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While there are fewer articles to report this month, there has been a big change the way abstracts, articles, and WHO pamphlets will be made accessible to Malaria Partners International members.  They will be accessible through the website.  All abstracts and articles collected this year up to now are in the process of being uploaded now and in the future they will be added as these reports appear.  Generally, abstracts are reproduced in WORD format and should be available for all cited publications; availability of pdf versions of the articles will continue to be indicated in the reports.

Prevention

Sougoufara et al. focus attention on outdoor biting mosquitoes in The Need for New Vector Control Approaches Targeting Outdoor Biting Anopheline Malaria Vector Communities, Parasit Vectors, 2020 Jun 10;13(1):295. doi: 10.1186/s13071-020-04170-7, given that the strategy of using impregnated bednets are not effective in controlling these vectors. The article is available.

The issue of resistance to agents used in impregnated bednets was highlighted in a recent webinar conducted by the Alliance for Malaria Prevention (AMP).  The program, entitled “Comparative evaluation of standard and dual-treated LLIN efficacy in Sud Ubangi, Democratic Republic of Congo,” has a slide set to which one of our Board members has given me access.

Malaria clinical studies entailing the experimental infection of healthy volunteers with Plasmodium parasites by bites from infected mosquitos, injection of cryopreserved sporozoites, or injection of blood-stage parasites provide valuable information for vaccine and drug development. Success of these studies depends on maintaining safety. In a mini-review, Safety Considerations for Malaria Volunteer Infection Studies: A Mini-Review, Am J Trop Med Hyg, 2020 May;102(5):934-939.  doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.19-0351.

Oredra and McCarthy discuss the safety risks and associated mitigation strategies of these three types of experimental malaria infection.

The effectiveness of malaria chemoprophylaxis is limited by a lack of compliance in travelers. Hoefnagel et al. assess the demographic, travel-related, and psychosocial determinants of non-compliance with chemoprophylaxis in Non-Adherence to Malaria Prophylaxis: The Influence of Travel-Related and Psychosocial Factors, J Infect Public Health, 2020 Apr;13(4):532-537. doi: 10.1016/j.jiph.2019.10.004. In this questionnaire-based study, only 53% responded and of those, about one-third were non-compliant with malaria prophylaxis, especially young travelers and highly educated travelers.

Diagnosis

Malaria continues to be a major global health problem, with over 228 million cases and 405,000 deaths estimated to occur annually. Rapid and accurate diagnosis of malaria is essential to decrease the burden and impact of this disease, particularly in children. Varo at al. review the main available techniques for the diagnosis of clinical malaria in endemic settings and explore possible future options to improve its rapid recognition.  The article, Diagnosis of Clinical Malaria in Endemic Settings, is found in Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther, 2020 Aug 30;1-14.  doi: 10.1080/14787210.2020.1807940.

Malaria antigen detection through rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) is widely used to diagnose malaria and estimate prevalence. To support more sensitive next-generation RDT development and screen asymptomatic malaria, Jang et al. developed and evaluated the Q-Plex™ Human Malaria Array, on which they report as Multiplex Human Malaria Array: Quantifying Antigens for Malaria Rapid Diagnostics, Am J Trop Med Hyg, 2020 Jun;102(6):1366-1369. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.19-0763.  They review the sensitivities of a variety of biomarkers.  The article is available for review.

Gutmann et al. explore diagnostic possibilities in populations where COVID-19, malaria, and other, “neglected” tropical diseases may coexist in Malaria and Parasitic Neglected Tropical Diseases: Potential Syndemics with COVID-19? Am J Trop Med Hyg, . 2020 Aug;103(2):572-577,  doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.20-0516.  This article is also available.

Treatment

Mohammadi and colleagues argue that “[h]erbal medicines have advantages over modern medicines, including fewer side effects, cost-effectiveness, and affordability encouraging the herbal-based drug discovery. Several naturally occurring, semisynthetic, and synthetic antimalarial medications are on the market. For example, chloroquine is a synthetic medication for antimalarial therapy derived from quinine. Moreover, artemisinin, and its derivative, artesunate with sesquiterpene lactone backbone, is an antimalarial agent originated from Artemisia annua L.” Their review, Medicinal Plants Used in the Treatment of Malaria: A Key Emphasis to Artemisia, Cinchona, Cryptolepis, and Tabebuia Genera, Phytother Res, 2020 Jul; 34(7): 1556-1569. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6628. covers the above mentioned important genera in this area.

Campaigns

Dittrich et al. published a Comment online by The Lancet, Diagnosing Malaria and Other Febrile Illnesses During the COVID-19 Pandemic, doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(20)30210-2, in which they stress the need to pay special attention to supporting field workers under current conditions.  Available.

Basic Research

There have been no new articles on basic research related to malaria mentioned on the reviewed websites (Lancet publications, PLOS, PubMed, Nature Communications, Science News, Sigma Xi, WHO, etc.) during this period.