A genetic region responsible for red blood cell invasion was among a small number of areas found to differ between the genomes of malaria parasites that affect chimpanzees and Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite responsible for the deaths of more than half a million children each year. Out of a genome of approximately 5,500 genes, researchers found that most genes have directly equivalent counterparts between the human and primate parasites. However, portions of… Read More

The WHO European Region aims to eliminate malaria from the region by 2015, the agency said in a World Malaria Day press release. The agency called the goal “realistic and attainable,” given recent progress. Cases of locally acquired malaria have declined dramatically in recent years, the agency said, from 90,712 in 1995 to only 37 in 2013. The 2013 cases were reported in Greece, Tajikistan, and Turkey. Imported cases continue to pose… Read More

Microbial Misadventures is a recurring series on Body Horrors looking at instances and incidents where human meets microbe in novel and unusual circumstances that challenge our assumptions about how infections are spread. Check out Rebecca Kreston’s latest work on malaria outbreaks via Discover’s Body Horrors: “Shout “fire” in a crowded room and watch the occupants fly for the exits. Speak the word “malaria” and watch as all within earshot reach for the nearest… Read More

Researchers have debated for more than two decades the likely impacts, if any, of global warming on the worldwide incidence of malaria, a mosquito-borne disease that infects more than 300 million people each year. Now, researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the University of Michigan, with colleagues, are reporting the first hard evidence that malaria does—as had long been predicted—creep to higher elevations during warmer years and… Read More

Forty African countries showed reductions in malaria transmission between 2000-2010, but despite this progress, more than half (57 per cent) of the population in countries endemic for malaria continue to live in areas of moderate to intense transmission, with infection rates over 10 per cent. The findings are based on a series of prevalence maps for malaria published this week in the Lancet. A team led by Dr Abdisalan Noor and Professor… Read More

The biological interactions that make some malaria parasites specific to host species Researchers have discovered why the parasite that causes the deadliest form of malaria only infects humans. The team recently showed that the interaction between a parasite protein called RH5 and a receptor called basigin was essentially required for the invasion of red blood cells by the parasite that causes the deadliest form of malaria. Now, they’ve discovered that this same… Read More

Better malaria control might come from segregating household sleeping arrangements, according to a new study co-authored by a University of Guelph professor. The researchers found malaria eradication related more to household size than to a country’s wealth or temperature. Guelph economics professor Ross McKitrick and two Finnish professors, Larry and Lena Huldén, found that when average household size drops below four persons, malaria extermination is much more likely. Malaria is transmitted by… Read More

In large-magnitude disasters – such as the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines – public health infrastructure is often dismantled.  Extremely poor sanitation conditions, dismantled water and sewage infrastructure, and high-density shelter facilities for victims can propagate multiple disease risks for the victims and aid workers. Outbreaks of infectious diseases can occur 10 days to a month after a natural disaster, and displaced residents who are evacuated to crowded shelters also… Read More

A new study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and University of Perugia (UNIPG) researchers has shown that egg development in the mosquito species primarily responsible for spreading malaria depends on a switch in the female that is turned on by a male hormone delivered during sex.   Blocking the activation of this switch could impair the ability of the species, Anopheles gambiae, to reproduce, and may be a viable… Read More

More evidence that wildlife health is linked to human health: