highlights not only the malaria parasites but also the white blood cells, platelets, and artefacts. We propose a complete framework to extract these stained structures, determine whether they are parasites, and identify the infecting species and life-cycle stages. We investigate species and life-cycle-stage identification as multi-class classification problems in which we compare three different classification schemes and empirically show that the detection, species, and life-cycle-stage tasks can be performed in a joint classification as well as an extension to binary detection. The proposed binary parasite detector can operate at 0.1%0.1% parasitemia without any false detections and with less than 10 false detections at levels as low as 0.01%0.01%.
Boray Tek, Andrew Dempster, İzzet Kale
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Socioeconomic factors, attitudes and practices associated with malaria prevention in the coastal plain of Chiapas, Mexico

Malaria Journal - 23 April 2014 - 12:00am
Background: Mexico is in the malaria pre-elimination phase; therefore, continuous assessment and understanding of the social and behavioural risk factors related to exposure to malaria are necessary to achieve the overall goal. The aim of this research was to investigate socio-economic backgrounds, attitudes and practices related with malaria in rural locations from the coastal plain of Chiapas. Methods: In January 2012, 542 interviews were conducted to householders from 20 villages across the coastal plain of Chiapas. Questions were about housing conditions, protection from mosquito bites and general information of householders. Chi2 analyses were performed to see whether there was a dependence of those reported having malaria with their house conditions and their malaria preventive practices. Results were discussed and also compared statistically against those obtained 17 years ago from the same area. Results: Most households had 2-5 people (73.6%), 91.6% of houses had 1-3 bedrooms. The physical structure of the houses consisted of walls mainly made of block or brick 72.3%, the floor made of cement 90.0%, while the roof made of zinc sheet 43.9%, and straw or palm 42.2%. A 23.1% of the interviewed completed elementary school and 16.6% was illiterate. A 9.9% of the residents reported at least one family member having had malaria. A 98.1% of families used some method to prevent mosquito bites; those using bed nets were 94.3%. Almost 72% of families bought products for mosquito protection. A total of 537 out of 542 families agreed with the indoor residual spraying (IRS) of insecticide and a frequency of application as often as every two months was preferred. Conclusion: Housing conditions and malaria preventive practices have improved in these rural areas in 17 years, which could be in favor of malaria elimination in this area. Information generated by this study could help in the decision making about whether to use insecticide as indoor residual spraying or to implement massive distribution of long-lasting impregnated bed nets, considering the number of bedrooms and the structure of houses in the region, which may lead to a more efficient vector control for the coastal plain of Chiapas.
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Oligohydramnios in a pregnant Pakistani woman with Plasmodium vivax malaria

Malaria Journal - 23 April 2014 - 12:00am
In the Western world, the diagnosis and management of Plasmodium vivax malaria in pregnant women can be challenging, and the pathogenesis of adverse outcomes for both the mother and the foetus is still poorly known. The authors describe the case of a 29-year-old Pakistani woman at the 29th week of her second pregnancy, who was admitted to the Hospital following the abrupt onset of fever. At the time of admission, she had been living in Italy without travelling to any malaria-endemic areas for eight months. She was diagnosed with vivax malaria after a thin blood smear revealed the presence of plasmodial trophozoites and gametocytes and treated accordingly. Due to the onset of oligohydramnios, she underwent caesarian section at the 31st week of pregnancy with no further complications. Histological examination of the placenta showed no evidence of plasmodial infection, but was inconclusive. It is unclear whether oligohydramnios is a complication of pregnancy-related Plasmodium vivax malaria. Given the long latency of hypnozoites, every febrile pregnant patient with a previous stay in an endemic area should be screened for malaria with a thick and a thin blood smear.
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Evidence for significant influence of host immunity on changes in differential blood count during malaria

