Posts or Comments 20 April 2021

Antenatal Care (ANC) &IPTp &Malaria in Pregnancy Bill Brieger | 16 Nov 2020

Achieving antenatal care attendance and intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy in Geita, Tanzania

Ryan Lash and colleagues examined factors associated with achieving antenatal care (ANC) attendance and intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) and made recommendations in Geita Region, Tanzania, 2019. There findings are being presented at the virtual 69th Annual Meeting of American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Malaria in pregnancy results in an estimated 10,000 maternal and 100,000 infant deaths globally each year. To reduce this burden, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends pregnant women in high to moderate malaria transmission areas receive at least 3 doses of intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp3) with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) starting in the second trimester as part of routine antenatal care (ANC). Tanzania has national coverage goals of 80% coverage for women receiving IPTp3 and at least four ANC visits (ANC4).

We surveyed women 15-49 years who had given birth in the last 12 months from randomly selected households across 40 communities in Geita Region, Tanzania. ANC attendance and IPTp uptake was recorded from respondent ANC cards if available, or self-reported. Predictors of ANC4 and IPT3 uptake were identified using logistic regression modeling, accounting for clustering and controlling for gravidity.

Of 1,111 women surveyed, 505 (51.9%) received IPTp3 and 472 (43.4%) achieved ANC4. Among women who achieved ANC4, 295 (62.5%) received IPTp3. IPTp3 was associated with basic knowledge about ANC and IPTp (aOR 2.4, CI 1.9 -3.1), initiating ANC <20 weeks (aOR 1.7, CI 1.3-2.3), waiting at the facility for <120 minutes (aOR 1.4, CI 1.1-1.9), and receiving advice from a health worker about SP (aOR 1.7, CI 1.3-2.2).

ANC4 was associated with better access to care (aOR 1.9, CI 1.3-2.8, for travelling <3.75 km to ANC and aOR 1.9, CI 1.1-2.2, for waiting <90 minutes for the provider), initiating ANC at <20 weeks gestation (aOR 10.7, CI 8.2-14.1), and basic knowledge about ANC and IPTp (aOR 1.4, CI 1.0-1.9). Poor access to care and late initiation of ANC reduced the likelihood that women will attend 4 ANC visits. Knowledge was a predictor of both ANC attendance and IPTp uptake; increasing women’s health literacy may overcome some of the barriers associated with retention in ANC.

New approaches to delivering ANC that focus on improving knowledge and the experience of care among ANC clients could help close coverage gaps for ANC4 and IPTp3 in Tanzania

Authors and Affiliations

R. Ryan Lash(1), Ruth Lemwayi(2), Melkior Assenga(2), Alen Kinyina(2), Annette Almeida(2), Samwel L. Nhiga(3), Lia Florey(4), Chonge Kitojo(5), Erik Reaves(6), Miriam Kombe(5), Ally Mohamed(3), Japhet Simeo(7), Stephanie Suhowatsky(8), Mary Drake(2), Julie Gutman(1) 1.US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, United States, 2.Jhpiego Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, United Republic of, 3.National Malaria Control Program, Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, United Republic of, 4.US Agency for International Development, Washington, DC, United States, 5.US President’s Malaria Initiative / US Agency for International Development Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, United Republic of, 6.US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / US President’s Malaria Initiative Tanzania, Atlanta, GA, United States, 7.Regional Medical Office, Geita, Geita, Tanzania, United Republic of, 8.Jhpiego, Baltimore, MD, United States

Communication &Health Workers &IPTp &ITNs &Malaria in Pregnancy Bill Brieger | 16 Nov 2020

Provider Communication about IPTp and ITNs for Pregnant Women in Tanzania

Courtney Emerson and co-workers address the issues of Intermittent Preventive Treatment of Malaria with Sulfadoxine Pyrimethamine and Provision of Insecticide Treated Nets in Geita, Tanzania: Provider Communication and Opportunities at the virtual 69th Annual Meeting of American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. See their findings below.

Intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy (IPTp) with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) is a life-saving intervention to reduce morbidity and mortality among pregnant women and their infants. Additionally, provision and use of insecticide treated nets (ITNs) to prevent malaria is critical to improving pregnancy outcomes.

To assess implementation of malaria in pregnancy services and related health communications, we surveyed 1111 women who had delivered a live born infant in the preceding 12 months (recently pregnant women), as well as 1194 adults from randomly selected households without a recently pregnant woman in Geita Region, Tanzania in 2019. Most (88.2%) recently pregnant women reported receiving any IPTp dose; 45.5% received 3 doses. 72.3% of women received their first dose in the second trimester, as recommended by national guidelines, but only 14.4% received IPTp in the 4th month; 20.3% of women did not receive IPTp until third trimester.

There was a significant difference between ITN ownership and use among households (HH) with and without a recent pregnancy: ownership of at least one net was 95.2% vs 87.9%, respectively (p<0.0001), and use was 90% vs 77.8%, respectively (p<.0001). Despite this, few HHs had enough ITNs to cover all residents; on average, HHs had 1 ITN for every 3 rather than every 2 people, as recommended. Notably, only 21.2% and 26.2% of HH with and without a recent pregnancy had sufficient ITNS (p=0.005), despite 87.3% of recently pregnant women receiving an ITN during their last pregnancy.

