Scientists are racing to stamp out the disease in Southeast Asia before unstoppable strains spread. This article features MORU, SMRU and colleagues, and explains what is happening and what we are doing to eliminate drug-resistant malaria in Southeast Asia before it spreads.
Infections such as dengue and Japanese encephalitis are important problems in Laos but confirmed data are lacking, particularly from outside the capital Vientiane. Rapid diagnostic tests that can be kept at tropical room temperature help better diagnosis and treatment, and also inform policy to implement vaccination programmes.
Scrub typhus is an infection caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi, a bacteria transmitted by the bite of an infected chigger mite. Characterised by a variety of symptoms and a high mortality rate, scrub typhus is an underfunded, neglected tropical disease not even listed by the WHO. Better diagnostic tests and optimised treatments are being developed since no vaccine is currently available.
Genomics is the study of the complete DNA sequence, for example of a particular parasite, allowing us to analyse its evolution and the impact of human interventions. Alongside clinical date, we use genomics to identify mutations that are markers for drug resistance. Mapping out drug resistance then helps inform elimination programmes.
Anti-malaria drug resistance is spreading throughout Southeast Asia and we need to find new treatments. Our researchers at MORU use a combination of artemisinin and two partner drugs instead of one. If confirmed safe and tolerable, triple artemisinin combination therapies might be a good option to treat multi-drug resistant malaria, as well as slow down the emergence and spread of anti-malarial resistance.
ASTMH nominated Professor Rose McGready, SMRU Deputy Director, as an Honorary International Fellow. Rose received the prestigious award in recognition of outstanding accomplishment by an “individual not an American citizen who has made eminent contributions to some phase of tropical medicine and hygiene”. Rose will formally receive her award at the ASTMH Annual Meeting, to be help 28 Oct-1 Nov in New Orleans, Louisiana.
In the falciparum malaria parasite cycle, the gametocyte stages are responsible for the transmission from person to mosquito, then to other persons. A better understanding of how gametocytes respond to malaria treatments would help us block transmission and ultimately eliminate malaria.
Current recommended treatment regimens for the most widely used medicine for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria may be sub-optimal for small children and pregnant women according to a study led by Professor Joel Tarning.
8 June Bangkok (Thailand) – One of the world’s most widely used anti-malarial drugs is safe to use, say researchers, after a thorough review and analysis of nearly 200,000 malaria patients who’d taken the drug dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHA-PPQ). There is such a low risk of sudden unexpected death from DHA-PPQ, one of the world’s most effective medicines to treat malaria, that there is no need to limit its current use, the researchers say ...
Although malaria is decreasing in Myanmar, resistance to anti-malarials is on the rise in the region and the focus is now to treat people early, particularly in remote communities. MOCRU has set up a network of community health workers, trained and supplied with diagnostics, bednets and treatments, to help improve access to healthcare as well as produce the evidence to encourage policy changes.