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Malaria Blog

Malaria Growing Resistant to Drugs Used to Fight It

Posted 30 Jul 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, July 30, 2014 – The parasite that causes malaria is growing increasingly resistant to the drugs commonly used to fight it, according to new surveillance reports. But several new drugs are in development, and at least one in early clinical trials may offer new hope against this global killer. "Although there has been considerable progress in malaria control in the past decade, the battle against malaria is far from won, and there is still much more to do," said Dr. Brian Greenwood, professor of tropical medicine at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who wrote a commentary accompanying the new research. Especially worrisome is the growing power of malaria parasites to survive the drugs that are designed to kill them, Greenwood said. One study reported widespread resistance to the drug artemisinin across mainland Southeast Asia. A second study found resistance to a ... Read more

Related support groups: Malaria, Malaria Prevention, Malaria Prophylaxis

Researchers Explore New Target for Malaria Vaccine

Posted 25 May 2014 by

THURSDAY, May 22, 2014 – Scientists have developed a new vaccine for malaria using protective immune system cells from children who appear to be naturally resistant to the deadly infectious disease. Initial tests of the vaccine in mice looked promising, according to a new study. Certain children are naturally resistant to the mosquito-borne infectious disease. And, it was recently discovered that these children harbor certain protective immune system cells (antibodies). These antibodies are programmed to block the malaria parasite from getting out of red blood cells, where they can multiply and cause more serious disease. The researchers created a vaccine with these antibodies. And, when given to mice, the vaccine offered some protection against malaria. When the animals were given a malaria strain that is universally fatal to mice, the vaccinated rodents developed lower levels of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Malaria, Malaria Prevention, Malaria Prophylaxis

First Effective Malaria Vaccine May Be Near, Experts Say

Posted 8 Oct 2013 by

TUESDAY, Oct. 8 – Promising results from a large-scale clinical trial mean that the world's first malaria vaccine may be on the market by 2015 and could potentially save hundreds of thousands of lives a year. The phase III clinical trial of more than 15,000 infants and young children in Africa found that the vaccine – called RTS,S – continued to protect the youngsters from malaria for up to 18 months after vaccination. The ongoing trial of the RTS,S vaccine is being conducted by 11 research centers in seven African countries, together with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative and drug maker GlaxoSmithKline. "It appears that the RTS,S candidate vaccine has the potential to have a significant public health impact," Halidou Tinto, lead investigator from the Nanoro, Burkina Faso trial site in West Africa, said in a PATH news release. "Preventing substantial numbers of malaria cases in a ... Read more

Related support groups: Malaria, Malaria Prevention, Malaria Prophylaxis

FDA Medwatch Alert: Mefloquine Hydrochloride: Drug Safety Communication - Label Changes Due To Risk of Serious Psychiatric and Nerve Side Effects

Posted 29 Jul 2013 by

ISSUE: FDA is advising the public about strengthened and updated warnings regarding neurologic and psychiatric side effects associated with the antimalarial drug mefloquine hydrochloride. A boxed warning, the most serious kind of warning about these potential problems, has been added to the drug label. FDA has revised the patient Medication Guide dispensed with each prescription and wallet card to include this information and the possibility that the neurologic side effects may persist or become permanent. The neurologic side effects can include dizziness, loss of balance, or ringing in the ears. The psychiatric side effects can include feeling anxious, mistrustful, depressed, or having hallucinations. Neurologic side effects can occur at any time during drug use, and can last for months to years after the drug is stopped or can be permanent. See the Drug Safety Communication for more ... Read more

Related support groups: Malaria, Mefloquine, Lariam

Mosquitoes With Altered Gene Can't Sniff People Out

Posted 29 May 2013 by

WEDNESDAY, May 29 – Scientists have discovered that mutating a smell-related gene in mosquitoes hinders their ability to sniff out humans from other warm-blooded prey. Researchers said the findings, published May 27 in the journal Nature, clearly show how important scent is to mosquito "hunting preferences." And they hope the results will pave the way to better weapons against the mosquitoes that transmit diseases including malaria and dengue fever. It's well known that certain mosquitoes "specialize in humans," said Leslie Vosshall, a professor at Rockefeller University, in New York City, and senior researcher on the study. Because they devote their time to moving from one person to the next, she said, they are the mosquitoes responsible for spreading diseases such as malaria – which alone killed close to 700,000 people worldwide in 2010, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease ... Read more