Of recently pregnant women, 87% received advice on preventing malaria from a health worker. Of these, 82.7% were advised to sleep under an ITN, but only 66.4% were advised to take SP, and 52.1% to attend ANC regularly. Although uptake of any IPTp was high, there are critical messages that need to be more consistently communicated to pregnant women by ANC providers including the importance of attending ANC regularly during pregnancy. To improve outcomes among pregnant women, additional net distribution may be warranted due to the unexpectedly low access.

Authors and Affiliations

Courtney Nicole Emerson(1), Ryan Lash(1), Ruth Lemwayi(2), Melkior Assenga(2), Alen Kinyina(2), Annette Almeida(2), Samwel L. Nhiga(3), Lia Florey(4), Chonge Kitojo(5), Erik Reaves(6), Miriam Kombe(5), Peter Winch(7), Stephanie Suhowatsky(7), Mary Drake(2), Julie Gutman(1) 1.US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, United States, 2.Jhpiego, Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania, 3.National Malaria Control Program, Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania, 4.US Agency for International Development (USAID), Washington DC, DC, United States, 5.US Agency for International Development (USAID), Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania, 6.US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania, 7.Jhpiego, Baltimore, MD, United States

 

IPTp &ITNs &Malaria in Pregnancy Bill Brieger | 16 Nov 2020

Scoping Review of the Key Determinants and Indicators of Malaria in Pregnancy, Madagascar (2010-2019)

This year the 69th Annual Meeting of American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene is virtual.  Catherine Dentinger and colleagues (see authors below) gathered information to guide partner planning to combat malaria in pregnancy in Madagascar. Here are their findings.

Malaria in pregnancy (MIP) increases the risk of poor maternal and infant outcomes; to prevent this, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends insecticide-treated net (ITN) use, intermittent preventive treatment during pregnancy (IPTp) with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP), and prompt case management. In Madagascar, IPTp uptake remains low; 10% of targeted women receive 3 doses.

To determine if additional data are needed to improve MIP activities, we conducted a scoping review to identify barriers to antenatal care (ANC) and IPTp uptake. We searched PubMed, Google Scholar and USAID’s files (Development Experience Catalog) using the terms “Madagascar” and “pregnancy” and “malaria” and collected materials from stakeholders. We included English and French documents from 2010 to 2019 with quantitative or qualitative data regarding malaria during pregnancy.

Documents were reviewed and categorized as MIP background information, care seeking, and facility readiness. Of 69 project reports, surveys and published articles, 15 (22%) met the inclusion criteria; 4 (27%) were categorized as care seeking, 4 (27%) as background, and 7 (47%) as facility readiness.

Eight (53%) articles mentioned SP stock outs, 3 (20%) mentioned poor provider knowledge of IPTp guidelines despite recent training, and 5 (33%) discussed barriers to ANC including distance, wait times, poor service quality, cost, and unfriendly providers. One study found only 30% of targeted health workers received recommended supervision.  A 2015 survey of 52 health facilities revealed limited access to ANC due to financial and geographic barriers; 2018 surveys revealed similar findings. Self-treatment and care-seeking delays were reported even when distance was not a barrier.

Our review revealed well-documented barriers to MIP services that could be mitigated by reducing stock outs, improving access to healthcare by removing fees and providing services closer to women’s homes, and targeted behavior change. These findings can be used to guide coordinated donor and government efforts to address management, financial, and human resource gaps to improve MIP services.

Authors and Affiliations

Catherine Dentinger(1), Natasha Hansen(2), Susan Youll(2), Annett Cotte(1), Mary Lindsay(3), Chiarella Matten(4), Vololoniala Aimee Ravaoarinosy(5). 1.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, United States, States, 3.US Agency for International Development, Washington, DC, United States, 4.Institut Pasteur de Madagascar, Antananarivo, Madagascar, 5.National Malaria Control Program, Antananarivo, Madagascar 2.US Agency for International  Development, Washington DC, DC, United States

Economics &Indoor Residual Spraying &IRS Bill Brieger | 16 Nov 2020

Epidemiological and Projected Economical Impact of Indoor Residual Spraying in Ngoma District, Rwanda

This year the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene is virtual. We will feature some of the abstracts over the coming week. Our first selection from the 69th meeting is a study from Rwanda on indoor residual spraying by Michee S. Kabera (see author list and affiliations at end) wherein we learn about the benefits of averting malaria cases.

IRS in Ngoma District

Malaria remains a major public health problem and is among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in Rwanda. Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) is a core vector control intervention in Rwanda that supplement Insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs). Ngoma district is located in Eastern province of Rwanda bordering with Burundi in South. The first IRS round was conducted in the above district in April 2019 (before the high peak season of May-June) with the support of the Government of Rwanda and The Global Funds.

The IRS coverage rate was 98.9% with a protected population of 357,058 using “Pirimiphos methyl 300 CS. Using RHMIS, we compared malaria cases respectively reported for a period of 12 months before IRS (April 2018 to March 2019) and after IRS (April 2019 to March 2020). The total number of uncomplicated malaria cases was significantly dropped down by 82%, from 581,742 before IRS to 105,120 cases after IRS. The incidence per 1000 inhabitants decreased from 1,502 to 265 respectively.

Moreover, the inpatient cases also significantly decreased by 87.7%, from 1037 before IRS to 170 cases after IRS. The cost of conducting IRS in Ngoma district was USD 2,104,007 including both the cost for Insecticides and operation. The invested cost per averted malaria case was USD 4.4. Using the minimum average cost of USD 8.6 for treating an episode of the disease including direct cost and the opportunity costs of travel and waiting time (1,2); the total benefit due to averted malaria cases is estimated to USD 4,132,313.

