Scientists inch closer to a vaccine against the mosquito-borne Plasmodium falciparum, the world’s most lethal parasite
This graphic originally appeared with the article “Halting the World’s Most Lethal Parasite,” in the November 2010 issue of Scientific American. We are posting it as background for today’s announcement of good success in a phase III trial using a traditional vaccine by GlaxoSmithKline. Scroll down to see the illustration.
For decades the public health community has tried to devise a vaccine that would confer lifetime immunity against the malaria parasite[...]
A new malaria vaccine, a plan to immunize mosquitoes, and other “crazy” ideas have brightened prospects for vanquishing this killer
By Mary Carmichael
DEADLY CARGO: The Anopheles mosquito carries the malaria parasite responsible for disease and death in much of the tropics. Image: EVA-MARIA PASIEKA Corbis
Right now, somewhere in the world—in a petri dish in Baltimore, maybe, or in the salivary glands of a laboratory-bred mosquito in Seattle, or in the bloodstream of a villager in Ghana—resides a chemical compound that could help eradicate human history’s biggest killer. Scientists[...]
Image: JIM GATHANY/CDC
MOSQUITO. This blood-feeding Anopheles gambiae mosquito is one of the leading malaria vectors in the world.
Toby Fagan, who is currently conducting postdoctoral research on malaria at Edinburgh University, gives this response:
Malaria is one of the most ubiquitous diseases known–there are more than 125 different species of malaria that infect mammals, birds and reptiles, which indicates an early origin. It has probably afflicted humans throughout our evolutionary history, although the first historical reports of symptoms that match those of malaria date back to[...]
Coartem, a malaria drug whose potency is derived from a Chinese herb, may soon be approved for sale in the United States.
By Jordan Lite | December 23, 2008
DEADLY BITE The Food and Drug Administration may soon approve a drug derived from the herb artemisinin to treat malaria. Image: Public Health Image Library/James Gathany
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is poised to decide by Friday whether to green-light the use of the malaria drug Coartem as part of an expedited review reserved for life-saving treatments that the agency believes are more effective than existing therapies. An FDA advisory[...]
The parasite that causes malaria is becoming immune to artemisinin, the most effective drug. Pinpointing the resistance genes could offer a way to beat back the disease
By Katherine Harmon | April 5, 2012
New grounds for resistance: A camp in western Thailand, where drug-resistant malaria is becoming increasingly common Image: Timothy Anderson
The malaria parasite is a wily organism, shifting its life stages as it flits from human to mosquito and back again. It still kills some 600,000 people each year and has outwitted eradication efforts, having developed resistance to previously popular drugs[...]
Although for decades we have had the scientific knowledge and tools to control malaria, the disease continues to kill millions and inflict misery on families and communities.
While many are pushing for an elimination of DDT, there is unequivocal evidence that this insecticide is a safe and affordable tool to prevent and control malaria.
Public health professionals will one day look back and be more than dismayed that we did not do enough to make optimal use of available tools, such as DDT, to stop the horrendous scale of death and illness caused by malaria.
In Guyana, in the[...]
DDT a potent weapon against malaria
Kelvin Kemm | 20 May 2011
World Malaria Day is celebrated in April each year. As this important day slips past unnoticed by most, it is worth pondering the disease for a while.
I have had an interest in malaria for many years and, a few years ago, I was invited to write a chapter in a book published in London on Third World health. My chapter was on malaria and the wonder chemical DDT. I was amazed at what I found out when I really looked into the topic. DDT is not at all harmful, as so many activists have claimed.
South Africa is currently a world leader[...]