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      malERA: An updated research agenda for diagnostics, drugs, vaccines, and vector control in malaria elimination and eradication

      The malERA Refresh Consultative Panel on Tools for Malaria Elimination *

      PLoS Medicine

      Public Library of Science

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          Abstract

          Since the turn of the century, a remarkable expansion has been achieved in the range and effectiveness of products and strategies available to prevent, treat, and control malaria, including advances in diagnostics, drugs, vaccines, and vector control. These advances have once again put malaria elimination on the agenda. However, it is clear that even with the means available today, malaria control and elimination pose a formidable challenge in many settings. Thus, currently available resources must be used more effectively, and new products and approaches likely to achieve these goals must be developed. This paper considers tools (both those available and others that may be required) to achieve and maintain malaria elimination. New diagnostics are needed to direct treatment and detect transmission potential; new drugs and vaccines to overcome existing resistance and protect against clinical and severe disease, as well as block transmission and prevent relapses; and new vector control measures to overcome insecticide resistance and more powerfully interrupt transmission. It is also essential that strategies for combining new and existing approaches are developed for different settings to maximise their longevity and effectiveness in areas with continuing transmission and receptivity. For areas where local elimination has been recently achieved, understanding which measures are needed to maintain elimination is necessary to prevent rebound and the reestablishment of transmission. This becomes increasingly important as more countries move towards elimination.

          Abstract

          David Kaslow and colleagues examine the progress in reasearch for diagnostics, drugs, vaccines, and vector control in malaria elimination and eradication and propose a research agenda.

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          Most cited references 144

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          Increased proportions of outdoor feeding among residual malaria vector populations following increased use of insecticide-treated nets in rural Tanzania

          Background Insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS) represent the front-line tools for malaria vector control globally, but are optimally effective where the majority of baseline transmission occurs indoors. In the surveyed area of rural southern Tanzania, bed net use steadily increased over the last decade, reducing malaria transmission intensity by 94%. Methods Starting before bed nets were introduced (1997), and then after two milestones of net use had been reached-75% community-wide use of untreated nets (2004) and then 47% use of ITNs (2009)-hourly biting rates of malaria vectors from the Anopheles gambiae complex and Anopheles funestus group were surveyed. Results In 1997, An. gambiae s.l. and An. funestus mosquitoes exhibited a tendency to bite humans inside houses late at night. For An. gambiae s.l., by 2009, nocturnal activity was less (p = 0.0018). At this time, the sibling species composition of the complex had shifted from predominantly An. gambiae s.s. to predominantly An. arabiensis. For An. funestus, by 2009, nocturnal activity was less (p = 0.0054) as well as the proportion biting indoors (p < 0.0001). At this time, An. funestus s.s. remained the predominant species within this group. As a consequence of these altered feeding patterns, the proportion (mean ± standard error) of human contact with mosquitoes (bites per person per night) occurring indoors dropped from 0.99 ± 0.002 in 1997 to 0.82 ± 0.008 in 2009 for the An. gambiae complex (p = 0.0143) and from 1.00 ± <0.001 to only 0.50 ± 0.048 for the An. funestus complex (p = 0.0004) over the same time period. Conclusions High usage of ITNs can dramatically alter African vector populations so that intense, predominantly indoor transmission is replaced by greatly lowered residual transmission, a greater proportion of which occurs outdoors. Regardless of the underlying mechanism, the residual, self-sustaining transmission will respond poorly to further insecticidal measures within houses. Additional vector control tools which target outdoor biting mosquitoes at the adult or immature stages are required to complement ITNs and IRS.
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            Artesunate versus quinine for treatment of severe falciparum malaria: a randomised trial.