Applying the average cost for inpatient malaria case which is estimated to USD US$60.44 (4), the benefit due to the averted malaria inpatient cases is equal to USD 52,401. The total benefit for averted outpatients and inpatients is estimated to USD 4,184,714. In conclusion, there was a significant decrease of out and inpatient malaria cases just one year after IRS in Ngoma district.

Furthermore, if we compare the IRS expenditures and the benefits related to the averted malaria cases, there was an important cost benefit. We expect more economic impact as malaria cases may continue to decrease.

Authors and Affiliations

Michee S. Kabera(1), Noella Noella(2), Emmanuel Hakizimana(1), Dunia Munyakanage(1), Jean Louis Mangala(1), Kaendi Munguti(3), Aimable Mbituyumuremyi(1) 1.Rwanda Biomedical Center, Kigali, Rwanda, 2.JHPIEGO, Kigali, Rwanda, 3.President’s Malaria Initiative, Kigali, Rwanda

Anemia &Diagnosis &Elimination &Epidemiology &Genetics &Integrated Vector Management &IPTp &Malaria in Pregnancy &Plasmodium knowlesi Bill Brieger | 26 Oct 2020

Malaria News Today 2020-10-26: Haiti, India, Malaysia, Cape Verde

Recent news and abstracts explore malaria on three continents. Genetic aspects of malaria are studied in Haiti as well in Malaysia. Use of fish to control malaria carrying mosquitoes are successful in India. The movement toward malaria elimination is examined in Cape Verde. Finally, Non-invasive diagnostic tests are recognized/rewarded by NIH. Read more by following the links below.

NIH Awards Prize to Hemex Health’s Non-Invasive Sickle Cell, Malaria, Anemia Rapid Test (“SMART”) Diagnostic Technology

Researchers from Hemex Health, Medtronic plc, Case Western Reserve University, and the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s International Foundation Against Infectious Disease in Nigeria (IFAIN) were awarded 3rd place and $100,000 in the NIH Technology Accelerator Challenge.  Code named, SMART (Sickle, Malaria, Anemia, Rapid Test), the system includes non-invasive diagnostics for sickle cell, malaria, and anemia. The project seeks to build on Hemex Health’s Gazelle® platform, which currently includes minimally invasive tests (using a drop of blood) for malaria, the detection and quantification of hemoglobin variants, as well as for total hemoglobin for anemia determination.

The non-invasive test will screen for anemia, malaria, and sickle cell disease using an optical finger sensor similar to the way blood oxygen is measured. An advantage of combining the non-invasive and minimally invasive diagnostics is, when needed, more diagnostic information and confirmation is available on the same platform. The goal is a one-minute, $0.25 non-invasive malaria, sickle cell, and anemia test. “The world desperately needs easy-to-use diagnostic technologies with the flexibility needed to meet viruses and diseases in every corner of the planet,” said Ms. White.

Controlling Mosquitoes: Ramanathapuram district inches closer to malaria-free status

Steps taken by the Ramanathapuram district administration to control mosquito breeding for the last five years has enableed the district inch closer to being declared a ‘malaria-free district, with only one malarial fever case having been reported till September, this year. Last year, the district reported 43 cases.

One of the initiatives is to bring guppy fish from the Ayyankulam tank in Tiruvannamalai district and let them into all wells and tanks of the districts in 3:1 ratio (3 familes/one male). The fish thrives, eating the mosquito larvae and eggs and the incidence of malaria came down in the district.

Updates on malaria epidemiology and profile in Cabo Verde from 2010 to 2019: the goal of elimination

Located in West Africa, Cabo Verde is an archipelago consisting of nine inhabited islands. Malaria has been endemic since the settlement of the islands during the sixteenth century and is poised to achieve malaria elimination in January 2021. The aim of this research is to characterize the trends in malaria cases from 2010 to 2019 in Cabo Verde as the country transitions from endemic transmission to elimination and prevention of reintroduction phases. All confirmed malaria cases reported to the Ministry of Health between 2010 and 2019 were extracted from the passive malaria surveillance system.

A total of 814 incident malaria cases were reported in the country between 2010 and 2019, the majority of which were Plasmodium falciparum. Cabo Verde has made substantial gains in reducing malaria burden in the country over the past decade and are poised to achieve elimination in 2021. However, the high mobility between the islands and continental Africa, where malaria is still highly endemic, means there is a constant risk of malaria reintroduction. Characterization of imported cases provides useful insight for programme and enables better evidence-based decision-making to ensure malaria elimination can be sustained.

Genetic analysis reveals unique characteristics of Plasmodium falciparum parasite populations in Haiti

With increasing interest in eliminating malaria from the Caribbean region, Haiti is one of the two countries on the island of Hispaniola with continued malaria transmission. While the Haitian population remains at risk for malaria, there are a limited number of cases annually, making conventional epidemiological measures such as case incidence and prevalence of potentially limited value for fine-scale resolution of transmission patterns and trends. In this context, genetic signatures may be useful for the identification and characterization of the Plasmodium falciparum parasite population in order to identify foci of transmission, detect outbreaks, and track parasite movement to potentially inform malaria control and elimination strategies.

This study evaluated the genetic signals based on analysis of 21 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 462 monogenomic (single-genome) P. falciparum DNA samples extracted from dried blood spots collected from malaria-positive patients reporting to health facilities in three southwestern Haitian departments (Nippes, Grand’Anse, and Sud) in 2016.

