After just two months of researching the relevant literature it has become obvious that there are many articles published about malaria research that do not fit into any of our four categories used so far. Therefore, a fifth category, Basic Research, makes its appearance this month. By and large the articles in this category are esoteric and will be of interest only to a minority of the readers of this Newsletter; nevertheless, the abstracts and whenever reasonably available, entire articles have been placed in our Library and will be sent to anyone requesting it/them. The authors, titles, and publishers are the only information included in that section.
Here is what is new in the literature:
“Biologists can use CRISPR, an immunity system in bacteria, to insert genes into an organism. When that organism reproduces, it spreads the altered genes to future generations. Mathematical models of meiotic drive (a naturally occurring evolutionary process) provide guidance concerning how CRISPR gene drives will do their work. Two gene-drive strategies may help fight malaria: One suppresses mosquito populations, and the other modifies how the insects house and transmit the malaria parasite.” The article by Bier and Sober, entitled Gene Editing and the War Against Malaria in American Scientist is in our Library.
Feeney and colleagues report in Journal of Immunology: “a growing body of evidence suggests that fetal malaria exposure can prime highly functional malaria-specific T- and B-cells, which may contribute to postnatal protection from malaria.” The article, The Immune Response to Malaria in Utero, considers the implications of this and related findings for malaria prevention strategies.
StatPearls, an internet publication from Florida, published several malaria-related summaries of what it considers state of the art as of late 2019. The summary on Malaria Prophylaxis by DeVos and Dunn is available in our Library.
The January 2020 issue of Clinics in Laboratory Medicine, published a 35 page review of Malaria caused by the four most common Plasmodium species. This is an Elsevier publication and only a very brief abstract is available without subscription; however, given the nature of the publication, laboratory diagnosis must have a prominent place in the article.
The FDA press release, FDA Approves the Only Drug Available in the US to Treat Severe Malaria (text of release available) came out in late May of this year. The fact is that the drug, artesunate, has been in widespread use in the world for this very indication for many years.
Riggle and colleagues published Desperately Seeking Therapies for Cerebral Malaria in the January issue of Journal of Immunology. Judging by the abstract, it is an overview of current therapeutic approaches, not new information.
The use of the antimalarials chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat and/or prevent the COVID-19 syndrome has engendered a spate of articles, pro and con. A recent article in Lancet claiming that this use of these drugs actually caused increased mortality had to be withdrawn, because the data used in coming to these conclusions could not be independently verified. This is a cautionary tale about articles that are published very rapidly after submission, or those in publications that are not effectively peer reviewed.
No new information available
Tran TM, Crompton PD, Decoding the Complexities of Human Malaria Through Systems Immunology, Immunol Rev, 2020 Jan;293(1):144-162.
Jensen AR, Adams Y, Hviid L, Cerebral Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria: The Role of PfEMP1 in Its Pathogenesis and Immunity, and PfEMP1-based Vaccines to Prevent It, Immunol Rev,2020 Jan; 293(1):230-252. Entire article is available.
Moxon CA, Gibbins MP, McGuinness D, &al., New Insights Into Malaria Pathogenesis, Ann Rev Pathol, 2020 Jan 24;15:315-343. Entire article is available.
Front Physiol, 2020 Jan 21;10:1613.
Toda, H, Diaz-Varela M, del Portillo HA, Plasma-derived Extracellular Vesicles from Plasmodium vivax Patients Signal Spleen Fibroblasts Via NF-kB Facilitating Parasite Cytoadherence, Nature Communications 2020, vol. 11, Article no. 2761 Entire article is available.
Subudhi AK, O’Donnell AJ, Ramaprasad A, & al, Malaria Parasites Regulate Intra-erythrocytic Development Duration Via Serpentine Receptor 10 to Coordinate with Host Rhythms, Nature Communications, 2020 vol. 11, Article no: 2763. Entire article is available.