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Epidemiology, Surveillance, and Control of Frontier Malaria

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Infectious Diseases, Chronic Diseases, and Disease Prevention".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2024 | Viewed by 10736

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Regional Center for Public Health Research, National Institute of Public Health (INSP), Tapachula 30700, Mexico
Interests: malaria; Plasmodium vivax; diagnostics and treatment, relapse/recrudescence; transmission dynamics; vector–parasite interactions; serology; immunity; genetics; genomics

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Regional Center for Public Health Research, National Institute of Public Health (INSP), Tapachula 30700, Mexico
Interests: vector control; insecticide resistance; insecticide metabolism; insecticide resistance techniques; insecticide resistance management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Malaria remains a major public health problem, mainly in tropical and subtropical areas. Overall, the progress made in reducing the burden of malaria around the world is undeniable, and research stands out as a pillar for malaria control and elimination. However, the World Health Organization estimated an increase from 245 million malaria cases in 2020 to 247 in 2021. More than 600,000 people still die from malaria every year—most of them children (World Malaria Report 2022 [1]). The increase observed was linked to disruptions in the provision of malaria prevention, diagnosis, and treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, which illustrates the urgent situation. The cost of malaria control strategies, drugs, diagnosis, insecticides, and vaccines against evolving parasites and vectors is enormous. Most of the countries where transmission persists are of low income and neglected to some degree. Malaria parasites are introduced and move between villages, municipalities, country borders, and continents mainly due to human mobility. At present, human migration from affected areas is variable and to some extent depends on socioeconomic, cultural, and political factors, among others.

Detecting a malaria patient can be difficult in areas with low parasitemia; high frequency of semi-immune individuals; a lack of diagnostic tests, medicine, or highly skilled personnel; parasite strains; treatment efficacy; and vector species susceptible to malarial parasites, among others. In the last decade, resistance to commonly used insecticides and antimalarial drugs has been emerging in various areas; Therefore, monitoring both resistance trends at different geographical levels is crucial. Genetic and genomic studies are indispensable in detecting selective pressure in drug-resistance genes and antigenic molecules in order to develop parasite surveillance strategies and evaluate control measures, insecticide resistance mechanisms, etc. It is essential to integrate the engagement and evaluation of community participation into artificial intelligence and molecular surveillance.

We will accept manuscripts from different disciplines of human malaria, such as the topics cited above. This Special Issue welcomes studies in rural and urban areas, at the community, municipality, or country level. It is important to approach the study of frontier malaria given by political, ethnic, and geographical divisions, malaria introduction, and surveillance, among other related topics. This is highly relevant especially because population movement has greatly increased in recent years. Listed are some examples of topics that could be addressed in this Special Issue:

  1. Malaria diagnosis and treatment in communities with unstable malaria.
  2. Evaluation of malaria treatment in areas with several endemic malaria species.
  3. Genetics or genomics studies to solve issues of frontier malaria.
  4. Vector susceptibility and resistance to insecticides.
  5. Vector susceptibility to malaria species, and transmission dynamics.
  6. Monitoring drug resistance.
  7. Artificial intelligence in malaria control, elimination, and surveillance.
  8. Studies on protective immunity and vaccines.
  9. Analysis of compiled malaria records and recommendations.
  10. Management of resistance to insecticides.

Please note that clinical studies not sufficiently addressing the aim of the journal will not be considered.

Reference

[1] World Malaria Report 2022. Available online: https://www.who.int/teams/global-malaria-programme/reports/world-malaria-report-2022 (accessed on 10 October 2023).

Dr. Lilia González-Cerón
Dr. Patricia Penilla-Navarro
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • malaria
  • epidemiology
  • entomology
  • diagnosis and treatment
  • transmission dynamics
  • drug resistance
  • vector control
  • insecticide resistance
  • insecticide resistance comparative techniques

