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Thread: In the fight against malaria

  1. #31
    Location: Southeast USA
    Posts: 62,123
    My Latest Mood: Amused


    Quote Originally Posted by vellicate View Post
    Amazing that we can agree on something! It was bound to happen. DDT was the single greatest thing for controlling malaria... and they banned it. (conveniently after DDT had eradicated most of malaria in the states).

    Stupid Rachel Carson and her book.
    When I was a child 98% of babies in the Eastern Province had malaria.. until ARAMCO began spraying with DDT.

    There was an immediate positive response and then a slight resurgence as the mosquitos became resistant.. By the time the doctors regrouped it had been banned... so the study was curtailed.

    These docs were not very busy taking care of young, healthy oil company families so they had time for this research and they kept voluminous records.

    I think the studies of Ivor Morgan, MD are published on line.

  2. #32


    Quote Originally Posted by Doug_yvr View Post
    No it wasn't as the malarial mosquito had developed and still enjoys resistance to DDT.
    Sorry. Not true. If the millions killed by malaria had been white, we would still be using DDT. I suspect the bedbug problem in NYC might bring it back.

  3. Thumbs up

    Anti-malaria breakthrough...

    Scientists Provide Template for Developing New Anti-malarial Drug
    January 18, 2012 - In a medical breakthrough, scientists have determined the workings of a protein vital to the parasite that causes malaria, a disease that annually sickens more than 200 million people around the world, and kills more than 500,000. Researchers say their analysis of the protein reveals an important weakness in the microscopic parasite, and provides a good starting point for new anti-malarial drugs.
    A team of scientists at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, spent six years trying to understand the structure and function of a protein essential to the survival of Plasmodium falciparum. That's the single-celled protozoan that lives inside mosquitos and is responsible for the most lethal form of malaria. The microscopic parasite needs the protein, an enzyme called PMT, to make its cell membranes, and it cannot survive without it. Dr. Joseph Jez, who led the research team, says cracking the code of PMT's design is like finding malaria's fatal weakness: "If you can target the protein and basically kill the activity of the protein, you shut down the production of building blocks for membranes which will then make the organism die off, or slow down the progression," said Jez.

    Jez and his colleagues used a complex and painstaking method called protein crystallization to view PMT's molecular structure in three dimensions. He says the method was critical to their study. "If you can understand what the molecules look like in three dimensions, you can start to design or develop pharmaceuticals that target it specifically," Jez noted. "The uniqueness of it is that this is a new potential anti-parasitic target for Plasmodium and also in terms of nematodes or worms, which are parasites as well." Jez adds that because Plasmodium PMT is NOT found in human cells, any drug that targets the protein could be safely administered to humans.

    Dr. Neeraj Mistry is managing director of the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases. He says the research is an important step toward powerful and safe new drugs to fight the worldwide malaria plague: "It opens the door to developing new drugs that specifically affect the parasite - will not affect the host - that will not have severe side effects - will only affect the parasite," Mistry noted. "Which means that upon identification of that pathway, we might be able to come up with a unique drug that actually affects that malaria parasite." The work of identifying compounds that target the Plasmodium PMT is just beginning. But the Washington University research provides new hope not only for new anti-malarial drugs, but for compounds that can destroy a variety of disease-causing parasitic worms as well as weedy plants that all depend on the same PMT protein.


  4. #34
    usa us indiana
    Location: Indianapolis, IN
    Posts: 2,608
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    Malaria was wiped out in the USA before DDT was invented. Imagine that. The key is that only humans carry human malaria, so you use old-fashioned public health tactics (something conservatives hate.) If you cure and isolate infected humans, mosquitoes can't bite them and pick up a new dose of malaria to spread, and the cycle of infection is stopped. Treating the mosquitoes is kind of pointless; treating the humans is the key.

    The zombie lie about how evil Rachel Carlson banned DDT and killed millions just won't die. No matter how many times it's debunked, there's always a new generation of True Believers out there, desperate to believe any story about how awful those liberal environmentalists are.