437 of the 462 samples shared high levels of genetic similarity–at least 20 of 21 SNPS–with at least one other sample in the dataset. These results revealed patterns of relatedness suggestive of the repeated recombination of a limited number of founding parasite types without significant outcrossing. These genetic signals offer clues to the underlying relatedness of parasite populations and may be useful for the identification of the foci of transmission and tracking of parasite movement in Haiti for malaria elimination.

Epidemiology of malaria among pregnant women during their first antenatal clinic visit in the middle belt of Ghana

A total of 1655 pregnant Ghanaian women aged 18 years and above with a gestational age of 13–22 weeks, who attended an antenatal care (ANC) clinic for the first time, were consented and enrolled into the study. A structured questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic and obstetric data and information on use of malaria preventive measures. Venous blood (2 mL) was collected before sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine administration. Malaria parasitaemia and haemoglobin concentration were determined using microscopy and an automated haematology analyser, respectively.

One out of five pregnant women attending their first ANC clinic visit in an area of perennial malaria transmission in the middle belt of Ghana had Plasmodium falciparum infection. Age???25 years, multigravid, educated to high school level or above, and in household with higher socio-economic status were associated with a lower risk of malaria parasitaemia. Majority of the infections were below 1000 parasites/µL and with associated anaemia. There is a need to strengthen existing malaria prevention strategies to prevent unfavourable maternal and fetal birth outcomes in this population.

Genetic diversity of circumsporozoite protein in Plasmodium knowlesi isolates from Malaysian Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia

Understanding the genetic diversity of candidate genes for malaria vaccines such as circumsporozoite protein (csp) may enhance the development of vaccines for treating Plasmodium knowlesi. Hence, the aim of this study is to investigate the genetic diversity of non-repeat regions of csp in P. knowlesi from Malaysian Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia.
The phylogenetic analysis revealed indistinguishable clusters of P. knowlesi isolates across different geographic regions, including Malaysian Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia.

The csp non-repeat regions are relatively conserved and there is no distinct cluster of P. knowlesi isolates from Malaysian Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia. Distinctive variation data obtained in the C-terminal non-repeat region of csp could be beneficial for the design and development of vaccines to treat P. knowlesi.

Advocacy &COVID-19 &Insecticide &Mosquitoes &poverty &Resistance &Severe Malaria Bill Brieger | 22 Oct 2020

Malaria News Today 2020-10-22

The search for adjunctive therapy to aid in recovery from cerebral malaria is explored in Malaria Journal. A faster acting crystalline form of an insecticide is studied. In Nigeria the National Malaria Elimination Program advocates for equal footing with COVID-19 action. Links to full stories and abstracts are found below.

Dimethyl fumarate reduces TNF and Plasmodium falciparum induced brain endothelium activation in vitro

Neida K. Mita-Mendoza, and colleagues studied Cerebral malaria (CM) which is associated with morbidity and mortality despite the use of potent anti-malarial agents. Brain endothelial cell activation and dysfunction from oxidative and inflammatory host responses and products released by Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes (IE), are likely the major contributors to the encephalopathy, seizures, and brain swelling that are associated with CM. The development of adjunctive therapy to reduce the pathological consequences of host response pathways could improve outcomes.

To accurately reflect clinically relevant parasite biology a unique panel of parasite isolates derived from patients with stringently defined CM was developed. The effect of TNF and these parasite lines on primary human brain microvascular endothelial cell (HBMVEC) activation in an in vitro co-culture model was tested. HBMVEC activation was measured by cellular release of IL6 and nuclear translocation of NF?B. The transcriptional and functional effects of dimethyl fumarate (DMF), an FDA approved drug which induces the NRF2 pathway, on host and parasite induced HBMVEC activation was characterized. In addition, the effect of DMF on parasite binding to TNF stimulated HBMVEC in a semi-static binding assay was examined.

The findings provide evidence that targeting the nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 ( NRF2) pathway in tumour necrosis factor (TNF) and parasite activated human brain microvascular endothelial cell (HBMVEC) mediates multiple protective pathways and may represent a novel adjunctive therapy to improve infection outcomes in CM.

Fast-acting insecticide polymorph could boost malaria-control efforts

Chemistry World reports on a faster-acting version of a common insecticide could boost malaria control efforts. The new crystalline form of deltamethrin is absorbed by mosquitoes 12 times faster than commercial forms and could help to limit malaria transmission despite growing rates of insecticide resistance.

Microcystals of contact insecticides like deltamethrin are crucial ingredients in indoor sprays and treated bed nets used to combat malaria-spreading mosquitoes. But many mosquito populations are developing resistance to these compounds, which is harming efforts to control the disease.

Treat Malaria as National Health Emergency, NEMP tells Federal Government

The Coordinator of National Malaria Elimination Programme (NEMP), has asked the federal government to tackle malaria as a national health emergency in the same manner COVID-19 pandemic is being handled. Against the background of increasing poverty in the country, Civil Society in Malaria Control, Immunisation and Nutrition (ACOMIN) has said there is a direct linkage between malaria scourge and the level of poverty in communities.

Speaking at a meeting with the civil society group involved in anti malaria advocacy, Coordinator of NEMP, said the current level of funding of the health sector by government is unacceptably low.

Case Management &Children &Efficacy &Household &Plasmodium/Parasite &Severe Malaria &Transfusion Bill Brieger | 21 Oct 2020

Malaria News Today 2020-10-21: perspectives on falciparum, transfusion issues, drug effectiveness

Ironically, blood transfusion helps with severe malaria, but can be dangerous in mild cases. And with severe malaria delay in treatment is a major risk. Malaria parasites can be surprisingly diverse, even in one home. Health system performance, drug quality and patient adherence are key factors in the effectiveness of anti-malarials. Read more on each article or abstract in the links provided.

The impact of delayed treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria on progression to severe malaria

Mousa A et al. conducted a systematic review and a pooled multicentre individual-patient meta-analysis in PLoS Medicine. Despite the reported association of delay in receiving treatment for uncomplicated malaria (UM) with an increased risk of developing severe malaria (SM), access to treatment remains low in most high-burden areas. Researchers performed a pooled individual-participant meta-analysis with the aim to ascertain the correlation between treatment delay and presenting with SM using Ovid MEDLINE and Embas.

Findings revealed significantly higher risk of severe disease in children and adults who had longer delays from symptom onset to treatment-seeking; this relationship was noted to be the strongest for progression to severe malarial anaemia. Per estimates, nearly half of the severe anaemia cases in both children and adults could be averted if they presented within the first 24 hours of symptom onset.

Malaria parasites in Nigeria are genetically diverse: a danger but also a useful tool

Segun Isaac Oyedeji notes that his team’s research has already confirmed that in malaria-endemic countries such as Nigeria, infected individuals carry P. falciparum parasites that are genetically complex or diverse. What we didn’t know was how diverse the parasites are in the micro environment, such as within households and among children of the same family.

Oyedeji thought that knowing the population structure within households could help us understand more about the pattern and development of the disease. It could also inform development of appropriate guidelines and control measures. He found that even in the micro environment, P. falciparum parasites exhibit high genetic diversity. This finding was similar to results from larger communities in malaria endemic regions and has the same important implications. The implication is that a one-size fits all intervention or approach against the parasites may not be effective. There were children living under the same roof and infected by parasites that were genetically different.

New evidence to guide the practice of blood transfusions in children with severe malaria

The Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) described a new study that shows that transfusions could help increase survival, even at higher haemoglobin levels than those currently recommended. The results show that blood transfusion increased the survival of patients with severe disease.

In cases with complications, such as impaired consciousness or elevated lactate in blood, transfusion improved survival even in children whose levels of haemoglobin were higher the recommended threshold of 60g /l. For example, among patients with impaired consciousness, the authors observed improved survival upon transfusion with haemoglobin levels as high as 105 g / l. However, in the case of mild cases, transfusion was associated with an increase in mortality.

Global estimation of anti-malarial drug effectiveness for the treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria 1991–2019

Giulia Rathmes and colleagues note that anti-malarial drugs play a critical role in reducing malaria morbidity and mortality, but their role is mediated by their effectiveness. Effectiveness is defined as the probability that an anti-malarial drug will successfully treat an individual infected with malaria parasites under routine health care delivery system. Anti-malarial drug effectiveness (AmE) is influenced by drug resistance, drug quality, health system quality, and patient adherence to drug use; its influence on malaria burden varies through space and time. This study used data from 232 efficacy trials.

The global effectiveness of artemisinin-based drugs was 67.4% (IQR: 33.3–75.8), 70.1% (43.6–76.0) and 71.8% (46.9–76.4) for the 1991–2000, 2006–2010, and 2016–2019 periods, respectively. The use of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) with a competent partner drug and having multiple ACT as first-line treatment choice sustained high levels of effectiveness. High levels of access to healthcare, human resource capacity, education, and proximity to cities were associated with increased effectiveness. Effectiveness of non-artemisinin-based drugs was much lower than that of artemisinin-based.

This study provides evidence that health system performance, drug quality and patient adherence influence the effectiveness of anti-malarials used in treating uncomplicated falciparum malaria. These results provide guidance to countries’ treatment practices and are critical inputs for malaria prevalence and incidence models used to estimate national level malaria burden.

Asymptomatic &Children &coinfection &IPTp &ITNs &Malaria in Pregnancy &Plasmodium/Parasite &Reproductive Health &Schools &Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention Bill Brieger | 15 Oct 2020

Malaria News Today 2020-10-15

Recent publications in Malaria Journal, The Lancet and eLife tackle several challenges to saving lives and malaria elimination. Problems include low access to bednets for children in Ethiopia, high prevalence of asymptomatic malaria in Ghanaian adults, risk of co-infection with other infectious diseases, and gaps in current interventions to prevent malaria in pregnancy and children. On the hopeful side, new targets for drug therapy are being identified. Read more on each by following the links below.

Long-lasting insecticide-treated bed net ownership, utilization and associated factors among school-age children in Southern Ethiopia

Zerihun Zerdo and colleagues examined net use among children in malaria-prone areas of

Dara Mallo and Uba Debretsehay districts because malaria is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality among school-age children (SAC) in sub-Saharan Africa. This study was part of a baseline assessment in a cluster-randomized controlled trial.

The ownership of at least one LLIN by households of school-aged children (SAC) was about 19.3% (95% CI 17.7–21.0%) but only 10.3% % (95% CI 7.7–13.7%) of these households had adequate access of bed nets to the household members. Ownership of bed net was lower than universal coverage of at least one bed net for two individuals. It is important to monitor replacement needs and educate mothers with low education level with their SAC on the benefit of consistent utilization of bed nets.

Prevalence of and risk factors for Plasmodium spp. co-infection with hepatitis B virus: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Kotepui and Kotepui observed that Plasmodium spp. and hepatitis B virus (HBV) are among the most common infectious diseases in underdeveloped countries. Therefore they examined co-infection in people living in endemic areas of both diseases. The PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus databases were searched. Observational cross-sectional studies and retrospective studies assessing the prevalence of Plasmodium species and HBV co-infection were examined. and found 22 studies to include in a systematic review and meta-analysis. Overall, the pooled prevalence estimate of Plasmodium spp. and HBV co-infection was 6% (95% CI 4–7%, Cochran’s Q statistic?<?0.001, I2: 95.8%).

No difference in age or gender and risk of Plasmodium spp. and HBV co-infection group was found. The present study revealed the prevalence of Plasmodium spp. and HBV co-infection, which will help in understanding co-infection and designing treatment strategies. Future studies assessing the interaction between Plasmodium spp. and HBV are recommended.

High prevalence of asymptomatic malaria infections in adults, Ashanti Region, Ghana, 2018

Melina Heinemann and co-researchers noted that Ghana is among the high-burden countries for malaria infections and recently reported a notable increase in malaria cases. While asymptomatic parasitaemia is increasingly recognized as a hurdle for malaria elimination, studies on asymptomatic malaria are scarce, and usually focus on children and on non-falciparum species. Therefore asymptomatic adult residents from five villages in the Ashanti Region, Ghana, were screened for Plasmodium species by rapid diagnostic test (RDT) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) during the rainy season. Samples tested positive were subtyped using species-specific real-time PCR.

Molecular prevalence of asymptomatic Plasmodium infection was 284/391 (73%); only 126 (32%) infections were detected by RDT. While 266 (68%) participants were infected with Plasmodium falciparum, 33 (8%) were infected with Plasmodium malariae and 34 (9%) with P. ovale. The sub-species P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri were identified to similar proportions. Non-falciparum infections usually presented as mixed infections with P. falciparum.

Most adult residents in the Ghanaian forest zone are asymptomatic Plasmodium carriers. The high Plasmodium prevalence not detected by RDT in adults highlights that malaria eradication efforts must target all members of the population. Beneath Plasmodium falciparum, screening and treatment must also include infections with P. malariae, P. o. curtisi and P. o. wallikeri.

Scientists shed new light on mechanisms of malaria parasite motility

eLife reports a new insight on the molecular mechanisms that allow malaria parasites to move and spread disease within their hosts has just been published. The first X-ray structures of the molecular complex that allows malaria parasites to spread disease highlight a novel target for antimalarial treatments.

The movement and infectivity of the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, and ultimately its ability to spread malaria among humans, rely on a large molecular complex called the glideosome. The new findings provide a blueprint for the design of future antimalarial treatments that target both the glideosome motor and the elements that regulate it.

New Lancet Series: Malaria in early life

Malaria infections are harmful to both the pregnant mother and the developing fetus. Malaria is associated with a 3–4 times increased risk of miscarriage and a substantially increased risk of stillbirth, and it disproportionately affects children younger than 5 years. Falciparum malaria is responsible for more than 200 000 child deaths per year in Africa and vivax malaria causes excess mortality in children in Asia and Oceania. In a duet of papers, we review 1) the deleterious effects of malaria in pregnancy on the developing fetus and 2) the current strategies for prevention and treatment of malaria in children.

Paper 1 is “Deleterious effects of malaria in pregnancy on the developing fetus: a review on prevention and treatment with antimalarial drugs” by Makoto Saito, Valérie Briand, Aung Myat Min, and Rose McGready. The authors are concerned that one in ten maternal deaths in malaria endemic countries may result from Plasmodium falciparum infection, that malaria is associated with a 3–4 times increased risk of miscarriage and a substantially increased risk of stillbirth. While current treatment and prevention strategies reduce, but do not eliminate, malaria’s damaging effects on pregnancy outcomes. They conclude that there is a need for alternative strategies to prevent malaria in pregnancy.

Paper 2 is “Treatment and prevention of malaria in children” by Elizabeth A Ashley and Jeanne Rini Poespoprodjo. They examine the following interventions: Triple antimalarial combination therapies, the RTS,S/AS01 vaccine, seasonal malaria chemoprevention and preventing relapse in Plasmodium vivax infection with primaquine.

Asymptomatic &Borders &Children &Elimination &Indoor Residual Spraying &IRS &Migration &Mosquitoes &Pharmacovigilence Bill Brieger | 08 Oct 2020

Malaria News Today 2020-10-08: the role of travel, asymptomatic disease and gut microbiome from AJTMH

The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene has several new articles on malaria. Abstracts are shared. Two articles examine the role of travel in malaria transmission, both cross-border and rural-urban. Another considers the effect on pharmacokinetics of lumefantrine due to gut bacteria. In Uganda indoor spraying has reduced transmission, but asymptomatic cases remain among children. The challenges of asymptomatic malaria to elimination efforts is also examined in India. Links to the articles are found below.

Evidence of Microbiome–Drug Interaction between the Antimalarial Lumefantrine and Gut Microbiota in Mice

The antimalarial drug lumefantrine exhibits erratic pharmacokinetics. Intersubject variability might be attributed, in part, to differences in gut microbiome–mediated drug metabolism. We assessed lumefantrine disposition in healthy mice stratified by enterotype to explore associations between the gut microbiota and lumefantrine pharmacokinetics. Gut microbiota enterotypes were classified according to abundance and diversity indices from 16S rRNA sequencing. Pharmacokinetic parameters were computed using noncompartmental analysis. Two distinct enterotypes were identified.

Maximal concentration (C max) and total drug exposure measured as the area under the drug concentration–time curve (AUC0–24) differed significantly between the groups. The mean and standard deviation of C max were 660 ± 220 ng/mL versus 390 ± 59 ng/mL (P = 0.02), and AUC0–24 was 9,600 ± 2,800 versus 5,800 ± 810 ng × h/mL (P = 0.01). In healthy mice intragastrically dosed with the antimalarial drug lumefantrine in combination with artemether, lumefantrine exposure was associated with gut bacterial community structure. Studies of xenobiotic–microbiota interactions can inform drug posology and elucidate mechanisms of drug disposition.

Malaria Transmission, Infection, and Disease following Sustained Indoor Residual Spraying of Insecticide in Tororo, Uganda

Tororo, a district in Uganda with historically high malaria transmission intensity, has recently scaled up control interventions, including universal long-lasting insecticidal net distribution in 2013 and 2017, and sustained indoor residual spraying (IRS) of insecticide since December 2014. We describe the burden of malaria in Tororo 5 years following the initiation of IRS. We followed a cohort of 531 participants from 80 randomly selected households in Nagongera subcounty, Tororo district, from October 2017 to October 2019. Mosquitoes were collected every 2 weeks using CDC light traps in all rooms where participants slept, symptomatic malaria was identified by passive surveillance, and microscopic and submicroscopic parasitemia were measured every 4 weeks using active surveillance. Over the 2 years of follow-up, 15,780 female anopheline mosquitos were collected, the majority (98.0%) of which were Anopheles arabiensis.

The daily human biting rate was 2.07, and the annual entomological inoculation rate was 0.43 infective bites/person/year. Only 38 episodes of malaria were diagnosed (incidence 0.04 episodes/person/year), and there were no cases of severe malaria or malarial deaths. The prevalence of microscopic parasitemia was 1.9%, and the combined prevalence of microscopic and submicroscopic parasitemia was 10.4%, each highest in children aged 5–15 years (3.3% and 14.0%, respectively). After 5 years of intensive vector control measures in Tororo, the burden of malaria was reduced to very low transmission levels. However, a significant proportion of the population remained parasitemic, primarily school-aged children with submicroscopic parasitemia, providing a potential reservoir for malaria transmission.

Malaria Diagnosed in an Urban Setting Strongly Associated with Recent Overnight Travel: A Case–Control Study from Kampala, Uganda

Malaria is frequently diagnosed in urban Kampala, despite low transmission intensity. To evaluate the association between recent travel out of Kampala and malaria, we conducted a matched case–control study. Cases were febrile outpatients with a positive malaria test; controls were febrile outpatients with a negative test. For every two cases, five controls were selected, matching on age. Data were collected on recent overnight travel out of Kampala (past 60 days), destination and duration of travel, and behavioral factors, including sleeping under an insecticide-treated net (ITN) during travel. From July to August 2019, 162 cases and 405 controls were enrolled. The locations of residence of cases and controls were similar. More controls were female (62.7% versus 46.3%, P < 0.001). Overall, 158 (27.9%) participants reported recent overnight travel.

Travelers were far more likely to be diagnosed with malaria than those who did not travel (80.4% versus 8.6%, OR 58.9, 95% CI: 23.1–150.1, P < 0.001). Among travelers, traveling to a district not receiving indoor residual spraying of insecticide (OR 35.0, 95% CI: 4.80–254.9, P < 0.001), no ITN use (OR 30.1, 95% CI: 6.37–142.7, P < 0.001), engaging in outdoor activities (OR 22.0, 95% CI: 3.42–141.8, P = 0.001), and age < 16 years (OR 8.36, 95% CI: 2.22–56.2, P = 0.03) were associated with increased odds of malaria. Kampala residents who traveled overnight out of the city were at substantially higher risk of malaria than those who did not travel. For these travelers, personal protection measures, including sleeping under an ITN when traveling, should be advocated.

Prevalence of Asymptomatic Malaria Parasitemia in Odisha, India: A Challenge to Malaria Elimination

The prevalence of malaria in India is decreasing, but it remains a major concern for public health administration. The role of submicroscopic malaria and asymptomatic malaria parasitemia and their persistence is being explored. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in the Kandhamal district of Odisha (India) during May–June 2017. Blood samples were collected from 1897 individuals for screening of asymptomatic parasitemia. Samples were screened using rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and examined microscopically for Plasmodium species. Approximately 30% of randomly selected samples (n = 586) were analyzed using real-time PCR (qPCR), and the genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum was analyzed.

The prevalence of Plasmodium species among asymptomatic individuals detected using qPCR was 18%, which was significantly higher than that detected by microscopy examination (5.5%) or RDT (7.3%). Of these, 37% had submicroscopic malaria. The species-specific prevalence among asymptomatic malaria-positive cases for P. falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, and mixed infection (P. falciparum and P. vivax) by qPCR was 57%, 29%, and 14%, respectively. The multiplicity of infection was 1.6 and 1.2 for the merozoite surface protein-1 gene (msp1) and (msp2), respectively. Expected heterozygosity was 0.64 and 0.47 for msp1 and msp2, respectively. A significant proportion of the study population, 105/586 (18%), was found to be a reservoir for malaria infection, and identification of this group will help in the development of elimination strategies.

Travel Is a Key Risk Factor for Malaria Transmission in Pre-Elimination Settings in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of the Literature and Meta-Analysis

By sustaining transmission or causing malaria outbreaks, imported malaria undermines malaria elimination efforts. Few studies have examined the impact of travel on malaria epidemiology. We conducted a literature review and meta-analysis of studies investigating travel as a risk factor for malaria infection in sub-Saharan Africa using PubMed. We identified 22 studies and calculated a random-effects meta-analysis pooled odds ratio (OR) of 3.77 (95% CI: 2.49–5.70), indicating that travel is a significant risk factor for malaria infection.

Odds ratios were particularly high in urban locations when travel was to rural areas, to more endemic/high transmission areas, and in young children. Although there was substantial heterogeneity in the magnitude of association across the studies, the pooled estimate and directional consistency support travel as an important risk factor for malaria infection.

Advocacy &coronavirus &Fever &HIV &IPTp &Journalists/Media &Malaria in Pregnancy &Plasmodium/Parasite &Private Sector &Tuberculosis Bill Brieger | 06 Oct 2020

Malaria News Today 2020-10-06: malaria in pregnancy, parasites surviving fever and private sector support

Today’s news featured a media briefing by the RBM Partnership and AMMREN on the challenges of protecting pregnant women from malaria. Additional news expands on these challenges. Research looks at how malaria parasites withstand the heat of a patient’s fever. Finally examples are presented of collaboration between international organizations and the private sector for malaria and disease control. Follow the links to gain more information.

Speed Up IPTp Scale-Up: a media briefing on maternal health

A panel discussion and media briefing on new approaches and lessons learned formed part of an online global call to end malaria in pregnancy with intermittent preventive treatment. The briefing on Tuesday, 6 October 2020, was sponsored by the Roll Back Malaria Partnership and AMMREN. The RBM website features background on the call to action.

The panel discussion included Dr. Aminata Cisse ep. Traore, Sous Directrice de la Santé de la Reproduction/Direction Générale de la Santé et de l’Hygiène Publique, Ministére de la Santé et de l’Hygiène Publique, Mali; Dr. Anshu Banerjee, Director Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health & Ageing, World Health Organization (WHO), and Dr. Pedro Alonso, Director Global Malaria Programme, WHO. The discussion was moderated by Mildred Komey, Malaria in Pregnancy Focal Person, National Malaria Control Program, Ghans Health Service.

The discussion covered the importance of launching this call now, what we’ve learned over the last few years, and examples of innovative strategies from Mali. There was a Q&A session with journalists after the presentations.

The presentation by Dr Alonso showed the progress in achieving IPTp coverage goals. He also pointed out the social and economic factors that affect access and equity to intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy and protection of maternal health (see slides).

Experts say Africa must scale-up malaria protection for pregnant women

In support of the RBM/AMMREN briefing described above, Sola Ogundipe reports that amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa, malaria – one of the world’s oldest diseases – is impacting disproportionately on pregnant women and children aged under five.

For a pregnant woman, her fetus, and the newborn child malaria infection carries substantial risks. Calling for a speedy scale-up to boost protection against malaria for pregnant women in Africa, the Roll Back Malaria, RBM Partnership to End Malaria Working Group is issuing an urgent appeal to leaders and health policymakers to increase access to Intermittent Preventive Treatment during pregnancy, IPTp, among eligible pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa.

Along with stakeholders, the RBM Partnership is pushing for scale-up coverage of three doses of IPTp to reach all eligible women in sub-Saharan Africa by 2025. In 2019, according to the RBM Partnership, an estimated 11 million pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa, or 29 percent of all pregnancies were infected with malaria.

How malaria parasites withstand a fever’s heat

The parasites that cause 200 million cases of malaria each year can withstand feverish temperatures that make their human hosts miserable. Now, a team is beginning to understand how they do it. The researchers have identified a lipid-protein combo that springs into action to gird the parasite’s innards against heat shock.

Understanding how malaria protects its cells against heat and other onslaughts could lead to new ways to fight tough-to-kill strains, researchers say. Findings could lead to ways to maximize our existing antimalarial arsenal.

Global Fund and Chevron – United Against HIV, TB and Malaria

The Global Fund and Chevron Corporation have celebrated a 12-year partnership that served as an example of the private sector’s contribution to the fight against infectious diseases and to building resilient health systems. Chevron, a Global Fund partner since January 2008, has supported Global Fund programs against HIX4 tuberculosis and malaria for a total investment of US$60 million in Angola, Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand and Vietnam.

Chevron’s partnership has contributed to helping more than a million people living with HIV access lifesaving antiretroviral therapy; supported efforts to distribute over one million long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets to families to prevent malaria; helped detect thousands of TB cases; promoted education programs for the young, and helped build stronger health systems.

In Nigeria, Chevron’s $5 million investment from October 2017 to December 201 9 supported the national HIV and TB programs, reaching key and vulnerable populations, as well as interventions aimed at strengthening the health system. Sustainable and resilient systems for health are indispensable in the fight against the epidemics of HIV TB and malaria, as well as the first line of defense against new diseases like COVID-19. “With rising cases of COVID-1 9, the stakes are very high. Deaths from HIV, TB and malaria are likely to increase. Investments by partners like Chevron are fundamental.

« Previous PageNext Page »