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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11 pages, 5603 KiB  
Article
Molecular Surveillance of Artemisinin-Resistant Plasmodium falciparum Parasites in Mining Areas of the Roraima Indigenous Territory in Brazil
by Jacqueline de Aguiar-Barros, Fabiana Granja, Rebecca de Abreu-Fernandes, Lucas Tavares de Queiroz, Daniel da Silva e Silva, Arthur Camurça Citó, Natália Ketrin Almeida-de-Oliveira Mocelin, Cláudio Tadeu Daniel-Ribeiro and Maria de Fátima Ferreira-da-Cruz
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060679 - 25 May 2024
Viewed by 699
Abstract
Multidrug- and artemisinin-resistant (ART-R) Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) parasites represent a challenge for malaria elimination worldwide. Molecular monitoring in the Kelch domain region (pfk13) gene allows tracking mutations in parasite resistance to artemisinin. The increase in illegal miners in the Roraima Yanomami indigenous land (YIL) [...] Read more.
Multidrug- and artemisinin-resistant (ART-R) Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) parasites represent a challenge for malaria elimination worldwide. Molecular monitoring in the Kelch domain region (pfk13) gene allows tracking mutations in parasite resistance to artemisinin. The increase in illegal miners in the Roraima Yanomami indigenous land (YIL) could favor ART-R parasites. Thus, this study aimed to investigate ART-R in patients from illegal gold mining areas in the YIL of Roraima, Brazil. A questionnaire was conducted, and blood was collected from 48 patients diagnosed with P. falciparum or mixed malaria (Pf + P. vivax). The DNA was extracted and the pfk13 gene was amplified by PCR. The amplicons were subjected to DNA-Sanger-sequencing and the entire amplified fragment was analyzed. Among the patients, 96% (46) were from illegal mining areas of the YIL. All parasite samples carried the wild-type genotypes/ART-sensitive phenotypes. These data reinforce the continued use of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) in Roraima, as well as the maintenance of systematic monitoring for early detection of parasite populations resistant to ART, mainly in regions with an intense flow of individuals from mining areas, such as the YIL. This is especially true when the achievement of falciparum malaria elimination in Brazil is planned and expected by 2030. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology, Surveillance, and Control of Frontier Malaria)
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14 pages, 1546 KiB  
Article
Spatio-Temporal Bayesian Models for Malaria Risk Using Survey and Health Facility Routine Data in Rwanda
by Muhammed Semakula, François Niragire and Christel Faes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(5), 4283; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20054283 - 28 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2030
Abstract
Introduction: Malaria is a life-threatening disease ocuring mainly in developing countries. Almost half of the world’s population was at risk of malaria in 2020. Children under five years age are among the population groups at considerably higher risk of contracting malaria and developing [...] Read more.
Introduction: Malaria is a life-threatening disease ocuring mainly in developing countries. Almost half of the world’s population was at risk of malaria in 2020. Children under five years age are among the population groups at considerably higher risk of contracting malaria and developing severe disease. Most countries use Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data for health programs and evaluation. However, malaria elimination strategies require a real-time, locally-tailored response based on malaria risk estimates at the lowest administrative levels. In this paper, we propose a two-step modeling framework using survey and routine data to improve estimates of malaria risk incidence in small areas and enable quantifying malaria trends. Methods: To improve estimates, we suggest an alternative approach to modeling malaria relative risk by combining information from survey and routine data through Bayesian spatio-temporal models. We model malaria risk using two steps: (1) fitting a binomial model to the survey data, and (2) extracting fitted values and using them in the Poison model as nonlinear effects in the routine data. We modeled malaria relative risk among under-five-year old children in Rwanda. Results: The estimation of malaria prevalence among children who are under five years old using Rwanda demographic and health survey data for the years 2019–2020 alone showed a higher prevalence in the southwest, central, and northeast of Rwanda than the rest of the country. Combining with routine health facility data, we detected clusters that were undetected based on the survey data alone. The proposed approach enabled spatial and temporal trend effect estimation of relative risk in local/small areas in Rwanda. Conclusions: The findings of this analysis suggest that using DHS combined with routine health services data for active malaria surveillance may provide provide more precise estimates of the malaria burden, which can be used toward malaria elimination targets. We compared findings from geostatistical modeling of malaria prevalence among under-five-year old children using DHS 2019–2020 and findings from malaria relative risk spatio-temporal modeling using both DHS survey 2019–2020 and health facility routine data. The strength of routinely collected data at small scales and high-quality data from the survey contributed to a better understanding of the malaria relative risk at the subnational level in Rwanda. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology, Surveillance, and Control of Frontier Malaria)
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13 pages, 3233 KiB  
Article
Resistance to Pyrethroids in the Malaria Vector Anopheles albimanus in Two Important Villages in the Soconusco Region of Chiapas, Mexico, 2022
by Francisco Solis-Santoyo, Cuauhtémoc Villarreal-Treviño, Alma D. López-Solis, Lilia González-Cerón, José Cruz Rodríguez-Ramos, Farah Z. Vera-Maloof, Rogelio Danis-Lozano and Rosa Patricia Penilla-Navarro
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(5), 4258; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20054258 - 27 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1575
Abstract
Chiapas State comprises the largest malaria foci from Mexico, and 57% of the autochthonous cases in 2021, all with Plasmodium vivax infections, were reported in this State. Southern Chiapas is at constant risk of cases imported due to migratory human flow. Since chemical [...] Read more.
Chiapas State comprises the largest malaria foci from Mexico, and 57% of the autochthonous cases in 2021, all with Plasmodium vivax infections, were reported in this State. Southern Chiapas is at constant risk of cases imported due to migratory human flow. Since chemical control of vector mosquitoes is the main entomological action implemented for the prevention and control of vector-borne diseases, this work aimed to investigate the susceptibility of Anopheles albimanus to insecticides. To this end, mosquitoes were collected in cattle in two villages in southern Chiapas in July–August 2022. Two methods were used to evaluate the susceptibility: the WHO tube bioassay and the CDC bottle bioassay. For the latter, diagnostic concentrations were calculated. The enzymatic resistance mechanisms were also analyzed. CDC diagnostic concentrations were obtained; 0.7 μg/mL deltamethrin, 12 μg/mL permethrin, 14.4 μg/mL malathion, and 2 μg/mL chlorpyrifos. Mosquitoes from Cosalapa and La Victoria were susceptible to organophosphates and to bendiocarb, but resistant to pyrethroids, with mortalities between 89% and 70% (WHO), and 88% and 78% (CDC), for deltamethrin and permethrin, respectively. High esterase levels are suggested as the resistance mechanism involved in the metabolism of pyrethroids in mosquitoes from both villages. Mosquitoes from La Victoria might also involve cytochrome P450. Therefore, organophosphates and carbamates are suggested to currently control An. albimanus. Its use might reduce the frequency of resistance genes to pyrethroids and vector abundance and may impede the transmission of malaria parasites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology, Surveillance, and Control of Frontier Malaria)