  5. Icon5

    More malaria deaths than first thought...

    Study: Malaria Kills More People Than Previously Thought
    Thursday, February 2nd, 2012: A new study shows that malaria could be killing many more people than some experts previously thought.
    The study, published in the British medical journal The Lancet Friday, says more than 1.2 million people died of the mosquito-borne disease in 2010. The disease inflicted a high toll on adults as well as children, most of them in Africa.

    Previous estimates said that between 70,000 and 80,000 people died of malaria annually. The new study also defies the belief that children under five are more likely to die of malaria than adults.

    It was conducted by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle. On the positive side, it shows that deaths linked to malaria have been declining because of access to better drugs and insecticide-treated nets.

    The research was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It used new data and new computer modeling to build a historical database for malaria between 1980 and 2010.


  6. Cool

    New malaria test could save lives...

    New Test for Malaria Could Make Diagnosis Faster, Simpler and Cheaper
    April 22, 2012 - Getting a diagnosis quickly means getting treatment fast – and that can make a life-or-death difference for some malaria patients.
    Italian researcher Dan Cojoc said that was the primary motivation behind his recent project to develop a new screening technique for the mosquito-born illness. He said a friend from Ivory Coast provides a good example of why faster tests are needed. “He told me about his kid who was touched by malaria,” Cojoc explained. “And when he was at the hospital, the father was dispirited, because the doctors said you will have the [diagnosis] in 12 hours. In 12 hours, the person can die.” Cojoc said his international team has developed a new technique that can get a diagnosis in minutes. He said the current standard method to test for malaria requires special training and expensive equipment. “This actual technique can only be applied in hospitals, which are very few in Africa.” Cojoc said his team wanted to create “a device which can be used in every corner of a country.”

    Cojoc's technique involves taking a one-second video of a red blood cell, while shining a tinted light through it. The recording is done at a high frame rate, meaning that the second is broken down into many separate slides. The light shows up in the video in what he called a “speckle pattern” – created by vibrations of the cell membrane. Cojoc said when viewed this way, the difference between a healthy cell and one infected with the malaria parasite is immediately obvious. “A healthy cell vibrates in one way, and infected cells in a different way, because when a parasite enters into a cell, the cell [membrane] becomes stiffer.” He is working on the final phases of developing a low-cost instrument that would implement this technique. He says he expects the final product will include a special, portable microscope, costing around $400, and disposable microchips to hold the blood sample, costing less than a dollar each.

    Cojoc, a senior scientist at the Istituto Officina dei Materiali, added his team also hopes to apply his “speckle pattern” technique to other diseases. “We do think that this technique can be applied also to characterize other types of cells,” he said, “the healthy cells and the cancer cells, for instance.” According to the World Health Organization, a child dies from malaria every minute in Africa. The organization says prompt and effective treatment is a key component in controlling the disease.


  7. Icon15

    Malaria parasite shows drug-resistance...

    Study finds early signs of malaria drug resistance in Africa
    Africa's deadliest malaria parasite has shown resistance in lab tests to one of the most powerful drugs on the market -- a warning of possible resistance to follow in patients, according to scientists.
    Researchers in London found resistance to artemether in test tube analysis of blood from 11 of 28 patients who had fallen ill after travelling in countries mainly in sub-Saharan Africa -- what they said was a "statistically significant" result. Artemether is one of the most effective drugs in the artemisinin group most commonly used in malaria cocktails known as ACTs. "Resistance in a test tube usually leads to resistance at some stage down the line in patients," study leader Sanjeev Krishna told AFP of the findings published in BioMed Central publishers' Malaria Journal. "The question is how far down the line." The study did not look at the patients' actual response to drugs, and "what that might mean in terms of treatment failure, we have yet to assess. We don't know." A statement said the resistance was caused by genetic mutations in a parasite transmitted by infected mosquitoes, and meant that "the best weapons against malaria could become obsolete."

    The laboratory tests on the Plasmodium falciparum parasite, which causes the deadliest form of malaria and is responsible for 90 percent of deaths, showed artemether's effectiveness reduced by about half in the infected samples. "This study confirms our fears of how the parasite is mutating to develop resistance," said Krishna, adding the genetic changes "occurred relatively recently". "Drug resistance could eventually become a devastating problem in Africa, and not just in east Asia where most of the world is watching for resistance." Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 90 percent of people killed by malaria every year. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said Tuesday it was optimistic drug-resistant malaria that has emerged along Thailand's borders with Cambodia and Myanmar could be contained within the region.

    While global campaigning and wide distributions of mosquito nets have helped curb malaria, it is still regarded as the worst parasitic disease in the world. The WHO says 655,000 people died of malaria in 2010, making it the world's fifth biggest killer in low-income countries. "What we should be doing is to use the drugs we have as effectively as we can, to make sure they are working and to stop using combinations that are not working," said Krishna. And the focus should be on monitoring and further research. "We must be very alert to the risk of there being increased treatment failures," the scientist warned. "We need to know more, we need to know it fairly quickly."


  8. Icon15

    Granny says dat's why all dem lil' babies is dyin'...

    Third of malaria drugs in SE Asia are fake
    22 May`12 - More than a third of malaria drugs examined by scientists in Southeast Asia were fake, and a similar proportion analysed in Africa were below standard, doctors warned on Tuesday.
    "These findings are a wake-up call demanding a series of interventions to better define and eliminate both criminal production and poor manufacturing of antimalarial drugs," said Joel Breman of the Fogarty International Center at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Trawling through surveys and published literature, the researchers found that in seven Southeast Asian countries, 36 percent of 1,437 samples, from five categories of drugs were counterfeit. Thirty-percent of the samples failed a test of their pharmaceutical ingredients.

    In 21 sub-Saharan countries, 20 percent of more than 2,500 samples tested in six drug classes turned out to be falsified, and 35 percent were below pharmaceutical norms. Sub-standard medications are a major problem in the fight against malaria, a disease which killed 655,000 people in 2010, according to the UN's World Health Organisation (WHO). Many of the drugs that are being faked or poorly manufactured are artemisin derivatives, the study said. This is a special worry, for artemisinins are the frontline treatment for malaria, replacing drugs to which the malaria parasite has become resistant.

    The study says there are many causes for the problem, ranging from widespread self-prescription of drugs to shoddy controls to monitor drug quality and prosecute counterfeiters. "Poor-quality antimalarial drugs are very likely to jeopardise the unprecedented progress and investments in control and elimination of malaria made in the past decade," said Breman. Last month, studies published in The Lancet and Science journals reported that artemisin-resistant malaria which was first spotted in Cambodia in 2006 has since surged 800 kilometers (500 miles) westward to the Thailand-Myanmar border.


  9. Icon4

    Drug-resistant malaria in Cambodia could have global ramifications...

    Drug-Resistant Malaria Vexes Health Workers in Cambodia
    August 24, 2012 – A little-known battle being fought in Cambodia could have global ramifications. The fight is against drug-resistant malaria.
    The problem is more severe in Cambodia than anywhere else in the world, says Steven Bjorge, the World Health Organization's malaria team leader in Cambodia. About 17 percent of all cases in the Cambodian-Thai border area of Pailin were drug-resistant in 2011, up from 10 percent the year before, according to Char Meng Chuor, director of the government’s National Malaria Center. He says the drug-resistant disease has also spread to parts of Preah Vihear and Pursat, border provinces in Cambodia’s north and west. Drug-resistant malaria first evolved in Cambodia in the 1950s and 1960s, according to Bjorge.

    “Since then, every new drug seems to first become resistant in Cambodia or on the Thai-Cambodian border before anywhere else in the world,” he said. Drug resistance occurs when a patient infected with the Plasmodium falciparum parasite takes an incomplete or incorrect course of anti-malarial drugs. This allows the parasite to evolve resistance to that medicine, so patients must take another course of drugs under the supervision of a doctor, says Char Meng Chuor.

