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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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Cost of treating inpatient falciparum malaria on the Thai-Myanmar border

Malaria Journal - 29 October 2014 - 12:00am
Background: Despite demonstrated benefits and World Health Organization (WHO) endorsement, parenteral artesunate is the recommended treatment for patients with severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria in only one fifth of endemic countries. One possible reason for this slow uptake is that a treatment course of parenteral artesunate is costlier than quinine and might, therefore, pose a substantial economic burden to health care systems. This analysis presents a detailed account of the resources used in treating falciparum malaria by either parenteral artesunate or quinine in a hospital on the Thai-Myanmar border. Methods: The analysis used data from four studies, with random allocation of inpatients with falciparum malaria to treatment with parenteral artesunate or quinine, conducted in Mae Sot Hospital, Thailand from 1995 to 2001. Detailed resource use data were collected during admission and unit costs from the 2008 hospital price list were applied to these. Total admission costs were broken down into five categories: 1) medication; 2) intravenous fluids; 3) disposables; 4) laboratory tests; and 5) services. Results: While the medication costs were higher for patients treated with artesunate, total admission costs were similar in those treated with quinine, US$ 243 (95% CI: 167.5-349.7) and in those treated with artesunate US$ 190 (95% CI: 131.0-263.2) (P = 0.375). For cases classified as severe malaria (59%), the total cost of admission was US$ 298 (95% CI: 203.6-438.7) in the quinine group as compared with US$ 284 (95% CI: 181.3-407) in the artesunate group (P = 0.869). Conclusion: This analysis finds no evidence for a difference in total admission costs for malaria inpatients treated with artesunate as compared with quinine. Assuming this is generalizable to other settings, the higher cost of a course of artesunate should not be considered a barrier for its implementation in the treatment of malaria.
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Efficacy of intravenous methylene blue, intravenous artesunate, and their combination in preclinical models of malaria

Malaria Journal - 21 October 2014 - 12:00am
Background: Intravenous artesunate (IV AS) is the present treatment of choice for severe malaria, but development of artemisinin resistance indicates that a further agent will be needed. Methylene blue (MB) is an approved human agent for IV and oral use, and is already being investigated for oral treatment of uncomplicated malaria. To initiate investigation of IV MB for severe malaria, the efficacy of IV MB was compared to IV AS and to their combination in rat and non-human primate malaria models. Methods: IV MB was compared to IV AS and to their combination in the Plasmodium berghei-infected rat, a self-curing model; the Plasmodium falciparum-infected Aotus monkey, a fatal model; and the Plasmodium cynomolgi-infected rhesus monkey, a fatal model. Key endpoints were clearance of all parasites from the blood and cure (clearance without recrudescence). Results: In rats, the minimal dose of individual drugs and their combination that cleared parasites from all animals was 20 mg IV MB/kg/day, 60 mg IV AS/kg/day and 10 mg IV MB/kg/day plus 30 mg IV AS/kg/day. In Aotus, 8 mg IV MB/kg/day and 8 mg IV AS/kg/day each cured two of three monkeys by one day after therapy, and the third monkey in each group was cured two days later. The combination of both drugs did not result in superior efficacy. In rhesus, 8 mg IV MB/kg/day and 8 mg IV AS/kg/day performed comparably: parasite clearance occurred by day 3 of therapy, although only one of four animals in each dose group cured. Eight mg/kg/day of both drugs in combination was 100% successful: all four of four animals cured. Conclusions: In each of the three animal models, the efficacy of IV MB was approximately equal to that of standard of care IV AS. In the rat and rhesus models, the combination was more effective than either single agent. This preclinical data suggests that IV MB, alone or in combination with IV AS, is effective against Plasmodium spp. and can be evaluated in severe malaria models.
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In vitro and in vivo anti-malarial activity of tigecycline, a glycylcycline antibiotic, in combination with chloroquine

Malaria Journal - 21 October 2014 - 12:00am
Background: Several antibiotics have shown promising anti-malarial effects and have been useful for malarial chemotherapy, particularly in combination with standard anti-malarial drugs. Tigecycline, a semi-synthetic derivative of minocycline with a unique and novel mechanism of action, is the first clinically available drug in a new class of glycylcycline antibiotics. Methods: Tigecycline was tested in vitro against chloroquine (CQ)-sensitive (D6) and resistant strains (W2) of Plasmodium falciparum alone and in combination with CQ. Tigecycline was also tested in vivo in combination with CQ in Plasmodium berghei-mouse malaria model for parasitaemia suppression, survival and cure of the malaria infection. Results: Tigecycline was significantly more active against CQ-resistant (W2) than CQ-susceptible (D6) strain of P. falciparum. Tigecycline potentiated the anti-malarial action of CQ against the CQ-resistant strain of P. falciparum by more than seven-fold. Further, treatment of mice infected with P. berghei with tigecycline (ip) produced significant suppression in parasitaemia development and also prolonged the mean survival time. Treatment with as low as 3.7 mg/kg dose of tigecycline, once daily for four days, produced 77-91% suppression in parasitaemia. In vivo treatment with tigecycline in combination with subcurative doses of CQ produced complete cure in P. berghei-infected mice. Conclusion: Results indicate prominent anti-malarial action of tigecycline in vitro and in vivo in combination with CQ and support further evaluation of tigecycline as a potential combination candidate for treatment of drug-resistant cases of malaria.
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TC Shimko et al. COPASutils: An R Package for Reading, Processing, and Visualizing Data from COPAS Large-Particle Flow Cytometers. PLoS One