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13 pages, 7601 KiB  
Article
Web Geographic Information System: A Support Tool for the Study, Evaluation, and Monitoring of Foci of Malaria Transmission in Mexico
by René Santos-Luna, Susana Román-Pérez, Gerardo Reyes-Cabrera, María del Rosario Sánchez-Arcos, Fabián Correa-Morales and Marco Antonio Pérez-Solano
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(4), 3282; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20043282 - 13 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1519
Abstract
Malaria is currently an endemic disease in Mexico. The country joined the WHO’s E-25 initiative for the elimination of Plasmodium vivax to achieve elimination and certification within the established period. Having a Web-based information system was, therefore, deemed necessary to assist in the [...] Read more.
Malaria is currently an endemic disease in Mexico. The country joined the WHO’s E-25 initiative for the elimination of Plasmodium vivax to achieve elimination and certification within the established period. Having a Web-based information system was, therefore, deemed necessary to assist in the detection, investigation, and elimination of transmission in the foci, as well as for the timely treatment of malaria-positive cases. The “Information System for the Elimination of Malaria in Mexico” was designed, developed, and implemented with a geographic vision, which includes a Web tool to georeference homes and aquatic systems, a dashboard and an indicator evaluation card for monitoring activities, notification of probable cases, and vector control among other indicators. The implementation of the system was gradual in the seven states that are currently in the malaria elimination phase; subsequently, the system was implemented in non-transmission states. In 2020, the system implementation stage began; first, the basic data of more than 96,000 homes throughout the country were georeferenced, and then the primary data capture tools of 17 formats, 32 reports, and 2 geographic viewers were enabled for information queries. A total of 56 active foci have been identified in 406 localities as well as 71 residual foci in 320 localities. Recently, the Foci Manager was developed, which is a specific tool for the study, evaluation, and monitoring of active foci through a GIS, a dashboard, and a systematized evaluation certificate. Georeferencing tools decreased the cost of spatial data collection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology, Surveillance, and Control of Frontier Malaria)
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13 pages, 357 KiB  
Article
Economic Burdens of Uncomplicated Malaria in Primary Health Care (PHC) Facilities of Plateau State, Nigeria: Patients’ Perspectives
by Nahlah Elkudssiah Ismail, Nanloh Samuel Jimam, Khang Wen Goh, Ching Siang Tan and Long Chiau Ming
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1093; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021093 - 8 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2219
Abstract
Objectives: This study aims at evaluating the costs incurred by patients in Primary Healthcare facilities of Plateau State, Nigeria, due to uncomplicated malaria management. Methods: Patients’ information on resources used and absence from the labour market due to uncomplicated malaria illness were collected [...] Read more.
Objectives: This study aims at evaluating the costs incurred by patients in Primary Healthcare facilities of Plateau State, Nigeria, due to uncomplicated malaria management. Methods: Patients’ information on resources used and absence from the labour market due to uncomplicated malaria illness were collected using the self-reported cost of illness instruments across 24 selected Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities in Plateau State. The collated data were used to estimate the direct medical and non-medical costs incurred by patients through the summation of the various costs paid out of pocket for the services; while the indirect cost was estimated using the human capital theory. All analyses were conducted through Microsoft Excel and IBM Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS®) version 23 software. Results: The average direct cost per episode of uncomplicated malaria was estimated at NGN 2808.37/USD 7.39, while the indirect average money equivalence of the time lost due to the ailment was estimated at NGN 2717/USD 7.55, giving an average cost of treating uncomplicated malaria borne by patients in Plateau State per episode to be NGN 5525.37/USD 14.94. The projected annual cost of the disease was NGN 9, 921,671,307.22 (USD 27, 560,198.08). Conclusions: The study showed substantial financial costs borne by patients due to uncomplicated malaria in Plateau State, comprising 50.83% of direct cost and 49.17% of the indirect cost of medications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology, Surveillance, and Control of Frontier Malaria)
18 pages, 14248 KiB  
Article
Recurrent Plasmodium vivax Cases of Both Short and Long Latency Increased with Transmission Intensity and Were Distributed Year-Round in the Most Affected Municipalities of the RACCN, Nicaragua, 2013–2018
by Aida M. Soto, Lilia González-Cerón, Frida Santillán-Valenzuela, María E. Parrales and Alberto Montoya
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(10), 6195; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19106195 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1542
Abstract
The characteristics of P. vivax recurrent episodes were examined using a centralized secondary source of malaria records in Nicaragua and in the two most affected municipalities in the RACCN. The study of 36,787 malaria cases due to P. vivax or P. falciparum revealed [...] Read more.
The characteristics of P. vivax recurrent episodes were examined using a centralized secondary source of malaria records in Nicaragua and in the two most affected municipalities in the RACCN. The study of 36,787 malaria cases due to P. vivax or P. falciparum revealed that, nationwide, 3624 patients had at least one recurrent infection. This was achieved by matching names, gender, age, community/municipality, ethnicity, etc. P. vivax was responsible for 88% of recurrent infections of 25–450 days of latency (51.9% were women and 48.1% were men), and these were assumed to be relapse episodes. Of them, 88.2% and 4.4% occurred in the municipalities of Puerto Cabezas and Rosita, respectively. The proportion of P. vivax patients having presumed relapse episodes rose with elevated transmission rates in both municipalities, reaching 7% in Rosita (2017) and 14.5% in Puerto Cabezas (2018). In both areas, relapse episodes were evident over time and were characterized by the production of a continuous stippling pattern with a slope evolving from one transmission peak to the next. During the dry season, short-latency relapse episodes were more robust, while long-latency ones increased just before the P. vivax transmission season began, with a high proportion of long-latency relapses during this period. The abundance of recurrent P. vivax infections, the wide range of relapse latency lengths, and temporal distribution tended to favor year-round transmission. It is necessary to evaluate compliance with and the effectiveness of primaquine treatment and contemplate the use of an alternative drug, among other actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology, Surveillance, and Control of Frontier Malaria)
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Review

