The world's arsenal against malaria just got a fancy new bazooka. But it's not the easiest weapon to deploy, it only hits its target 30 to 40% of the time, and it's not yet clear who's going to pay for it.
In recent decades, strategies for combating malaria have emphasized distributing easy-to-use commodities – including insecticides, insecticide-treated mosquito nets, and artemisinin-based antimalarial drugs – and expanding access to prompt diagnosis. This approach is reaching its limits.
Each year malaria kills roughly 400,000 people, most of them children and pregnant women in Africa. Scientists have long known that most of those fevers and deaths occur during the rainy months, when mosquitoes abound. But how does the disease persist during the long dry seasons, when almost no one falls ill and there are few mosquitoes to carry the tiny malaria parasite from one human host to another?
Researchers are preparing to launch a pivotal test of an important malaria vaccine this month — one that global health leaders believe could eventually lead to big reductions in the number of cases and deaths worldwide.
Despite those high hopes, there are also concerns that the theoretical benefits of the vaccine, made by GSK, might not translate into the real world.
This study showed higher probability of severe P. falciparum infection among individuals with blood group A, B and AB than in those with blood group O.
With more than 5,000 genes, it’s a complicated microbe, and the pursuit of a vaccine has led to numerous dead ends, Hamel said. Early development of the Glaxo shot began around 1984. As the pilot starts in Africa, scientists are looking to the potential next generation of technology.
“This is the first malaria vaccine,” she said, “not the last.”
Dr. Katherine O’Brien, the World Health Organization’s director of immunization, called the rollout “a historic moment in the fight against malaria,” and said the testing will soon expand to malarious regions of Ghana and Kenya.
But the vaccine, known as RTS,S, or Mosquirix, has been in development by GSK, the former GlaxoSmithKline, for more than 30 years, and it has serious drawbacks that have led some experts to argue that it does not work well enough to spend millions of dollars pursuing.
Mutant mozzies could rapidly spread through wild populations.
Despite a sharp drop in malaria-related deaths over the past decade, a veteran doctor here, in the heart of the world’s malaria belt, says now is the time to wage a large-scale battle with the mosquito-borne disease.
Thus far, we have no malaria vaccine, and it is not clear that a highly effective vaccine is in the pipeline. This may be due in part to a relative scarcity of research funding; in recent years global funding for malaria vaccine development has barely reached 25% of the approximately $684 million invested in the development of a still-elusive HIV/AIDS vaccine.
Malaria is a potentially fatal disease but the good news is that it is preventable, so plan wisely and prepare for healthy and happy travels - GlaxoSmithKline
Serious and fatal bouts of malaria in the United States are a greater problem than has been previously reported, according to a new study. Most appear to be in immigrants who have made summer or Christmas visits to their home countries without taking precautions against infection.
In January, the New York Times highlighted how insecticide treated nets meant to protect people from mosquitoes and malaria are now being used to haul fish in Africa. Among those using these nets to catch fish, hunger today is a bigger risk than malaria tomorrow.
For those who have experienced life in countries like Nigeria, where malaria is endemic, the report does not come as a surprise. The nets are an important tool for preventing malaria, but without investing in infrastructure and engaging effectively with communities, it’s hardly surprising that these nets are not always used as intended.
For years, Tu's role in unlocking artemisinin was shrouded in secret — until researchers at the National Institutes of Health looked into the drug’s history and realized that Tu deserved credit for her work. Only in 2011, when she won the prestigious Lasker prize for medical research, did the Chinese Communist Party move to preserve her childhood home.
In a statement, Tu called artemisinin "a gift for the world’s people from traditional Chinese medicine," and urged researchers to turn to herbs in the search for cures for infectious diseases.
Maybe, just maybe, malaria has met its match. It remains to be seen.
This doesn’t just happen to people at the other side of the globe. This nearly killed me.
A world with "rampant" malaria transmission is often seen as an inevitable consequence of global warming. But a new study radically challenges existing ideas of how the disease will spread with rising temperatures.
Malaria's Last Stand is an expository look at the ongoing burden of one of humanity's oldest diseases.
In addition to distributing insecticide-treated bed nets, the Gates Foundation is also seeking to educate the public about the fight against malaria.
The ongoing efforts in research and development for new antimalarial drugs, more sensitive point-of-care rapid diagnostic tests and new insecticides need further innovation and substantial strengthening. Clearly, efforts should focus not only on Plasmodium falciparum but also and increasingly on Plasmodium vivax, the neglected human malaria parasite. Addressing these challenges in a comprehensive and timely way will allow us to sustain the gains made so far and make further progress in control and progressive elimination.
A study found that rapid tests have greatly improved treatment, but that many people who tested positive still did not get the proper drugs or were overprescribed antibiotics.
Research aiming to improve the delivery of proven, cost-effective interventions to reduce the burden of malaria must go hand-in-hand with studies to understand the biology underlying infection and develop new antimalarial tools, a report from the Wellcome Trust has concluded.
A patriotic appeal to fight against a common scourge in 1861: malaria.
In recent years, malaria has emerged as a cause celebre for voguish philanthropists. Bill Gates, Bono, and Laura Bush are only a few of the personalities who have lent their names—and opened their pocketbooks—in hopes of stopping the disease. Still, in a time when every emergent disease inspires waves of panic, why aren’t we doing more to tame one of our oldest foes? And how does a pathogen that we’ve known how to prevent for more than a century still infect 500 million people every year, killing nearly one million of them?
In The Fever, journalist Sonia Shah sets out to answer those questions, delivering a timely, inquisitive chronicle of the illness and its influence on human lives.
Eventually it became clear that cinchona bark could be used not only to treat malaria, but also to prevent it. The bark—and its active ingredient, quinine powder—was a powerful medicine. But it was also a powerful new weapon in the European quest to conquer and rule distant lands.
A long-term outcome of my own experience with malaria and that of my friend is that I have dedicated my professional career to finding innovative ways to stop the spread of malaria infection in Africa. One of the biggest obstacles I see is that despite Africans suffering from malaria infection the most, 92 percent of malaria deaths in 2015 occurred on the African continent, the majority of the research against malaria takes place outside the African continent. This makes no sense.
new study in Science actually illuminates how the parasite in human blood draws mosquitoes, manipulating the bugs into flying malaria-dispersal machines.
For once, an herbal remedy actually works. Why are malaria experts against it? The tea comes from sweet wormwood (Artemisia annua), the Chinese plant that is a source for the world's most powerful anti-malarial treatments, which combine artemisinin derivatives with an older class of drugs. It can also be grown in wetter parts of Africa, and a year’s supply costs no more than a few dollars.
"Significant investment in malaria research has yielded effective interventions such as insecticide treated nets (ITNs), indoor residual spraying (IRS) and artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) to control the disease, but its burden continues to be felt among the poorest,"
By harnessing the microbes that live inside these bloodsucking insects, scientists are trying to stop them from spreading disease.
We're closer than ever to eradicating malaria, but not there yet. If we don't double down, we risk losing all the progress that's been made.
We're actually at a point where the World Malaria Day theme — "End Malaria For Good" — no longer sounds like a pipe dream. The Nature study found that the campaign to fight malaria has reduced the transmission rate of the disease so dramatically in areas across Africa that about 121 million people now live in places where the disease could plausibly be eradicated...
Dr. John Lusingu has dedicated his career to studying malaria and searching for a vaccine.
Though not widespread yet, this developing resistance threatens to render each of our most effective malaria-stopping technologies useless.
We help protect people from malaria. We fund anti-malaria nets specifically long-lasting insecticidal nets, and work with distribution partners to ensure they are used. We track and report on net use and malaria case data.
Malaria Consortium works in partnership with communities, health systems, government and non-government agencies, academic institutions and local and international organisations to ensure good evidence supports delivery of effective services. Together, we work to secure access for groups most at risk, to prevention, care and treatment of malaria and other communicable diseases.
Malaria No More is determined to end malaria deaths. A non-profit, non-governmental organization, Malaria No More makes high-yield investments of time and capital to speed progress, unlock resources, mobilize new assets and spur the world toward reaching this goal.
MMV, a not-for-profit public-private partnership, was established as a foundation in Switzerland in 1999. It is dedicated to reducing the burden of malaria in disease-endemic countries by discovering, developing and facilitating delivery of new, effective and affordable antimalarial drugs.
The RBM Partnership to End Malaria is the largest global platform for coordinated action towards a world free from malaria. It is comprised of over 500 partners - from community health worker groups and researchers developing new tools, to malaria-affected and donor countries, businesses and international organisations.
The Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Global Health Group believes global malaria eradication through regional elimination is possible within a generation. We develop innovative, strategic, and evidence-based solutions for countries and regions to eliminate malaria.
Join the winning team that will beat malaria. We have the tools and the momentum. Now we need you.
APLMA is an affiliation of Asian and Pacific heads of government formed to accelerate progress against malaria and to eliminate it in the region by 2030.
The primary objective of this publication is to give African malariologists the opportunity to know each other, exchange views, find out who is doing what and to envisage the possibilities for south-south collaboration in research.
PATH works to ensure that diagnostic tools to improve malaria case management and contribute to elimination are available and accessible to malaria endemic populations. We collaborate with partners to develop, evaluate, and commercialize highly sensitive tests to detect low-density infections and point-of-care tests for G6PD deficiency to guide treatment of patients with Plasmodium vivax.
Malaria Journal is aimed at the scientific community interested in malaria in its broadest sense. It is the only journal that publishes exclusively articles on malaria and, as such, it aims to bring together knowledge from the different specialties involved in this very broad discipline, from the bench to the bedside and to the field.
It’s a big job. But at PATH, we’re experienced. We’re passionate. We’re driven. We’re looking ahead to turn research into innovation and problems into plans. Because that’s what a path is—a way forward.
Malaria Top News Stories.
People with malaria often experience fever, chills, and flu-like illness. Left untreated, they may develop severe complications and die. In 2010 an estimated 216 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide and 655,000 people died, most (91%) in the African Region.
Welcome to DPDx, a Web site developed and maintained by CDC''s Division of Parasitic Diseases (DPD). Our goal is to use the Internet to strengthen diagnosis of parasitic diseases, both in the United States and abroad.
Malaria is a serious disease caused by a parasite. Infected mosquitoes spread it. Malaria is a major cause of death worldwide, but it is almost wiped out in the United States. The disease is mostly a problem in developing countries with warm climates. If you travel to these countries, you are at risk. There are four different types of malaria caused by four related parasites. The most deadly type occurs in Africa south of the Sahara Desert.
Controlling a disease as entrenched as malaria, which kills over one million people a year '' mostly young children in sub-Saharan Africa '' is an enormous challenge. New policies, strategies and solutions are urgently needed.
The World Malaria Report 2012 summarizes information received from 104 malaria-endemic countries and other sources, and updates the analyses presented in the 2011 report. It highlights the progress made towards the global malaria targets set for 2015 and describes current challenges for global malaria control and elimination.