Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Global malaria map key weapon in fight against malaria

05.12.2006
For the first time in almost forty years, researchers are creating a global map of malaria risk. The Malaria Atlas Project, or MAP, will help identify populations at particular risk and predict the impact of the disease, allowing health resources to be targeted at those areas most at risk. Malaria is thought to kill over a million people every year, mostly children and pregnant women.

The research, funded by the Wellcome Trust, the UK's largest biomedical research charity, involves a collaboration between the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and the University of Oxford. Details and goals of the project are announced today in the open access journal PLoS Medicine.

Researchers from Kenya and Oxford will use information from satellites, population censuses and other electronic data related to factors that determine the presence of mosquitoes carrying the malaria parasites and the likelihood they will infect humans. Statistical approaches will enable comparisons to be made between areas where information exists with areas where there is no information to fill in the "gaps" to create a global map of malaria risk worldwide.

"At the moment, information on malaria infections and the impact of the disease remains the subject of best guesses based on national reporting systems, historical data or unvalidated models of malaria distribution," says Dr Simon Hay from the University of Oxford, who is based at KEMRI. "Resources for tackling malaria are driven by a mixture of perception and politics rather than an objective assessment of need. Clearly, this situation is untenable."

New anti-malarial drugs and commodities to prevent infection are available, but these are often expensive and the researchers are concerned that without an accurate measure of the impact of malaria, global and national finances will not be able to meet the need for these interventions.

"How we design malaria control and measure its impact depends on knowing how much malaria exists in a given area," says Professor Bob Snow, also from the University of Oxford and based at KEMRI. "Like any war, knowing where your enemy is located and in what strength determines how you engage them. Intelligence is key – without an intelligent approach to global malaria control I fear there will be much wasted funding and many missed opportunities."

Malaria scientists collect information on how many people are infected with malaria parasites, but MAP will be the first time that all the data have been gathered into a single source and linked to a map of the world. MAP has so far assembled information from 3126 communities in 79 countries and represents the single largest repository of contemporary information of malaria risk to-date. Importantly, MAP has been developed with an open-access philosophy to the data it gathers, allowing researchers anywhere in the world to access the data for free.

"We hope to provide a unique example of how medical intelligence linked maps can assist all partners concerned with the control of malaria," said Dr Carlos Guerra, a member of the MAP team who developed an interface between the MAP data and the widely used Google Earth.

It is almost 40 years since the first global map of malaria risk and burden was created. Ten years ago, researchers at KEMRI and the University of Oxford voiced the need to develop a detailed map of malaria transmission in Africa. Professor Snow and his team hope that MAP will fill this gap in knowledge.

Craig Brierley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.plos.org/press/plme-03-12-hay.pdf
http://www.wellcome.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>