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13 pages, 1061 KiB  
Review
Taxonomy, Bio-Ecology and Insecticide Resistance of Anopheline Vectors of Malaria in Sri Lanka
by Sinnathamby N. Surendran and S. H. P. Parakrama Karunaratne
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(7), 814; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21070814 - 21 Jun 2024
Viewed by 338
Abstract
The objective of this review was to update the current knowledge on major malaria vectors in Sri Lanka and their bio-ecology and insecticide resistance status. Relevant data were collected through a comprehensive literature search performed using databases such as PubMed, NIH, Google Scholar [...] Read more.
The objective of this review was to update the current knowledge on major malaria vectors in Sri Lanka and their bio-ecology and insecticide resistance status. Relevant data were collected through a comprehensive literature search performed using databases such as PubMed, NIH, Google Scholar and Web of Science. Sri Lanka had been endemic to malaria for centuries. However, due to a coordinated public health effort last indigenous malaria case was reported in 2012 and the island nation was declared free of malaria in 2016. Although 25 anopheline mosquitoes have been reported so far on the island, only Anopheles culicifacies and An. subpictus have been established as primary and secondary vectors of malaria respectively. Both vector species exist as a species complex, and the sibling species of each complex differ in their bio-ecology and susceptibility to malaria parasites and insecticides. The article provides a comprehensive and updated account of the bio-ecology and insecticide resistance of malaria vectors and highlights the challenges ahead of retaining a malaria-free status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology, Surveillance, and Control of Frontier Malaria)
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