Epidemiology, Detection and Treatment of Malaria

A special issue of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease (ISSN 2414-6366). This special issue belongs to the section "Vector-Borne Diseases".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (3 June 2024) | Viewed by 10161

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia
Interests: diagnostic parasitology; molecular parasitology

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia
Interests: malaria; zoonosis; host-parasite interactions; vector biology; vector control

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Malaria is a life-threatening febrile illness caused by the protozoan parasites Plasmodium spp. through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. malariae and P. ovale are the four species that commonly infect humans. A simian parasite, Plasmodium knowlesi, is increasingly reported in humans in proximity of the forested regions of South-East Asia and the Western Pacific region. Malaria cases continued to rise between 2020 and 2021, with global malaria cases reaching 247 million in 2021 compared to 245 million in 2020.  This Special Issue covers the latest findings in malaria programmes and research as well as progress across all intervention areas: prevention, diagnosis, treatment, elimination and surveillance.

Prof. Dr. Yee Ling Lau
Dr. Wenn Chyau Lee
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • malaria
  • diagnosis
  • epidemiology
  • genetic study
  • vector control
  • drug resistance

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

0 pages, 1615 KiB  
Article
Malaria during COVID-19 Travel Restrictions in Makkah, Saudi Arabia
by Sami Melebari, Abdul Hafiz, Kamal H. Alzabeedi, Abdullah A. Alzahrani, Yehya Almalki, Renad J. Jadkarim, Fadel Qabbani, Rowaida Bakri, Naif A. Jalal, Hutaf Mashat, Aisha Alsaadi, Ashwaq Hakim, Feras Hashim Malibari, Ahmed Alkhyami and Othman Fallatah
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2024, 9(5), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed9050112 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 702
Abstract
Malaria is a parasitic infection that may result in an acute, life-threatening illness. It is a major public health problem in the tropical world. The disease is caused by the parasites of the genus Plasmodium and is transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitoes. Saudi [...] Read more.
Malaria is a parasitic infection that may result in an acute, life-threatening illness. It is a major public health problem in the tropical world. The disease is caused by the parasites of the genus Plasmodium and is transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitoes. Saudi Arabia is in the elimination phase of malaria control. Several parts of Saudi Arabia report cases of imported malaria among travelers and visitors. The city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia has a population of about 2.3 million. Moreover, over 6 million religious visitors from different parts of the world visit Makkah annually. During the COVID-19 outbreak, travel restrictions were enforced in Makkah to contain the spread of COVID-19. We compare the total reported cases of malaria in Makkah before, during, and after COVID-19 travel restrictions in this retrospective cross-sectional study. Data on demographics, clinical data, and laboratory parameters were collected from the medical records of the Ministry of Health, Saudi Arabia. The annual malaria incidence rates in Makkah were 29.13/million people (2018), 37.82/million people (2019), 15.65/million people (2020), 12.61/million people (2021), and 48.69/million people (2022). Most of the malaria cases in Makkah were caused by Plasmodium falciparum, followed by P. vivax. Sudan, Nigeria, Yamen, Pakistan, and India are the top five countries contributing to malaria cases in Makkah. Weekly malaria case analyses revealed that COVID-19-related travel restrictions resulted in zero malaria cases in Makkah, indicating the magnitude of the travel-related malaria burden in the city. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology, Detection and Treatment of Malaria)
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13 pages, 860 KiB  
Article
Record Linkage for Malaria Deaths Data Recovery and Surveillance in Brazil
by Klauss Kleydmann Sabino Garcia, Danielly Batista Xavier, Seyi Soremekun, Amanda Amaral Abrahão, Chris Drakeley, Walter Massa Ramalho and André M. Siqueira
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2023, 8(12), 519; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed8120519 - 14 Dec 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1580
Abstract
Objective: The objective is to describe the results and the methodological processes of record linkage for matching deaths and malaria cases. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted with probabilistic record linkage of death and malaria cases data in Brazil from 2011 to [...] Read more.
