Researchers have exploited a quirk in the genetic make-up of the deadly malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, to create 38,000 mutant strains and then determine which of the organism’s genes are essential to its growth and survival. P. falciparum is responsible for about half of all malaria cases and 90 percent of all malaria deaths. New information about the parasite’s critical gene repertoire could help investigators prioritize targets for future antimalarial drug development.
Malaria News Releases
Significant global progress has been made since 2000 to reduce the incidence and mortality of malaria. However, recent evidence suggests that the trend toward fewer malaria cases and deaths has stalled, or in some regions of the world, reversed course. As a global community, we cannot afford to cede the hard-fought gains in the battle to control and eliminate this devastating mosquito-borne disease.
Scientists have discovered a human antibody that protected mice from infection with the deadliest malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. The research findings provide the basis for future testing in humans to determine if the antibody can provide short-term protection against malaria, and also may aid in vaccine design. Investigators at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, led the research with colleagues at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
Using genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes to reduce or prevent the spread of infectious diseases is a new but rapidly expanding field of investigation. Among the challenges researchers face is ensuring that GM mosquitoes can compete and mate with their wild counterparts so the desired modification is preserved and spread in the wild population. Investigators at Johns Hopkins University have engineered GM mosquitoes to have an altered microbiota that suppresses human malaria-causing parasites.
WHAT:Researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, modified an experimental malaria vaccine and showed that it completely protected four of eight monkeys that received it against challenge with the virulent Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite. In three of the remaining four monkeys, the vaccine delayed when parasites first appeared in the blood by more than 25 days.
Statement of B. Fenton Hall, M.D., Ph.D., and Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DiseasesNational Institutes of Health
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced approximately $12.9 million in first-year funding, subject to availability, for eleven malaria research centers around the world. The 7-year awards continue NIAID’s 2010 program that created the International Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research (ICEMRs) in regions where malaria is endemic. The awards fund four new and seven existing centers that work in 17 countries in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands and Latin America.
An investigational malaria vaccine has protected a small number of healthy U.S. adults from infection with a malaria strain different from that contained in the vaccine, according to a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, sponsored and co-conducted the Phase 1 clinical trial.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has launched a Phase 1 clinical trial to test an investigational vaccine intended to provide broad protection against a range of mosquito-transmitted diseases, such as Zika, malaria, West Nile fever and dengue fever, and to hinder the ability of mosquitoes to transmit such infections. The study, which is being conducted at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, will examine the experimental vaccine’s safety and ability to generate an immune response.
An investigational malaria vaccine given intravenously was well-tolerated and protected a significant proportion of healthy adults against infection with Plasmodium falciparum malaria—the deadliest form of the disease—for the duration of the malaria season, according to new findings published in the February 15th issue of the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases. The study participants live in Mali, Africa, where they are naturally exposed to the parasite.
An experimental malaria vaccine strategy known as PfSPZ-CVac, together with antimalarial medication, protected all nine clinical trial volunteers given three high-dose vaccinations, according to study results published today in Nature.
A frontline malaria treatment that combines fast-acting dihydroartemisinin with long-lasting piperaquine is quickly losing power in Cambodia due to the rapid spread of drug-resistant parasites. The presence of piperaquine-resistant malaria parasites in several Cambodian provinces was confirmed earlier this year by National Institutes of Health researchers and their colleagues.
People infected with Ebola virus were 20 percent more likely to survive if they were co-infected with malaria-causing Plasmodium parasites, according to data collected at an Ebola diagnostic laboratory in Liberia in 2014-15. Moreover, greater numbers of Plasmodium parasites correlated with increased rates of Ebola survival, according to a dozen collaborating research groups in the new study, published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Plasmodium vivax (P. vivax) parasites, which cause a debilitating form of malaria, are yielding their secrets to an international team of researchers funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. In the largest such effort to date, the team determined complete genomes of nearly 200 P. vivaxstrains that recently infected people in eight countries. Comparative analysis showed the parasites clustered into four genetically distinct populations that provide insights into the movement of P.
An experimental malaria vaccine protected a small number of healthy, malaria-naïve adults in the United States from infection for more than one year after immunization, according to results from a Phase 1 trial described in the May 9th issue of Nature Medicine.
On World Malaria Day 2016, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognizes the considerable gains that have been made in reducing the global burden of malaria and renews our commitment to conducting and supporting the cutting-edge scientific research needed to end the scourge of this devastating mosquito-borne disease.
New findings from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), confirm dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine, the first-line treatment for Plasmodium falciparum malaria infection in Cambodia, has failed in certain provinces due to parasite resistance to artemisinin and piperaquine.
Using new, highly sensitive genomic sequencing technology, an international team of researchers has found new biological evidence to help explain why the malaria vaccine candidate RTS,S/AS01 (called RTS,S) provided only moderate protection among vaccinated children during clinical testing.
Drug-resistant forms of Plasmodium falciparum can infect the type of mosquito that is the main transmitter of malaria in Africa. The discovery suggests Africa is more at risk for drug-resistant malaria infections than previously thought, which could further compromise efforts to prevent and eliminate the disease.