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Journal: Malaria journal


Anopheles arabiensis is a dominant vector of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, which feeds indoors and outdoors on human and other vertebrate hosts, making it a difficult species to control with existing control methods. Novel methods that reduce human-vector interactions are, therefore, required to improve the impact of vector control programmes. Investigating the mechanisms underlying the host discrimination process in An. arabiensis could provide valuable knowledge leading to the development of novel control technologies. In this study, a host census and blood meal analysis were conducted to determine the host selection behaviour of An. arabiensis. Since mosquitoes select and discriminate among hosts primarily using olfaction, the volatile headspace of the preferred non-human host and non-host species, were collected. Using combined gas chromatography and electroantennographic detection analysis followed by combined gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, the bioactive compounds in the headspace collections were identified. The efficiency of the identified non-host compounds to repel host-seeking malaria mosquitoes was tested under field conditions.

Concepts: Human, Malaria, Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Anopheles, Mosquito, Vector, Mosquito control


As successful malaria control programmes re-orientate towards elimination, the identification of transmission foci, targeting of attack measures to high-risk areas and management of importation risk become high priorities. When resources are limited and transmission is varying seasonally, approaches that can rapidly prioritize areas for surveillance and control can be valuable, and the most appropriate attack measure for a particular location is likely to differ depending on whether it exports or imports malaria infections.Methods/Results: Here, using the example of Namibia, a method for targeting of interventions using surveillance data, satellite imagery, and mobile phone call records to support elimination planning is described. One year of aggregated movement patterns for over a million people across Namibia are analyzed, and linked with case-based risk maps built on satellite imagery. By combining case-data and movement, the way human population movements connect transmission risk areas is demonstrated. Communities that were strongly connected by relatively higher levels of movement were then identified, and net export and import of travellers and infection risks by region were quantified. These maps can aid the design of targeted interventions to maximally reduce the number of cases exported to other regions while employing appropriate interventions to manage risk in places that import them.

Concepts: Integral, Risk management, Mobile phone, International trade, Export, Google Maps, Import


Malaria causes significant mortality and morbidity in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), especially among children less than five years of age (U5 children). Although the economic burden of malaria in this region has been assessed previously, the extent and variation of this burden remains unclear. This study aimed to estimate the economic costs of malaria in U5 children in three countries (Ghana, Tanzania and Kenya).

Concepts: Malaria, Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, Sahara, Malawi, West Africa, Niger-Congo languages


In the present study, Interceptor®, long-lasting polyester net, 75 denier and bursting strength of minimum 250 kPa coated with alpha-cypermethrin @ 200 mg/m² was evaluated for its efficacy in reducing the mosquito density, blood feeding inhibition and malaria incidence in a tribal dominated malaria endemic area in Chhattisgarh state, central India. Its durability, washing practices and usage pattern by the community was also assessed up to a period of three years.

Concepts: Present, Time, Malaria, Mosquito, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh


In areas of low malaria transmission, it is currently recommended that a single dose of primaquine (0.75 mg base/kg; 45 mg adult dose) be added to artemisinin combination treatment (ACT) in acute falciparum malaria to block malaria transmission. Review of studies of transmission-blocking activity based on the infectivity of patients or volunteers to anopheline mosquitoes, and of haemolytic toxicity in glucose 6-dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficient subjects, suggests that a lower primaquine dose (0.25 mg base/kg) would be safer and equally effective. This lower dose could be deployed together with ACTs without G6PD testing wherever use of a specific gametocytocide is indicated.

Concepts: Malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium, Plasmodium vivax, Anopheles, Apicomplexa, Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, Artemisinin


BACKGROUND: Antibody opsonization of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes (IE) plays a crucial role in anti-malarial immunity by promoting clearance of blood-stage infection by monocytes and macrophages. The effects of phagocytosis of opsonized IE on macrophage proinflammatory cytokine responses are poorly understood. METHODS: Phagocytic clearance, cytokine response and intracellular signalling were measured using IFN-gamma-primed human monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) incubated with opsonized and unopsonized trophozoite-stage CS2 IE, a chondroitin sulphate-binding malaria strain. Cytokine secretion was measured by bead array or ELISA, mRNA using quantitative PCR, and activation of NF-kappaB by Western blot and electrophoretic mobility shift assay. Data were analysed using the Mann-Whitney U test or the Wilcoxon signed rank test as appropriate. RESULTS: Unopsonized CS2 IE were not phagocytosed whereas IE opsonized with pooled patient immune serum (PPS) were (Phagocytic index (PI)=18.4, [SE 0.38] n=3). Unopsonized and opsonized IE induced expression of TNF, IL-1beta and IL-6 mRNA by MDM and activated NF- kappaB to a similar extent. Unopsonized IE induced secretion of IL-6 (median= 622 pg/ml [IQR=1,250-240], n=9) but no IL-1beta or TNF, whereas PPS-opsonized IE induced secretion of IL-1beta (18.6 pg/mL [34.2-14.4]) and TNF (113 pg/ml [421-17.0]) and increased IL-6 secretion (2,195 pg/ml [4,658-1,095]). Opsonized, but not unopsonized, CS2 IE activated caspase-1 cleavage and enzymatic activity in MDM showing that Fc receptor-mediated phagocytosis activates the inflammasome. MDM attached to IgG-coated surfaces however secreted IL-1beta in response to unopsonized IE, suggesting that internalization of IE is not absolutely required to activate the inflammasome and stimulate IL-1beta secretion. CONCLUSIONS: It is concluded that IL-6 secretion from MDM in response to CS2 IE does not require phagocytosis, whereas secretion of TNF and IL-1beta is dependent on Fcgamma receptor-mediated phagocytosis; for IL-1beta, this occurs by activation of the inflammasome. The data presented in this paper show that generating antibody responses to blood-stage malaria parasites is potentially beneficial both in reducing parasitaemia via Fcgamma receptor-dependent macrophage phagocytosis and in generating a robust pro-inflammatory response.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Antibody, Phagocytosis, Apoptosis, Mann–Whitney U, Non-parametric statistics, Opsonin


BACKGROUND: Indonesia has set 2030 as its deadline for elimination of malaria transmission in the archipelago, with regional deadlines established according to present levels of malaria endemicity and strength of health infrastructure. The Municipality of Sabang which historically had one of the highest levels of malaria in Aceh province aims to achieve elimination by the end of 2013. METHOD: From 2008 to 2010, baseline surveys of malaria interventions, mapping of all confirmed malaria cases, categorization of residual foci of malaria transmission and vector surveys were conducted in Sabang, Aceh, a pilot district for malaria elimination in Indonesia. To inform future elimination efforts, mass screening from the focal areas to measure prevalence of malaria with both microscopy and PCR was conducted. G6PD deficiency prevalence was also measured.Result: Despite its small size, a diverse mixture of potential malaria vectors were documented in Sabang, including Anopheles sundaicus, Anopheles minimus, Anopheles aconitus and Anopheles dirus. Over a two-year span, the number of sub-villages with ongoing malaria transmission reduced from 61 to 43. Coverage of malaria diagnosis and treatment, IRS, and LLINs was over 80%. Screening of 16,229 residents detected 19 positive people, for a point prevalence of 0.12%. Of the 19 positive cases, three symptomatic infections and five asymptomatic infections were detected with microscopy and 11 asymptomatic infections were detected with PCR. Of the 19 cases, seven were infected with Plasmodium falciparum, 11 were infected with Plasmodium vivax, and one subject was infected with both species. Analysis of the 937 blood samples for G6PD deficiency revealed two subjects (0.2%) with deficient G6PD. DISCUSSION: The interventions carried out by the government of Sabang have dramatically reduced the burden of malaria over the past seven years. The first phase, carried out between 2005 and 2007, included improved malaria diagnosis, introduction of ACT for treatment, and scale-up of coverage of IRS and LLINs. The second phase, from 2008 to 2010, was initiated to eliminate the persist residual transmission of malaria, consisted of development of a malaria database to ensure rapid case reporting and investigation, stratification of malaria foci to guide interventions, and active case detection to hunt symptomatic and asymptomatic malaria carriers.

Concepts: Malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium, Plasmodium vivax, Anopheles, Apicomplexa, Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, Aceh


BACKGROUND: The ultimate long-term goal of malaria eradication was recently placed back onto the global health agenda. When planning for this goal, it is important to remember why the original Global Malaria Eradication Programme (GMEP), conducted with DDT-based indoor residual spraying (IRS), did not achieve its goals. One of the technical reasons for the failure to eliminate malaria was over reliance on a single intervention and subsequently the mosquito vectors developed behavioural resistance so that they did not come into physical contact with the insecticide.Hypothesis and how to test it: Currently, there remains a monolithic reliance on indoor vector control. It is hypothesized that an outcome of long-term, widespread control is that vector populations will change over time, either in the form of physiological resistance, changes in the relative species composition or behavioural resistance. The potential for, and consequences of, behavioural resistance was explored by reviewing the literature regarding vector behaviour in the southwest Pacific. DISCUSSION: Here, two of the primary vectors that were highly endophagic, Anopheles punctulatus and Anopheles koliensis, virtually disappeared from large areas where DDT was sprayed. However, high levels of transmission have been maintained by Anopheles farauti, which altered its behaviour to blood-feed early in the evening and outdoors and, thereby, avoiding exposure to the insecticides used in IRS. This example indicates that the efficacy of programmes relying on indoor vector control (IRS and long-lasting, insecticide-treated nets [LLINs]) will be significantly reduced if the vectors change their behaviour to avoid entering houses. CONCLUSIONS: Behavioural resistance is less frequently seen compared with physiological resistance (where the mosquito contacts the insecticide but is not killed), but is potentially more challenging to control programmes because the intervention effectiveness cannot be restored by rotating the insecticide to one with a different mode of action. The scientific community needs to urgently develop systematic methods for monitoring behavioural resistance and then to work in collaboration with vector control programmes to implement monitoring in sentinel sites. In situations where behavioural resistance is detected, there will be a need to target other bionomic vulnerabilities that may exist in the larval stages, during mating, sugar feeding or another aspect of the life cycle of the vector to continue the drive towards elimination.