Objective: The objective is to describe the results and the methodological processes of record linkage for matching deaths and malaria cases. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted with probabilistic record linkage of death and malaria cases data in Brazil from 2011 to 2020 using death records from the Mortality Information System (SIM) and epidemiological data from the Notifiable Diseases Information System (Sinan) and Epidemiological Surveillance Information Systems for malaria (Sivep-Malaria). Three matching keys were used: patient’s name, date of birth, and mother’s name, with an analysis of cosine and Levenshtein dissimilarity measures. Results: A total of 490 malaria deaths were recorded in Brazil between 2011 and 2020. The record linkage resulted in the pairing of 216 deaths (44.0%). Pairings where all three matching keys were identical accounted for 30.1% of the total matched deaths, 39.4% of the matched deaths had two identical variables, and 30.5% had only one of the three key variables identical. The distribution of the variables of the matched deaths (216) was similar to the distribution of all recorded deaths (490). Out of the 216 matched deaths, 80 (37.0%) had poorly specified causes of death in the SIM. Conclusions: The record linkage allowed for the detailing of the data with additional information from other epidemiological systems. Record linkage enables data linkage between information systems that lack interoperability and is an extremely useful tool for refining health situation analyses and improving malaria death surveillance in Brazil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology, Detection and Treatment of Malaria)
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11 pages, 295 KiB  
Article
Malariometric Indices in the Context of Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention in Children Aged 1.5 to 12 Years during the Period of High Malaria Transmission in the Suburban Area of Banfora, Burkina Faso
by San M. Ouattara, Daouda Ouattara, Emilie S. Badoum, Amidou Diarra, Denise Hien, Amidou Z. Ouedraogo, Issa Nébié, Alphonse Ouedraogo, Alfred B. Tiono and Sodiomon B. Sirima
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2023, 8(9), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed8090442 - 9 Sep 2023
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Abstract
Continuous monitoring of malaria epidemiology is needed in malaria-endemic settings to inform malaria control and elimination strategies. This study aimed to compare the malariometric indices between the under-fives and school-age children. We surveyed children aged 1.5 to 12 years for plasmodia carriage with [...] Read more.
Continuous monitoring of malaria epidemiology is needed in malaria-endemic settings to inform malaria control and elimination strategies. This study aimed to compare the malariometric indices between the under-fives and school-age children. We surveyed children aged 1.5 to 12 years for plasmodia carriage with the aim of including them in a longitudinal follow-up cohort. The survey took place from 7–11 September 2020 in a southwest area of Burkina Faso. Clinical and demographic data including malaria control measures were collected. A finger prick blood sample was taken for haemoglobin testing, and blood smears and dried blood spot preparation. The malariometric indices were calculated and compared between school-age children and those under the age of five. Multiple logistic regression was fitted to assess the association between malaria parasite carriage and age categories. Based on the PCR results, the parasite prevalence was 21.4% in the under-fives versus 44.2% in school-age children (p-value < 0.0001), with a pooled prevalence of 32.7% (CI = [28.8, 36.8]). The gametocyte prevalence was also significantly higher in school-age children (11.9%) compared to the under-fives (3.7%). Adjusted for covariates, school-age children were 2.9 times (IC = [2.0, 4.2]) more likely to carry the asexual parasite, compared to the under-fives. Malaria was moderate and stable endemic in this area and school-age children play a key role in the spread of the disease. The WHO conditional recommendation for intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in school-aged children living in malaria-endemic settings with moderate to high perennial or seasonal transmission should be implemented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology, Detection and Treatment of Malaria)
14 pages, 984 KiB  
Article
High Prevalence of Polyclonal Plasmodium falciparum Infections and Association with Poor IgG Antibody Responses in a Hyper-Endemic Area in Cameroon
by Marie Florence A Bite Biabi, Balotin Fogang, Estelle Essangui, Franklin Maloba, Christiane Donkeu, Rodrigue Keumoe, Glwadys Cheteug, Nina Magoudjou, Celine Slam, Sylvie Kemleu, Noella Efange, Ronald Perraut, Sandrine Eveline Nsango, Carole Else Eboumbou Moukoko, Jean Paul Assam Assam, François-Xavier Etoa, Tracey Lamb and Lawrence Ayong
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2023, 8(8), 390; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed8080390 - 29 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1357
Abstract
Malaria remains a major public health problem worldwide, with eradication efforts thwarted by drug and insecticide resistance and the lack of a broadly effective malaria vaccine. In continuously exposed communities, polyclonal infections are thought to reduce the risk of severe disease and promote [...] Read more.
Malaria remains a major public health problem worldwide, with eradication efforts thwarted by drug and insecticide resistance and the lack of a broadly effective malaria vaccine. In continuously exposed communities, polyclonal infections are thought to reduce the risk of severe disease and promote the establishment of asymptomatic infections. We sought to investigate the relationship between the complexity of P. falciparum infection and underlying host adaptive immune responses in an area with a high prevalence of asymptomatic parasitaemia in Cameroon. A cross-sectional study of 353 individuals aged 2 to 86 years (median age = 16 years) was conducted in five villages in the Centre Region of Cameroon. Plasmodium falciparum infection was detected by multiplex nested PCR in 316 samples, of which 278 were successfully genotyped. Of these, 60.1% (167/278) were polyclonal infections, the majority (80.2%) of which were from asymptomatic carriers. Host-parasite factors associated with polyclonal infection in the study population