High malaria transmission areas remain a problem for elimination

August 10, 2010

Current tools for combating malaria, such as artemisinin-combination therapy and increasing coverage of long-lasting insecticide bednets can result in major reductions in Plasmodium falciparum malaria transmission and the associated disease burden in Africa. Furthermore, if such interventions can be rolled out to achieve a comprehensive and sustained intervention program, a parasite prevalence threshold of 1% may be achievable in areas where there is a low- to moderate transmission of malaria and where mosquitoes mainly rest indoors. These are the findings from a modeling study by Jamie Griffin and colleagues from Imperial College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, published in this week's PLoS Medicine.

The authors reached these conclusions by developing a mathematical simulation model for P. falciparum transmission in Africa, which incorporated three major types of mosquito, parasite prevalence data in 34 areas of Africa with differing P. falciparum malaria transmission levels, and the effect of switching to artemisinin-combination therapy and increasing coverage of long-lasting insecticide treated bednets. Then the authors explored the impact on transmission of continued roll-out of long-lasting insecticide treated bednets, additional rounds of indoor residual spraying, mass screening and treatment and a future vaccine in six representative settings with varying transmission intensity with the aim of reaching a realistic target of 80% coverage. The model predicted some success in low and moderate transmission settings but in high-transmission areas and those in which mosquitoes are mainly outdoor-resting, additional new tools that target outdoor-biting mosquitoes and substantial social improvements will be required as higher levels of intervention coverage are unrealistic.

The authors say, "Our model is necessarily a simplification of the more complex dynamics underlying malaria transmission and control, so numerical results should be interpreted more as providing intuitive insight into potential scenarios than as firm predictions of what might happen in a given setting."
-end-
Funding: This work was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Vaccine Modeling Initiative, the UK Medical Research Council, Microsoft Research, and the TransMalariaBloc European Commission FP7 Collaborative project (HEALTH-F3-2008-223736). TDH is funded by an Imperial College Junior Research Fellowship. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interests: ACG has received payment for advice on malaria transmission modeling from Glaxo Smith Kline.

Citation: Griffin JT, Hollingsworth TD, Okell LC, Churcher TS, White M, et al. (2010) Reducing Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Transmission in Africa: A Model-Based Evaluation of Intervention Strategies. PLoS Med 7 (8): e1000324. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000324

IN YOUR COVERAGE PLEASE USE THIS URL TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE FREELY AVAILABLE PAPER: http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1000324

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: www.plos.org/press/plme-07-08-ghani.pdf

CONTACT:
Emily Lyons
Scientific Manager
MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis & Modeling
Imperial College London
Tel: +44 204 594 9011
Mobile: +44 7590 250491
Email: e.lyons@imperial.ac.uk

PLOS

Related Malaria Articles from Brightsurf:

Clocking in with malaria parasites
Discovery of a malaria parasite's internal clock could lead to new treatment strategies.

Breakthrough in malaria research
An international scientific consortium led by the cell biologists Volker Heussler from the University of Bern and Oliver Billker from the UmeƄ University in Sweden has for the first time systematically investigated the genome of the malaria parasite Plasmodium throughout its life cycle in a large-scale experiment.

Scientists close in on malaria vaccine
Scientists have taken another big step forward towards developing a vaccine that's effective against the most severe forms of malaria.

New tool in fight against malaria
Modifying a class of molecules originally developed to treat the skin disease psoriasis could lead to a new malaria drug that is effective against malaria parasites resistant to currently available drugs.

Malaria expert warns of need for malaria drug to treat severe cases in US
The US each year sees more than 1,500 cases of malaria, and currently there is limited access to an intravenously administered (IV) drug needed for the more serious cases.

Monkey malaria breakthrough offers cure for relapsing malaria
A breakthrough in monkey malaria research by two University of Otago scientists could help scientists diagnose and treat a relapsing form of human malaria.

Getting to zero malaria cases in zanzibar
New research led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, Ifakara Health Institute and the Zanzibar Malaria Elimination Program suggests that a better understanding of human behavior at night -- when malaria mosquitoes are biting -- could be key to preventing lingering cases.

Widely used malaria treatment to prevent malaria in pregnant women
A global team of researchers, led by a research team at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), are calling for a review of drug-based strategies used to prevent malaria infections in pregnant women, in areas where there is widespread resistance to existing antimalarial medicines.

Protection against Malaria: A matter of balance
A balanced production of pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines at two years of age protects against clinical malaria in early childhood, according to a study led by ISGlobal, an institution supported by ''la Caixa'' Foundation.

The math of malaria
A new mathematical model for malaria shows how competition between parasite strains within a human host reduces the odds of drug resistance developing in a high-transmission setting.

Read More: Malaria News and Malaria Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.