Related support groups: Malaria, Malaria Prevention, Malaria Prophylaxis

Malaria, Typhoid Pose Biggest Threat to Travelers in Tropics

Posted 18 Jan 2013 by

FRIDAY, Jan. 18 – Malaria and typhoid fever – not the much-feared Ebola virus – are the biggest health threats for travelers to tropical regions of the world, according to a new study. Researchers analyzed data from more than 80,000 people in Australia, Europe, Israel, Japan, New Zealand and North America who sought medical care after traveling to the tropics between 1996 and 2011. More than 3,600 (4.4 percent) of the patients had one of 13 life-threatening diseases. Thirteen of the patients died, including 10 with malaria, according to the study, which was published online Jan. 16 in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Malaria accounted for nearly 77 percent of the diagnoses, followed by fevers such as typhoid fever (18 percent) and leptospirosis (2.4 percent). Malaria is caused by a parasite spread by the bite of infected female mosquitoes. Typhoid fever is ... Read more

Related support groups: Malaria, Malaria Prevention, Typhoid Fever, Malaria Prophylaxis, Typhoid Prophylaxis

HIV Drug Combo May Help Prevent Malaria Reinfection

Posted 29 Nov 2012 by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28 – Treatment with a combination of certain HIV drugs greatly reduces the risk of recurrent malaria in children with HIV who are also being treated with drugs to prevent the mosquito-borne infection, according to new research. The study included more than 170 HIV-positive infants and children up to 6 years old in Uganda who were receiving anti-malarial drugs and HIV treatment, including either a combination of the protease inhibitors lopinavir and ritonavir, or a class of drugs called non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). Despite the anti-malarial drugs and other preventive measures – such as mosquito nets – the children's risk of developing malaria during their first six months of HIV treatment was more than 40 percent. The risk during that time period was about the same whether the children were taking the protease inhibitors or an NNRTI, the ... Read more

Related support groups: HIV Infection, Malaria, Incivek, Malaria Prevention, Victrelis, Kaletra, Malaria Prophylaxis, Norvir, Telaprevir, Ritonavir, Efavirenz, Reyataz, Nevirapine, Lexiva, Norvir Soft Gelatin, Prezista, Boceprevir, Indinavir, Intelence, Sustiva

Children Usually Excluded From Clinical Drug Trials: Study

Posted 30 Apr 2012 by

MONDAY, April 30 – Children are more likely than adults to suffer from a number of diseases, but few clinical trials are conducted to test new drugs in children with these conditions, researchers have found. In a new study, researchers looked at all clinical trials registered worldwide from 2006 to 2011 for drugs to treat these common conditions: asthma, migraine headaches, schizophrenia, depression, diarrheal illness, lower respiratory infection, malaria, bipolar disorder and HIV/AIDS. While children account for 60 percent of the patients with these conditions, only 12 percent of the clinical drug trials involved children, the investigators found. The gap was widest for conditions that are widespread in low- and middle-income countries. Clinical drug trials in children are important because youngsters often respond differently to medications than adults, the study authors pointed out ... Read more

Related support groups: Bipolar Disorder, Migraine, Diarrhea, Asthma, Schizophrenia, HIV Infection, Malaria

Older Travelers at Much Higher Risk of Dying From Malaria

Posted 28 Mar 2012 by

WEDNESDAY, March 28 – Tourists over age 65 who visit malaria-infested regions are nearly 10 times more likely to die from the disease than those ages 18 to 35, a new study says. The analysis of 20 years of data from more than 25,000 U.K. patients also found that the malaria death rate is particularly high among people who've traveled to Gambia, West Africa. The risk of dying from malaria, an infection carried by mosquitoes, increased with age, and the death rate for those over age 65 was 4.6 percent. There were no deaths in children younger than age 5, according to the study published online March 28 in the British Medical Journal. The researchers also found that tourists were more than nine times more likely to die from malaria than people of African heritage who traveled to see family or friends – 3 percent vs. 0.32 percent. This decreased death risk among people of African heritage ... Read more

Related support groups: Malaria, Malaria Prevention, Malaria Prophylaxis

Malaria's Global Death Toll Much Higher Than Thought

Posted 3 Feb 2012 by

FRIDAY, Feb. 3 – Malaria killed 1.2 million people worldwide in 2010, a figure nearly double other estimates, a new study says. The researchers also said that although most malaria deaths occur in very young children, 42 percent of deaths occurred in children over age 5 and adults. The findings are published in the Feb. 4 edition of The Lancet. According to the analysis of data collected from 1980 to 2010, global malaria deaths rose from 1 million in 1980 to a peak of 1.8 million in 2004. Since then, increased malaria intervention efforts have helped to reduce malaria death rates, Christopher Murray, of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues noted in journal news release. The 1.2 million malaria deaths in 2010 was a 32 percent decrease from the number of malaria deaths in 2004, the authors noted. In 2010, there were ... Read more