    Beyond Borders

    The problem is greatest in border towns with a lot of traffic. Here, migrant workers might buy the wrong drugs without seeing a doctor, or misuse treatment in other ways, says Uth Sophal, Pailin field officer for the health group the Malaria Consortium. “Migrant people move from one province to another, so when they come to Pailin, which already has resistant malaria, when the mosquitoes bite those people, they will get that parasite and pass it from one province to another province, from one country to another,” he said. With some help, health workers are hoping that will change.

    The Malaria Consortium has created a network of volunteers at Pailin’s border crossing to check and evaluate migrant workers and treat them if they have malaria. “When Cambodians cross the border, we measure their temperature,” Uth Sophal said. “If they have any kind of illness, we have to immediately treat them.” University Research, a global health company fighting drug-resistant malaria in sub-Mekong Region countries, is trying to ensure migrant workers are given bed nets before they move through malaria-prone areas. It is also training local people to provide malaria.

    Global Ramifications

  10. Thumbs up

    Cameroon makin' progress in the fight against malaria...

    Cameroon Winning Battle to Reduce Malaria
    August 24, 2012 — It’s a Monday morning at the Yaounde central hospital, and one of the busiest days of the week for the doctors and nurses who work here. Hundreds of sick people wait for their turn in one of the consultation rooms. For many, their fate is known in advance. One in four will be diagnosed with malaria.
    Malaria is a leading cause of hospital visits – and death - in the country. Victims are mostly children and pregnant women. Everyone in Cameroon is considered at risk. Last year, the disease inflicted more than 1.8 million people. Sunny and humid, most of Cameroon is a breeding ground for anopheles mosquitoes that transmit the malaria parasite. The country’s 20 million people are now on the frontline of the war on malaria in Africa. Dr. Esther Tallah is the manager of the Cameroon Coalition against Malaria and a major player in the struggle against the disease. She says the war is being won by expanding effective prevention and treatment. "Once you invest in the right things that we know work for malaria prevention and control, you see results immediately," she said, "The world has shown and repeatedly proven that when [people] adopt the habit of sleeping under mosquito nets and that you achieve universal coverage you see a drop in the incidence of malaria. "If the country decides that they want to do indoor residual spraying, and they do it effectively," she continued, "you see a drop in the incidence of malaria. In some cases, countries decide to combine indoor residual spraying and sleeping under long-lasting insecticidal mosquito nets."

    The government and NGOs like Tallah’s coalition distributed more than eight million long-lasting insecticidal nets nationwide. The government has also scaled up affordable treatment using a combination of anti-malaria drugs including artemisinin. Together, they attack the reproductive cycle of the malaria parasite, thereby curing and reducing transmission at the same time. As part of the push to end malaria, patients pay less than $1 (U.S.) for several days’ treatment. Pregnant women and children under that age of five are treated for free. Health officials say universal protection and effective treatments are paying off. Doctors across the country are seeing fewer and fewer patients each year. Cases reported by hospitals dropped to 28 percent in April 2012 from 30 percent in April 2011. The National Malaria Control Committee’s reports show a steady fall since the end of 2008, when the sickness rate was around 44.5 percent. But the gains remain fragile.

    In most of Cameroon, poor drainage leaves standing water in which mosquitoes breed. Health workers say many people have nets but are not using them. The mosquitoes are also developing resistance to insecticides. Talla says such problems are being tackled. "The national anti-malaria commission has conducted studies, and we have a map of resistance to insecticides by the anopheles mosquitoes that transmit malaria," she said. "There is a plan to follow up on that and put in place a system that ensures that that is taken into account."

    She said that even where there's resistance, the nets are still effective, "though the people who produce the nets are conscious of resistance and are coming out with a third-generation nets that combine two products." Cameroon hopes to reduce malaria infections in the country by 50 percent in a few years. For the first time, campaigners are already talking about ending the scourge. But to eradicate malaria in Cameroon, Tallah says the public must play its part. Early treatment, correct use of long-lasting insecticidal mosquito nets and hygienic living can greatly reduce new infections.


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