Malaria Journal - 23 April 2014 - 12:00am
Background: Malaria has been shown to change blood counts. Recently, a few studies have investigated the alteration of the peripheral blood monocyte-to-lymphocyte count ratio (MLCR) and the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte count ratio (NLCR) during infection with Plasmodium falciparum. Based on these findings this study investigates the predictive values of blood count alterations during malaria across different sub-populations. Methods: Cases and controls admitted to the Department of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine from January 2000 through December 2010 were included in this comparative analysis. Blood count values and other variables at admission controlled for age, gender and immune status were statistically investigated. Results: The study population comprised 210 malaria patients, infected with P. falciparum (68%), Plasmodium vivax (21%), Plasmodium ovale (7%) and Plasmodium malariae (4%), and 210 controls. A positive correlation of parasite density with NLCR and neutrophil counts, and a negative correlation of parasite density with thrombocyte, leucocyte and lymphocyte counts were found. An interaction with semi-immunity was observed; ratios were significantly different in semi-immune compared to non-immune patients (P <0.001).The MLCR discriminated best between malaria cases and controls (AUC = 0.691; AUC = 0.741 in non-immune travellers), whereas the NLCR better predicted severe malaria, especially in semi-immune patients (AUC = 0.788). Conclusion: Malaria causes typical but non-specific alterations of the differential blood count. The predictive value of the ratios was fair but limited. However, these changes were less pronounced in patients with semi-immunity. The ratios might constitute easily applicable surrogate biomarkers for immunity.
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Perceptions and recommendations by scientists for a potential release of genetically modified mosquitoes in Nigeria

Malaria Journal - 23 April 2014 - 12:00am
Background: The use of genetically modified mosquitoes (GMMs) for the control of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases has been proposed in malaria-endemic countries, such as Nigeria, which has the largest burden in Africa. Scientists are major stakeholders whose opinions and perceptions can adversely affect the success of the trials of GMMs if they are not involved early. Unfortunately, information on the awareness of Nigerians scientists and their overall perception of the GMMs is practically non-existent in the literature. Therefore, this study aimed at understanding how receptive Nigerian scientists are a potential release of GMMs for the control of malaria. Methods: The sample consisted of 164 scientists selected from academic and research institutions in Nigeria. Data were collected from participants using a semi-structured, self-administered questionnaire. Questions were asked about the cause and prevention of malaria, genetic modification and biotechnology. Specific questions on perception and acceptable conditions for the potential release of GM mosquitoes in Nigeria were also covered. Results: All participants cited mosquitoes as one of several causes of malaria and used various methods for household control of mosquitoes. The main concerns expressed by the scientists were that GMMs can spread in an uncontrolled way beyond their release sites (89%) and will mate with other mosquito species to produce hybrids with unknown consequences (94.5%). Most participants (92.7%) agreed that it was important that before approving the release of GMMs in Nigeria, there had to be evidence of contingency measures available to remove the GMMs should a hazard become evident during the course of the release. In general, a majority (83.5%) of scientists who participated in this study were sceptical about a potential release in Nigeria, while 16.5% of the participants were in support. Conclusions: Although a majority of the participants are sceptical about GMMs generally, most encourage the use of genetic modification techniques to make mosquitoes incapable of spreading diseases provided that there are contingency measures to remove GMMs if a hazard becomes evident during the course of the release.
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High burden of malaria following scale-up of control interventions in Nchelenge District, Luapula Province, Zambia

Malaria Journal - 23 April 2014 - 12:00am
Background: Malaria control interventions have been scaled-up in Zambia in conjunction with a malaria surveillance system. Although substantial progress has been achieved in reducing morbidity and mortality, national and local information demonstrated marked heterogeneity in the impact of malaria control across the country. This study reports the high burden of malaria in Nchelenge District, Luapula Province, Zambia from 2006 to 2012 after seven years of control measures. Methods: Yearly aggregated information on cases of malaria, malaria deaths, use of malaria diagnostics, and malaria control interventions from 2006 to 2012 were obtained from the Nchelenge District Health Office. Trends in the number of malaria cases, methods of diagnosis, malaria positivity rate among pregnant women, and intervention coverage were analysed using descriptive statistics. Results: Malaria prevalence remained high, increasing from 38% in 2006 to 53% in 2012. Increasing numbers of cases of severe malaria were reported until 2010. Intense seasonal malaria transmission was observed with seasonal declines in the number of cases between April and August, although malaria transmission continued throughout the year. Clinical diagnosis without accompanying confirmation declined from 95% in 2006 to 35% in 2012. Intervention coverage with long-lasting insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual spraying increased from 2006 to 2012. Conclusions: Despite high coverage with vector control interventions, the burden of malaria in Nchelenge District, Zambia remained high. The high parasite prevalence could accurately reflect the true burden, perhaps in part as a consequence of population movement, or improved access to care and case reporting. Quality information at fine spatial scales will be critical for targeting effective interventions and measurement of progress.
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Halving hydrogen

News from Malaria Portal - 22 April 2014 - 12:00am
Like a hungry diner ripping open a dinner roll, a fuel cell catalyst that converts hydrogen into electricity must tear open a hydrogen molecule. Now researchers have captured a view of such a catalyst holding onto the two halves of its hydrogen feast. The
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H Imam et al. The basic rules and methods of mosquito rearing (Aedes aegypti). Trop Parasitol

High Impact Journal from Malaria Portal - 22 April 2014 - 12:00am
The rearing of Aedes mosquitoes is complex and demanding for several reasons. . . .
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J Pfeil et al. Dihydroartemisinin-Piperaquine vs. Artemether-Lumefantrine for First-Line Treatment of Uncomplicated Malaria in African Children: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis. PLoS One

High Impact Journal from Malaria Portal - 21 April 2014 - 12:00am
Recent multi-centre trials showed that dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) was as efficacious and safe as artemether-lumefantrine (AL) for treatment of young children with uncomplicated P. . . .
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High levels of sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine resistance Pfdhfr-Pfdhps quintuple mutations: a cross sectional survey of six regions in Tanzania

Malaria Journal - 21 April 2014 - 12:00am
Background: In 2006, the first-line anti-malarial drug treatment in Tanzania was changed from sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) to artemether-lumefantrine (ALu), an artemisinin-based combination (ACT), since when the use of SP has been restricted for intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp). A number of Plasmodium falciparum mutations are known to be associated with resistance to SP, but it is not known if the prevalence of these mutations is increasing or decreasing under the conditions of reduced levels of SP use. This study reports on the current SP resistant quintuple Pfdhfr-Pfdhps mutations in six regions of Tanzania. Methods: Finger-prick blood on filter paper and rapid diagnostic test strips from P. falciparum-positive individuals of all age groups attending health facilities in six regions of Tanzania between June 2010 and August 2011 were obtained. Using chelex-100 extracted DNA, genotyping was done for mutations on codons 51, 59 and 108 of Pfdhfr and 437 and 540 of Pfdhps genes using PCR-RFLP technique. Results: A total of 802 malaria-positive samples were screened and genotyped. The prevalence of Pfdhfr 51I, Pfdhps 437G and 540E varied between the regions (p < 0.001) whereas Pfdhfr 59R (FE 10.79, p = 0.225) and 108 N (FE 10.61, p = 0.239) did not vary between the regions. The Pfdhfr triple mutant was above 84% and close to fixation levels in all regions, whereas the Pfdhps double mutation ranged from 43.8 to 97% between the regions. The quintuple mutant (IRNGE) was the most prevalent in all regions and it varied significantly from 37.5 to 90.2% (chi2 = 1.11, p <0.001). Conclusions: There is evidence of persistent high levels of SP resistance markers in Tanzania with evidence of quintuple mutations that are likely to become fixed in the population. This threatens the future of SP not only in IPTp programmes, but as a combination drug for ACT. Continuous monitoring of SP-IPTp efficacy should be encouraged subsequent to searching for alternative drugs for IPTp in East Africa.
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Timelier notification and action with mobile phones-towards malaria elimination in South Africa

Malaria Journal - 21 April 2014 - 12:00am
Background: Surveillance with timely follow-up of diagnosed cases is a key component of the malaria elimination strategy in South Africa. The strategy requires each malaria case to be reported within 24 hours, and a case should be followed up within 48 hours. However, reporting delays are common in rural parts of the country. Methods: A technical framework was implemented and for eight months a nurse was hired to use a smartphone to report malaria cases to the provincial malaria control programme, from selected primary health care clinics in a rural, malaria-endemic area in South Africa. In addition, a short text message (SMS) notification was sent to the local malaria case investigator for each positive case. The objective was to assess whether reporting over the smartphone led to timelier notification and follow-up of the cases. An evaluation on the simplicity, flexibility, stability, acceptability, and usability of the framework was conducted. Results: Using mobile reporting, 18 of 23 cases had basic information entered into the provincial malaria information system within 24 hours. For the study period, the complete case information was entered two to three weeks earlier with the mobile reporting than from other clinics. A major improvement was seen in the number of positive cases being followed up within 48 hours. In 2011/2012, only one case out of 22 reported from the same study clinics was followed up within this timeframe. During the study period in 2012/2013, 15 cases out of 23 were followed up within two days. For the other clinics in the area, only a small improvement was seen between the two periods, in the proportion of cases that was followed up within 48 hours. Conclusions: SMS notification for each diagnosed malaria case improved the timeliness of data transmission, was acceptable to users and was technically feasible in this rural area. For the malaria case investigations, time to follow-up improved compared to other clinics. Although malaria case numbers in the study were small, the results of the qualitative and quantitative evaluations are convincing and consideration should be given to larger-scale use within the national malaria control programme.
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