Algae: Key Ingredient in Malaria Vaccine

Mayfield’s team injected the proteins they created from algae into mice. The mice then made antibodies, which blocked the production of the malaria parasite. The team then collaborated with UCSD School of Medicine professor Joseph Vinetz, who studies malaria.

Vinetz has mosquitoes that carry malaria as part of his research, and he injected the proteins Mayfield’s lab created into the mosquitoes. The proteins successfully blocked the malaria parasite from developing inside the mosquito.

via Algae: Key Ingredient in Malaria Vaccine.

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Spatial correlation between malaria cases and water-bodies in Anopheles sinensis dominated areas of Huang-Huai plain, China

Conclusions: The results revealed that distribution of water bodies is an important factor influencing theoccurrence and distribution of malaria cases in the An.sinensis areas, and implies that thescope and population within 60 m around water bodies are at risk and could be a targetedpopulation for case management of malaria.

via Spatial correlation between malaria cases and water-bodies in Anopheles sinensis dominated areas of Huang-Huai plain, China.


Parasites hint at antimalarial resistance in Africa – SciDev.Net

A team of researchers from Canada and the United Kingdom studied parasites from travellers who returned to Canada with malaria after trips abroad between April 2008 and January 2011.

They found that 11 of the 28 parasites grown in the laboratory had a mutation that made them resistant to artemether, one of the artemisinin group of antimalarials.

All 11 came from Africa (from Angola, Cameroon, Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania), the researchers reported last month (27 April) in Malaria Journal.

“We are seeing statistical evidence of resistance in the test tube,” author Sanjeev Krishna, a researcher at the University of London, United Kingdom, told SciDev.Net. “If this progresses, and becomes more severe and established, it is likely to cause resistance in terms of treatment failures.”

But it is still not clear whether resistance is already affecting treatment in the field.

“At the moment there is not evidence for these types of treatments failing in an important way in African countries, but we need to be alert,” said Krishna.

via Parasites hint at antimalarial resistance in Africa – SciDev.Net.


allAfrica.com: Rwanda: Liberalizing Import of Malaria Drugs Without Strict Rules Is Suicidal

Malaria is big business for pharmaceutical companies world-wide and counterfeiters also know this. In endemic countries such as Uganda where nearly 500 in every 100,000 people suffer from malaria annually, it is indeed big business and the temptation to make free money is quite big for any dubious person.

This therefore calls for strict control over manufacturing and importation of such drugs. In fact, considering the catastrophe that could befall countries when millions of people develop resistance to drugs and eventually die, it is time to classify malaria and its treatment as a security issue.

This means that countries take strategic interest in importation and/or manufacture of antimalarials just like it is done with ammunitions. Not anybody with some little money can import bullets and vend them on the streets because of the security dangers associated with that business.

via allAfrica.com: Rwanda: Liberalizing Import of Malaria Drugs Without Strict Rules Is Suicidal.


Raptor Pharmaceutical Licenses Intellectual Property Related to Malaria From McGill University – MarketWatch

Dr. Philippe Gros, Professor of Biochemistry at McGill, said, “The challenge for researchers developing malaria treatments has been the ongoing evolution of drug-resistant parasites that necessitate the search for new drug formulations. We were encouraged by the preclinical results so far that cysteamine and related compounds may serve to improve the effectiveness of artemisinin when the two compounds are used in combination.”

Dr. Patrice Rioux, Raptor’s Chief Medical Officer said, “The research done at McGill has indicated that cysteamine may have clinical utility in malaria. As malaria remains a difficult to treat disease, we feel this is an appropriate and exciting therapeutic area to extend our studies of cysteamine bitartrate. We look forward to a continued collaboration with the researchers at McGill, as well as other malaria clinical thought leaders, as we take the program forward.”

via Raptor Pharmaceutical Licenses Intellectual Property Related to Malaria From McGill University – MarketWatch.


Spread of Chagas Is Called ‘The New AIDS of the Americas’ – NYTimes.com

Tropical disease experts from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston argue that the dangerous spread of Chagas through this hemisphere somewhat resembles the early spread of H.I.V.

Chagas is also known as American trypanosomiasis, because the bugs carry single-celled parasites called trypanosomes. (Their best-known relative, spread by tsetse flies in Africa, causes sleeping sickness.)

Like AIDS, the authors say, Chagas disease has a long incubation time and is hard or impossible to cure. Chagas infects up to eight million people in the hemisphere, mostly in Bolivia, Mexico, Colombia and Central America. But more than 300,000 of the infected live in the United States, many of them immigrants.

via Spread of Chagas Is Called ‘The New AIDS of the Americas’ – NYTimes.com.


South Florida fears worst year for mosquitoes on record – Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Dr. Thomas Breaud, who monitors and studies the bugs in Orange County, said the population had been kept down because of a recent drought, but the situation could change rapidly.

He said, “A lot of times people will say we had a mild winter — this is ‘X’ therefore we’re going to have ‘Y’ and that’s not always the case. What I can tell you is a mild winter certainly didn’t help us.”

Breaud warned the mosquitoes could be carrying disease, including encephalitis and West Nile virus.

via South Florida fears worst year for mosquitoes on record – Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com.