included peripheral blood parasite density, participant age and village of residence. The number of parasite clones per infected sample increased significantly with parasite density (r = 0.3912, p < 0.0001) but decreased with participant age (r = −0.4860, p < 0.0001). Parasitaemia and the number of clones per sample correlated negatively with total plasma levels of IgG antibodies to three highly reactive P. falciparum antigens (MSP-1p19, MSP-3 and EBA175) and two soluble antigen extracts (merozoite and mixed stage antigens). Surprisingly, we observed no association between the frequency of polyclonal infection and susceptibility to clinical disease as assessed by the recent occurrence of malarial symptoms or duration since the previous fever episode. Overall, the data indicate that in areas with the high perennial transmission of P. falciparum, parasite polyclonality is dependent on underlying host antibody responses, with the majority of polyclonal infections occurring in persons with low levels of protective anti-plasmodial antibodies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology, Detection and Treatment of Malaria)
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17 pages, 2062 KiB  
Article
Inter-Population Genetic Diversity and Clustering of Merozoite Surface Protein-1 (pkmsp-1) of Plasmodium knowlesi Isolates from Malaysia and Thailand
by Naqib Rafieqin Noordin, Yee Ling Lau, Fei Wen Cheong and Mun Yik Fong
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2023, 8(5), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed8050285 - 20 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1640
Abstract
The genetic diversity of pkmsp-1 of Malaysian Plasmodium knowlesi isolates was studied recently. However, the study only included three relatively older strains from Peninsular Malaysia and focused mainly on the conserved blocks of this gene. In this study, the full-length pkmsp-1 sequence of [...] Read more.
The genetic diversity of pkmsp-1 of Malaysian Plasmodium knowlesi isolates was studied recently. However, the study only included three relatively older strains from Peninsular Malaysia and focused mainly on the conserved blocks of this gene. In this study, the full-length pkmsp-1 sequence of recent P. knowlesi isolates from Peninsular Malaysia was characterized, along with Malaysian Borneo and Thailand pkmsp-1 sequences that were retrieved from GenBank. Genomic DNA of P. knowlesi was extracted from human blood specimens and the pkmsp-1 gene was PCR-amplified, cloned, and sequenced. The sequences were analysed for genetic diversity, departure from neutrality, and geographical clustering. The pkmsp-1 gene was found to be under purifying/negative selection and grouped into three clusters via a neighbour-joining tree and neighbour net inferences. Of the four polymorphic blocks in pkmsp-1, block IV, was most polymorphic, with the highest insertion–deletion (indel) sites. Two allelic families were identified in block IV, thereby highlighting the importance of this block as a promising genotyping marker for the multiplicity of infection study of P. knowlesi malaria. A single locus marker may provide an alternate, simpler method to type P. knowlesi in a population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology, Detection and Treatment of Malaria)
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12 pages, 1580 KiB  
Article
Point-of-Care Diagnosis of Malaria Using a Simple, Purification-Free DNA Extraction Method Coupled with Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification-Lateral Flow
by Meng Yee Lai, Lee Phone Youth Zen, Mohd Hafizi Abdul Hamid, Jenarun Jelip, Rose Nani Mudin, Vun Jan Shui Ivan, Lee Ngie Ping Francis, Izreena Saihidi and Yee Ling Lau
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2023, 8(4), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed8040199 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2284
Abstract
We propose a protocol suitable for point-of-care diagnosis of malaria utilizing a simple and purification-free DNA extraction method with the combination of loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay and lateral flow (LAMP-LF). The multiplex LAMP-LF platform developed here can simultaneously detect Plasmodium knowlesi, P. vivax, [...] Read more.
We propose a protocol suitable for point-of-care diagnosis of malaria utilizing a simple and purification-free DNA extraction method with the combination of loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay and lateral flow (LAMP-LF). The multiplex LAMP-LF platform developed here can simultaneously detect Plasmodium knowlesi, P. vivax, P. falciparum, and Plasmodium genus (for P. malariae and P. ovale). Through the capillary effect, the results can be observed by the red band signal on the test and control lines within 5 min. The developed multiplex LAMP-LF was tested with 86 clinical blood samples on-site at Hospital Kapit, Sarawak, Malaysia. By using microscopy as the reference method, the multiplex LAMP-LF showed 100% sensitivity (95% confidence interval (CI): 91.4 to 100.00%) and 97.8% specificity (95% CI: 88.2% to 99.9%). The high sensitivity and specificity of multiplex LAMP-LF make it ideal for use as a point-of-care diagnostic tool. The simple and purification-free DNA extraction protocol can be employed as an alternative DNA extraction method for malaria diagnosis in resource-limited settings. By combining the simple DNA extraction protocol and multiplex LAMP-LF approach, we aim to develop a simple-to-handle and easy-to-read molecular diagnostic tool for malaria in both laboratory and on-site settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology, Detection and Treatment of Malaria)
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