Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

A roadmap for adding ivermectin to the malaria toolbox

A group of experts led by Regina Rabinovich and Carlos Chaccour from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) has published a roadmap to evaluate—and subsequently implement—ivermectin as a complementary vector ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Study reveals breastfeeding could protect babies from malaria

In a world first, researchers from The University of Western Australia have taken the first step towards understanding whether it may be possible for breastfeeding mothers to naturally vaccinate their babies against malaria—one ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

1st malaria vaccine tried out in babies in 3 African nations

A pinch in the leg, a squeal and a trickle of tears. One baby after another in Malawi is getting the first and only vaccine against malaria, one of history's deadliest and most stubborn of diseases.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

A new breakthrough in developing effective antimalarial drugs

Parasites in the genus Plasmodium, which cause malaria, are transmitted to humans through bites from infected mosquitoes. The parasites acclimatize to these two completely different hosts because the plasticity of their genome ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Mosquitoes engineered to repel dengue virus

An international team of scientists has synthetically engineered mosquitoes that halt the transmission of the dengue virus.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New insights into our multi-millenia battle with malaria

Humans have long been thwarted by 'the fever'. References to malaria's infamous febricity are found across antiquity, from writings by the four thousand-year-old Vedic sages of ancient India to the Greek physician Hippocrates. ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Mated female mosquitoes are more likely to transmit malaria parasites

Female mosquitoes that have mated are more likely to transmit malaria parasites than virgin females, according to a study published November 7 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Farah Dahalan of Imperial College ...

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Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases progressing to coma or death. It is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, including much of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

Five species of Plasmodium can infect and be transmitted by humans. Severe disease is largely caused by Plasmodium falciparum while the disease caused by Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, and Plasmodium malariae is generally a milder disease that is rarely fatal. Plasmodium knowlesi is a zoonosis that causes malaria in macaques but can also infect humans.

Malaria transmission can be reduced by preventing mosquito bites by distribution of mosquito nets and insect repellents, or by mosquito-control measures such as spraying insecticides and draining standing water (where mosquitoes breed). Despite a clear need, no vaccine offering a high level of protection currently exists. Efforts to develop one are ongoing. A number of medications are also available to prevent malaria in travelers to malaria-endemic countries (prophylaxis).

A variety of antimalarial medications are available. Severe malaria is treated with intravenous or intramuscular quinine or, since the mid-2000s, the artemisinin derivative artesunate, which is superior to quinine in both children and adults. Resistance has developed to several antimalarial drugs, most notably chloroquine.

There were an estimated 225 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2009. An estimated 655,000 people died from malaria in 2010, a 5% decrease from the 781,000 who died in 2009 according to the World Health Organization's 2011 World Malaria Report, accounting for 2.23% of deaths worldwide. Ninety percent of malaria-related deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa, with ~60% of deaths being young children under the age of five. Plasmodium falciparum, the most severe form of malaria, is responsible for the vast majority of deaths associated with the disease. Malaria is commonly associated with poverty, and can indeed be a cause of poverty and a major hindrance to economic development.

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