Nav: Home

Identifying regions that would most benefit from an innovative strategy against malaria

April 09, 2019

An analysis led by ISGlobal, an institution supported by "la Caixa", identifies African regions where ivermectin administration to livestock would have the greatest impact on malaria transmission. The results, published, in Scientific Reports, point to West Africa, below the Sahel, where malaria prevalence is very high.

Between 2000 and 2015, an estimated 663 million malaria cases were avoided worldwide, mostly due to the use of insecticide-treated bed nets and indoor spraying. However, these measures do not protect against malaria-transmitting mosquitoes that bite outside, during the day, and can also feed from livestock. Tackling this "residual" transmission will require of strategies that go beyond household walls.

Ivermectin has been used for many years in livestock to control parasites that live on (eg. ticks) or inside (eg. intestinal worms) the animal. Recent studies show that ivermectin can also kill mosquitoes that feed on drug-treated animals, making it an attractive complement tool for vector control, particularly in areas with high malaria transmission.

In this study, ISGlobal researcher Carlos Chaccour and his colleagues performed a mapping exercise to identify African regions where a high malaria prevalence overlaps with high density of livestock and of the Anopheles arabiensis mosquito, which feeds on humans and cattle. In other words, they sought to identify the regions where ivermectin administration to livestock would have the greatest impact on malaria control.

The analysis shows that the West African region under the Sahel (particularly Burkina Faso, Guinea, Benin and Togo) would benefit the most from treating livestock with ivermectin. These regions are also those with the highest malaria prevalence among children under 10 years of age.

"This strategy can provide additional benefits for the community, by improving the overall health of their livestock," explains Chaccour. In addition, he points out, ivermectin is expected to be effective even against insecticide-resistant mosquitoes.

More studies are needed to evaluate if the strategy is effective in reducing malaria transmission, accepted by communities, and cost-effective. This is precisely one of the aims of BOHEMIA, a project funded by Unitaid and led by ISGlobal. Launched recently, BOHEMIA will assess the impact of mass ivermectin administration in communities and/or livestock in two African countries (Tanzania and Mozambique). "Actually, the regions chosen for BOHEMIA are of special interest for ivermectin use in livestock, according to our maps," points out Chaccour.
-end-


Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal)

Related Malaria Articles:

Could there be a 'social vaccine' for malaria?
Malaria is a global killer and a world health concern.
Transgenic plants against malaria
Scientists have discovered a gene that allows to double the production of artemisinin in the Artemisia annua plant.
Fighting malaria through metabolism
EPFL scientists have fully modeled the metabolism of the deadliest malaria parasite.
Should we commit to eradicate malaria worldwide?
Should we commit to eradicate malaria worldwide, asks a debate article published by The BMJ today?
Investigational malaria vaccine shows considerable protection in adults in malaria season
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 Feb.
Why malaria mosquitoes like people with malaria
Malaria mosquitoes prefer to feed -- and feed more -- on blood from people infected with malaria.
Malaria superbugs threaten global malaria control
A lineage of multidrug resistant P. falciparum malaria superbugs has widely spread and is now established in parts of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, causing high treatment failure rates for the main falciparum malaria medicines, artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs), according to a study published today in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
Considering cattle could help eliminate malaria in India
The goal of eliminating malaria in countries like India could be more achievable if mosquito-control efforts take into account the relationship between mosquitoes and cattle, according to an international team of researchers.
Seasonal malaria chemoprevention in Senegalese children lowers overall malaria burden
Giving preventive antimalarial drugs to children up to age 10 during active malaria season reduced the cases of malaria in that age group and lowered the malaria incidence in adults, according to a randomized trial carried out in Senegal and published in PLOS Medicine by researchers from the Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Senegal, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK, and other collaborators.
How malaria fools our immune system
OIST researchers reconstruct the 3-D structure of a malaria protein in combination with human antibodies.

Related Malaria Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...