Related support groups: Malaria, Malaria Prevention, Malaria Prophylaxis

Promising Malaria Vaccine May Save Children's Lives

Posted 18 Oct 2011 by

TUESDAY, Oct. 18 – In an important first, a new vaccine has been shown to cut the risk of malaria in young African children by about half, according to research announced Tuesday. Although the effectiveness shown in this Phase 3 trial is far less than the near-100 percent effectiveness often seen in childhood vaccines for other illnesses in the West, the findings are promising, given that malaria kills some 800,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa alone each year. "This potentially translates into [the prevention of] tens of millions of cases of malaria in children," said Dr. Tsiri Agbenyega, a principal investigator of the trial. Other experts agreed. "This is really important because it's a viable strategy against a major killer of children in the world," added Dr. Kenneth Bromberg, chairman of pediatrics and director of the Vaccine Research Center at the Brooklyn Hospital Center, New ... Read more

Related support groups: Malaria, Malaria Prevention, Malaria Prophylaxis

Herbal Derivative Wins Praise as Malaria Treatment

Posted 16 Mar 2011 by

WEDNESDAY, March 16 – Artesunate should replace quinine as the drug of choice for treating malaria, according to an updated review of clinical trial results. Derived from herbs used in Chinese medicine, artesunate was found to be more effective at preventing death in people with severe malaria. The review, published in the Cochrane Library, includes the findings of a large study of African children published last year in The Lancet and eight other clinical trials, all together involving 1,664 adults and 5,765 children from a number of areas in Africa and Asia. The updated review shows that using artesunate to treat people with severe malaria reduces the risk for death by 39 percent in adults and 24 percent in children, compared with quinine. In adults, deaths fell from 241 per 1,000 with quinine to 147 with artesunate. In children, deaths were reduced from 108 per 1,000 with quinine to ... Read more

Related support groups: Malaria, Malaria Prevention, Malaria Prophylaxis

New Malaria Drug Proves Effective in Study of African Children

Posted 7 Nov 2010 by

SATURDAY, Nov. 6 – The death rate among children with severe malaria was nearly one-fourth lower when they received a new drug called artesunate than when they got the standard treatment of quinine, a new study shows. The finding suggests that artesunate should replace quinine as the malaria treatment of choice for severe malaria worldwide, the researchers said. Malaria, a disease that is transmitted via the bite of an infected mosquito, can quickly become life-threatening if left untreated, according to the World Health Organization. The new study included 5,425 children with severe falciparum malaria – the most dangerous of four types of malaria affecting humans – in nine African countries. Of the children, 2,713 were treated with artesunate and 2,713 with quinine. There were 230 deaths (8.5 percent) in the artesunate group and 297 deaths (11 percent) in the quinine group, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Malaria

Mosquito Evolution May Make It Harder to Fight Malaria: Study

Posted 25 Oct 2010 by

FRIDAY, Oct. 22 – Complicating efforts to combat malaria, new research indicates that two physically identical strains of a single mosquito responsible for most disease transmissions appear to be evolving into two genetically distinct species. Two studies reported in the Oct. 21 issue of Science suggest that the evolution process is occurring faster than previously thought, and note that substantial genetic differences are already apparent. This development could undermine efforts to control mosquito population growth with strategies that may not be effective against both strains, the researchers said. "Malaria is a deadly disease that affects millions of people across the world, and amongst children in Africa, it causes one in every five deaths," George Christophides, a professor in the division of cell and molecular biology at Imperial College London in England, said in a news ... Read more

Related support groups: Malaria

Scientists Create 'Malaria-Proof' Mosquito

Posted 15 Jul 2010 by

THURSDAY, July 15 – In what might someday be a major advance against one of the world's most devastating diseases, researchers say they've created a mosquito that is unable to infect humans with malaria. The University of Arizona team reported that their genetically altered mosquitoes are immune to the malaria-causing parasite, a single-cell organism called Plasmodium. The mosquitoes used in the research were Anopheles stephensi, a species that plays a major role in malaria transmission throughout the Indian subcontinent. It may be possible someday to replace wild mosquitoes with lab-bred mosquitoes that can't infect humans with malaria, researchers said. "If you want to effectively stop the spreading of the malaria parasite, you need mosquitoes that are no less than 100 percent resistant to it. If a single parasite slips through and infects a human, the whole approach will be doomed ... Read more

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