High Impact Journal from Malaria Portal - 20 October 2014 - 12:00am
The R package COPASutils provides a logical workflow for the reading, processing, and visualization of data obtained from the Union Biometrica Complex Object Parametric Analyzer and Sorter (COPAS) or the BioSorter large-particle flow cytometers. . . .
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RE Mejia Torres et al. Prevalence and Intensity of Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis, Prevalence of Malaria and Nutritional Status of School Going Children in Honduras. PLoS Negl Trop Dis

High Impact Journal from Malaria Portal - 20 October 2014 - 12:00am
Many small studies have been done in Honduras estimating soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) prevalence but a country-wide study was last done in 2005. . . .
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T Bousema et al. Asymptomatic malaria infections: detectability, transmissibility and public health relevance. Nat Rev Microbiol

High Impact Journal from Malaria Portal - 20 October 2014 - 12:00am
Most Plasmodium falciparum infections that are detected in community surveys are characterized by low-density parasitaemia and the absence of clinical symptoms. . . .
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ML Ndeffo Mbah et al. Impact of Schistosoma mansoni on Malaria Transmission in Sub-Saharan Africa. PLoS Negl Trop Dis

High Impact Journal from Malaria Portal - 20 October 2014 - 12:00am
Sub-Saharan Africa harbors the majority of the global burden of malaria and schistosomiasis infections. . . .
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Malaria parasite detection increases during pregnancy in wild chimpanzees

Malaria Journal - 20 October 2014 - 12:00am
Background: The diversity of malaria parasites (Plasmodium sp.) infecting chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and their close relatedness with those infecting humans is well documented. However, their biology is still largely unexplored and there is a need for baseline epidemiological data. Here, the effect of pregnancy, a well-known risk factor for malaria in humans, on the susceptibility of female chimpanzees to malaria infection was investigated. Methods: A series of 384 faecal samples collected during 40 pregnancies and 36 post-pregnancies from three habituated groups of wild chimpanzees in the Tai National Park, Cote d'Ivoire, were tested. Samples were tested for malaria parasites by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing. Data were analysed using a generalized linear mixed model. Results: Probability of malaria parasite detection significantly increased towards the end of pregnancy and decreased with the age of the mother. Conclusions: This study provides evidence that susceptibility to malaria parasite infection increases during pregnancy, and, as shown before, in younger individuals, which points towards similar dynamics of malaria parasite infection in human and chimpanzee populations and raises questions about the effects of such infections on pregnancy outcome and offspring morbidity/mortality.
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High-throughput tri-colour flow cytometry technique to assess Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia in bioassays

Malaria Journal - 20 October 2014 - 12:00am
Background: Unbiased flow cytometry-based methods have become the technique of choice in many laboratories for high-throughput, accurate assessments of malaria parasites in bioassays. A method to quantify live parasites based on mitotracker red CMXRos was recently described but consistent distinction of early ring stages of Plasmodium falciparum from uninfected red blood cells (uRBC) remains a challenge. Methods: Here, a high-throughput, three-parameter (tri-colour) flow cytometry technique based on mitotracker red dye, the nucleic acid dye coriphosphine O (CPO) and the leucocyte marker CD45 for enumerating live parasites in bioassays was developed. The technique was applied to estimate the specific growth inhibition index (SGI) in the antibody-dependent cellular inhibition (ADCI) assay and compared to parasite quantification by microscopy and mitotracker red staining. The Bland-Altman analysis was used to compare biases between SGI estimated by the tri-colour staining technique, mitotracker red and by microscopy. Results: CPO allowed a better separation between early rings and uRBCs compared to mitotracker red resulting in a more accurate estimate of total parasitaemia. The tri-colour technique is rapid, cost effective and robust with comparable sensitivity to microscopy and capable of discriminating between live and dead and/or compromised parasites. Staining for CD45 improved parasitaemia estimates in ADCI assay since high numbers of leucocytes interfered with the accurate identification of parasitized RBC. The least bias (-1.60) in SGI was observed between the tri-colour and microscopy. Conclusion: An improved methodology for high-throughput assessment of P. falciparum parasitaemia under culture conditions that could be useful in different bioassays, including ADCI and growth inhibition assays has been developed.
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T Gone et al. Comparative entomological study on ecology and behaviour of Anopheles mosquitoes in highland and lowland localities of Derashe District, southern Ethiopia. Parasit Vectors

High Impact Journal from Malaria Portal - 19 October 2014 - 12:00am
BackgroundChange in climatic and socio-economic situations is paving the way for the spread of malaria in highland areas which were generally known to be malaria free. . . .
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