The prevalence of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic malaria can be as high as 35 percent in populations with malaria and these asymptomatic individuals can serve as a reservoir for spreading malaria even in areas where disease transmission has declined.
In a new study, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute found that a strategy of actively identifying undiagnosed malaria and then treating those with the disease resulted in significantly lower prevalence of malaria cases compared to a control group. Their findings are published in the February 3 edition of the journal PLoS ONE.
“New strategies are needed, particularly in areas of declining transmission. One strategy is to screen people for malaria and treat those who are infected, even those who are not sick enough to go to the clinic,” said lead author, Catherine G. Sutcliffe, PhD, an assistant scientist with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology. “Using artemisinin combination therapy can enhance this strategy, as treatment can reduce transmission to mosquitoes. In regions of declining transmission, the burden of malaria could be reduced to such an extent that elimination is achievable.”
The study was conducted in southern Zambia, with colleagues from the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute in Macha. Researchers analyzed data from surveys conducted in 2007 and between 2008 and 2009. In both surveys, households were screened for malaria using rapid diagnostic tests and treated with artemisinin combination therapy when malaria was detected.
According to the new study, a proactive test-and-treat case-detection strategy resulted in a sixfold reduction in prevalence in 2008 and 2009, with the initial parasite prevalence at 4 percent. Test and treat showed a twofold reduction in 2007, when community prevalence was higher at 24 percent.
“Proactive case detection with treatment using artemisinin-combination therapy can reduce transmission and provide indirect protection to household members. If resources permit, this strategy could be targeted to hot spots to achieve further reductions in malaria transmission,” said William J. Moss, MD, senior author of the study and associate professor with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Worldwide, malaria afflicts more than 225 million people. The disease kills between 800,000 and 1 million people each year, many of whom are children living in Africa.
Authors of “Reduced Risk of Malaria Parastemia Following Household Screening and Treatment: A Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Cohort Study” include Catherine G. Sutcliffe, PhD; Tamaki Kobayashi, PhD; Harry Hamapumbu; Timothy Shields, MA; Sungano Mharakurwa, PhD; Philip E. Thuma, MD; Thomas A. Louis, PhD; Gregory Glass, PhD; and William J. Moss, MD.
The Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute is a state-of-the-art research facility at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. It focuses on a broad program of basic science research to treat and control malaria, develop a vaccine and find new drug targets to prevent and cure this deadly disease.
The research was funded by the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute.
Media contact: Tim Parsons, director of Public Affairs, at 410-955-7619 or email@example.com
Tim Parsons | EurekAlert!
Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering
New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy