Improving safety for antimalarial drugs | MMV

MMV and GSK are working with several organisations towards developing a rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for G6PD-deficiency, that should be affordable, requires little infrastructure and is suitable for use by staff with minimal training in remote tropical areas.

There are several challenges in developing a suitable RDT, including the need to obtain a stable read-out and the variation of apparent G6PD activity according to ambient temperature. The first difficulty arises because G6PD-deficient samples continue to generate product after a normal sample has exhausted all of its substrate. So a deficient sample may not give a stable “deficient” reading, but instead proceed to produce a false “normal” reading. Another difficulty arises because, like other enzymes, the activity of G6PD increases with temperature.  Performing a test a few degrees above the temperature used to calibrate the RDT can cause a sample with moderate G6PD-deficiency to exhibit a false “normal” level of activity.

via Improving safety for antimalarial drugs | MMV.

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CDC Releases Preliminary Mosquito Control Report | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Dallas County officials said they see no need for now for more aerial spraying to combat West Nile virus after receiving encouraging data Thursday about the first round of aerial spraying.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a 93 percent reduction in disease carrying mosquitoes in areas of the county that received two nights of aerial spraying earlier this month.

“The city of Dallas did the right thing,” Mayor Mike Rawlings said. “Mosquitoes were killed, no one was hurt by the spraying and, if we hadn’t executed this plan, we now have information that the growth in mosquito population would not have gone down on their own, but probably would have risen,” he said.

The preliminary report will be followed by much more detailed research. Dr. Janet McAllister, of the CDC, said trapping and testing mosquitoes must continue in Dallas County this summer, with more ground spraying likely.

via CDC Releases Preliminary Mosquito Control Report | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth.


1,590 West Nile Virus Infections And 66 Deaths, Says CDC

The CDC added that the numbers of reported cases of West Nile virus infections so far this year are the highest since 1999, when it was first detected in the USA. Texas accounts for 45% of all cases. Michigan, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, South Dakota and Texas account for 70%. The only states with no human infections so far are Alaska and Hawaii.

Dr. Lyle Petersen, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, said it is not possible to accurately predict what the total numbers will be for the whole of 2012. However based on reports that have come in so far, the CDC believes it will exceed the 2002-2003 record years when over 3,000 infections were reported and over 260 people died each year.

US public health authorities base their estimates on reports of neuroinvasive disease, because cases of West Nile fever (non-neuroinvasive disease) are commonly underreported.

via 1,590 West Nile Virus Infections And 66 Deaths, Says CDC.


CDC: West Nile cases rise 40 percent in 1 week – CBS News

West Nile virus cases are up 40 percent since last week and may rival the record years of 2002 and 2003, federal health officials said Wednesday.

So far this year, 1,590 cases of the mosquito-borne disease have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 66 deaths.

About half of the cases are serious illnesses, and the CDC considers those the best indicator of West Nile activity because many mild cases do not get reported and their symptoms may not even be recognized.

via CDC: West Nile cases rise 40 percent in 1 week – CBS News.


Mosquito control: Less money to fight West Nile virus – USATODAY.com

While no federal statistics exist, USA TODAY’s calls to selected mosquito abatement programs nationwide revealed a steady decrease in funding.

via Mosquito control: Less money to fight West Nile virus – USATODAY.com.


Malaria Journal | Abstract | Malaria control in South Africa 2000-2010: beyond MDG6

South Africa has made significant progress in controlling malaria transmission over the past decade; malaria cases declined by 89.41 % (63663 in 2000 vs 6741 in 2010) and deaths decreased by 85.4 % (453 vs 66) in the year 2000 compared to the year 2010. Coupled with this, malaria cases among children under five years of age have also declined by 93 % (6791 in 2000 vs 451 in 2010). This has resulted in South Africa achieving and exceeding the malaria target of the MDGs. A series of interventions have attributed to this decrease, these include: drug policy change from monotherapy to artemisinin combination therapy, insecticide change from pyrethroids back to DDT; cross border collaboration (South Africa with Mozambique and Swaziland through the Lubombo Spatial Development Initiative- LSDI) and financial investment in malaria control. The KwaZulu-Natal Province has seen the largest reduction in malaria cases and deaths (99.1 % cases- 41786 vs 380; and 98.5 % deaths 340 vs 5), when comparing the year 2000 with 2010. The Limpopo Province recorded the lowest reduction in malaria cases compared to the other malaria endemic provinces (56.1 % reduction- 9487 vs 4174; when comparing 2000 to 2010).

via Malaria Journal | Abstract | Malaria control in South Africa 2000-2010: beyond MDG6.


Massachusetts takes fresh steps against dangerous mosquitoes | Reuters

Massachusetts officials have raised the risk level from the dangerous Eastern equine encephalitis virus to “critical” in some towns and say the threat from mosquito-born illness is the highest in decades.

via Massachusetts takes fresh steps against dangerous mosquitoes | Reuters.