            In the treatment of severe malaria, intravenous artesunate is more rapidly acting than intravenous quinine in terms of parasite clearance, is safer, and is simpler to administer, but whether it can reduce mortality is uncertain. We did an open-label randomised controlled trial in patients admitted to hospital with severe falciparum malaria in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Myanmar. We assigned individuals intravenous artesunate 2.4 mg/kg bodyweight given as a bolus (n=730) at 0, 12, and 24 h, and then daily, or intravenous quinine (20 mg salt per kg loading dose infused over 4 h then 10 mg/kg infused over 2-8 h three times a day; n=731). Oral medication was substituted when possible to complete treatment. Our primary endpoint was death from severe malaria, and analysis was by intention to treat. We assessed all patients randomised for the primary endpoint. Mortality in artesunate recipients was 15% (107 of 730) compared with 22% (164 of 731) in quinine recipients; an absolute reduction of 34.7% (95% CI 18.5-47.6%; p=0.0002). Treatment with artesunate was well tolerated, whereas quinine was associated with hypoglycaemia (relative risk 3.2, 1.3-7.8; p=0.009). Artesunate should become the treatment of choice for severe falciparum malaria in adults.
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              Characterizing, controlling and eliminating residual malaria transmission

              Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS) interventions can reduce malaria transmission by targeting mosquitoes when they feed upon sleeping humans and/or rest inside houses, livestock shelters or other man-made structures. However, many malaria vector species can maintain robust transmission, despite high coverage of LLINs/IRS containing insecticides to which they are physiologically fully susceptible, because they exhibit one or more behaviours that define the biological limits of achievable impact with these interventions: (1) Natural or insecticide-induced avoidance of contact with treated surfaces within houses and early exit from them, thus minimizing exposure hazard of vectors which feed indoors upon humans; (2) Feeding upon humans when they are active and unprotected outdoors, thereby attenuating personal protection and any consequent community-wide suppression of transmission; (3) Feeding upon animals, thus minimizing contact with insecticides targeted at humans or houses; (4) Resting outdoors, away from insecticide-treated surfaces of nets, walls and roofs. Residual malaria transmission is, therefore, defined as all forms of transmission that can persist after achieving full universal coverage with effective LLINs and/or IRS containing active ingredients to which local vector populations are fully susceptible. Residual transmission is sufficiently intense across most of the tropics to render malaria elimination infeasible without new or improved vector control methods. Many novel or improved vector control strategies to address residual transmission are emerging that either: (1) Enhance control of adult vectors that enter houses to feed and/or rest by killing, repelling or excluding them; (2) Kill or repel adult mosquitoes when they attack people outdoors; (3) Kill adult mosquitoes when they attack livestock; (4) Kill adult mosquitoes when they feed upon sugar or; (5) Kill immature mosquitoes in aquatic habitats. To date, none of these options has sufficient supporting evidence to justify full-scale programmatic implementation. Concerted investment in their rigorous selection, development and evaluation is required over the coming decade to enable control and, ultimately, elimination of residual malaria transmission. In the meantime, national programmes may assess options for addressing residual transmission under programmatic conditions through pilot studies with strong monitoring, evaluation and operational research components, similar to the Onchocerciasis Control Programme.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                PLoS Med
                PLoS Med
                plos
                plosmed
                PLoS Medicine
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1549-1277
                1549-1676
                30 November 2017
                November 2017
                : 14
                : 11
                Author notes

                I have read the journal's policy and the authors of this manuscript have the following competing interests: FB is a full-time employee of Sanofi, a manufacturer of antimalarial medicines. JV was a full time employee of GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals at the time of the panel consultation.

                ¶ Membership of the malERA Refresh Consultative Panel on Tools for Malaria Elimination is listed in the Acknowledgments.

                Article
                PMEDICINE-D-16-03644
                10.1371/journal.pmed.1002455
                5708606
                29190291
                © 2017 The malERA Consultative Panel on Tools for Malaria Elimination

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 2, Pages: 35
                Product
                Funding
                MESA received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (OPP1034591) http://www.malariaeradication.org/mesa-track/malaria-eradication-scientific-alliance-mesa. JC (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) was a member of this panel and participated in the panel consultation and in the development of this paper.
                Categories
                Collection Review
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Parasitic Diseases
                Malaria
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Tropical Diseases
                Malaria
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Organisms
                Eukaryota
                Protozoans
                Parasitic Protozoans
                Malarial Parasites
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Infectious Diseases
                Infectious Disease Control
                Vaccines
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Parasitology
                Parasite Groups
                Apicomplexa
                Plasmodium
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Parasitic Diseases
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Pharmacology
                Drug Research and Development
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Infectious Diseases
                Infectious Disease Control
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Pharmacology
                Drugs
                Antimalarials

                Medicine

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