Concepts: Psychology, Malaria, Anopheles, Mosquito, Behavior, Human behavior, Vector Motors, DDT


BACKGROUND: Despite the extensive ownership and use of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) over the last decade, the effective lifespan of these nets, especially their physical integrity, under true operational conditions is not well-understood. Usefulness of nets declines primarily due to physical damage or loss of insecticidal activity. METHODS: A community based cross-sectional survey was used to determine the physical condition and to identify predictors of poor physical condition for bed nets owned by individuals from communities in Kwale County, coastal Kenya. A proportionate hole index (pHI) was used as a standard measure, and the cut-offs for an ‘effective net’ (offer substantial protection against mosquito bites) and ‘ineffective nets’ (offer little or no protection against mosquito bites) were determined (pHI <= 88 (about <= 500 cm2 of holes surface area) and pHI of >88 (>=500 cm2 of holes surface area), respectively). RESULTS: The vast majority (78%) of the surveyed nets had some holes. The median pHI was 92 (range: 1–2,980). Overall, half of the nets were categorized as ‘effective nets’ or ‘serviceable nets’. Physical deterioration of nets was associated with higher use and washing frequency. Young children and older children were found to use ineffective bed nets significantly more often than infants, while the physical integrity of nets owned by pregnant women was similar to those owned by infants. Estuarine environment inhabitants owned nets with the worst physical condition, while nets owned by the coastal slope inhabitants were in fairly good physical condition. The results suggest that bed nets are optimally utilized when they are new and physically intact. Thereafter, bed net utilization decreases gradually with increasing physical deterioration, with most net owners withdrawing physically damaged nets from routine use.This withdrawal commonly happens following 1.5 years of use, making bed net use the most important predictor of physical integrity. On average, the nets were washed twice within six months prior to the survey. Washing frequency was significantly influenced by the bed net colour and bed net age. Lack of knowledge on reasons for net retreatment and the retreatment procedure was evident, while net repair was minimal and did not seem to improve the physical condition of the nets. The “catch-up” bed net distribution strategies are sufficient for ensuring adequate ownership and utilization of ‘effective nets’ in the targeted groups, but bi-annual mass distribution is necessary to provide similar ownership and utilization for the other groups not targeted by “catch-up” strategies. CONCLUSIONS: Monitoring and maintenance strategies that will deliver locally appropriate education messages on net washing and repair will enhance the effectiveness of malaria control programmes, and further research to assess ineffective nets need is needed.

Concepts: Malaria, Mosquito, Yellow fever, .NET Framework, Area, Insect repellent, Mosquito net


BACKGROUND: The goal of malaria elimination necessitates an improved understanding of any fine-scale geographic variations in transmission risk so that complementary vector control tools can be integrated into current vector control programmes as supplementary measures that are spatially targeted to maximize impact upon residual transmission. This study examines the distribution of host-seeking malaria vectors at households within two villages in rural Tanzania. METHODS: Host-seeking mosquitoes were sampled from 72 randomly selected households in two villages on a monthly basis throughout 2008 using CDC light-traps placed beside occupied nets. Spatial autocorrelation in the dataset was examined using the Moran’s I statistic and the location of any clusters was identified using the Getis-Ord Gi* statistic. Statistical associations between the household characteristics and clusters of mosquitoes were assessed using a generalized linear model for each species. RESULTS: For both Anopheles gambiae sensu lato and Anopheles funestus, the density of host-seeking females was spatially autocorrelated, or clustered. For both species, houses with low densities were clustered in the semi-urban village centre while houses with high densities were clustered in the periphery of the villages. Clusters of houses with low or high densities of An. gambiae s.l. were influenced by the number of residents in nearby houses. The occurrence of high-density clusters of An. gambiae s.l. was associated with lower elevations while An. funestus was also associated with higher elevations. Distance from the village centre was also positively correlated with the number of household occupants and having houses constructed with open eaves. CONCLUSION: The results of the current study highlight that complementary vector control tools could be most effectively targeted to the periphery of villages where the households potentially have a higher hazard (mosquito densities) and vulnerability (open eaves and larger households) to malaria infection.

Concepts: Statistics, Malaria, Anopheles, Mosquito, Yellow fever, Vector, Mosquito control, Anopheles gambiae