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      Malaria burden in human population of Quetta, Pakistan

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          Malaria is a serious global health challenge, which is responsible for more than one million deaths a year. Malarial infection is more prevalent in developing countries including Pakistan. Significant efforts have been made to control malaria; however, due to socio-environmental factors, it remains a frequent problem in Quetta. The present study was undertaken to determine the malarial incidence, species prevalence, and its demographic evaluation in human population of Quetta, Pakistan. A total of 1831 subjects, comprising 1072 male and 759 female presenting symptoms of malaria, were included in this study. Blood samples from clinically suspected individuals were subjected to the standard immunochromatographic and malaria parasite smear analysis for malaria diagnosis. Out of 1831 subjects, 338 (18.45%) patients were positive for malarial parasite while the species prevalence was found as 276 (81.66%) and 62 (18.34%) for Plasmodium vivax, and Plasmodium falciparum, respectively. Furthermore, seasonal variations gradual increase in the prevalence rate. The age group of 21–30 years (30.47%) was found more prone to malaria. The suspected malaria cases were found more frequent in rural (72.1%) as compared to urban (27.9%). In addition, the malaria burden was high in urban area (22.89%) population as compared to the rural area (16.74%) population. It was observed that the highest disease occurrence was caused by P. vivax, which reflects a serious threat for public health. The current findings will be helpful to plan effective strategies to prevent and control malaria in this area.

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          Comparative genomics of the neglected human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax.

          The human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax is responsible for 25-40% of the approximately 515 million annual cases of malaria worldwide. Although seldom fatal, the parasite elicits severe and incapacitating clinical symptoms and often causes relapses months after a primary infection has cleared. Despite its importance as a major human pathogen, P. vivax is little studied because it cannot be propagated continuously in the laboratory except in non-human primates. We sequenced the genome of P. vivax to shed light on its distinctive biological features, and as a means to drive development of new drugs and vaccines. Here we describe the synteny and isochore structure of P. vivax chromosomes, and show that the parasite resembles other malaria parasites in gene content and metabolic potential, but possesses novel gene families and potential alternative invasion pathways not recognized previously. Completion of the P. vivax genome provides the scientific community with a valuable resource that can be used to advance investigation into this neglected species.
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            Vivax malaria: neglected and not benign.

            Plasmodium vivax threatens almost 40% of the world's population, resulting in 132-391 million clinical infections each year. Most of these cases originate from Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific, although a significant number also occurs in Africa and South America. Although often regarded as causing a benign and self-limiting infection, there is increasing evidence that the overall burden, economic impact, and severity of disease from P. vivax have been underestimated. Malaria control strategies have had limited success and are confounded by the lack of access to reliable diagnosis, emergence of multidrug resistant isolates, the parasite's ability to transmit early in the course of disease and relapse from dormant liver stages at varying time intervals after the initial infection. Progress in reducing the burden of disease will require improved access to reliable diagnosis and effective treatment of both blood-stage and latent parasites, and more detailed characterization of the epidemiology, morbidity, and economic impact of vivax malaria. Without these, vivax malaria will continue to be neglected by ministries of health, policy makers, researchers, and funding bodies.
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              Malaria: progress, perils, and prospects for eradication.

              There are still approximately 500 million cases of malaria and 1 million deaths from malaria each year. Yet recently, malaria incidence has been dramatically reduced in some parts of Africa by increasing deployment of anti-mosquito measures and new artemisinin-containing treatments, prompting renewed calls for global eradication. However, treatment and mosquito control currently depend on too few compounds and thus are vulnerable to the emergence of compound-resistant parasites and mosquitoes. As discussed in this Review, new drugs, vaccines, and insecticides, as well as improved surveillance methods, are research priorities. Insights into parasite biology, human immunity, and vector behavior will guide efforts to translate parasite and mosquito genome sequences into novel interventions.

                Author and article information

                European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
                Akadémiai Kiadó, co-published with Springer Science+Business Media B.V., Formerly Kluwer Academic Publishers B.V.
                1 September 2012
                : 2
                : 3
                : 201-204
                [ 1 ] Department of Microbiology, University of Balochistan, Quetta, Pakistan
                [ 2 ] Department of Microbiology, Kohat University of Science and Technology, Kohat, Pakistan
                [ 3 ] Department of Statistic, University of Balochistan, Quetta, Pakistan
                [ 4 ] Department of Microbiology, Bolan Medical College, Quetta, Pakistan
                Author notes
                Original Articles

                Medicine,Immunology,Health & Social care,Microbiology & Virology,Infectious disease & Microbiology
                Quetta,malaria,prevalence rate


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