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Genetic mutations that cause malaria drug resistance common in Asia, Africa

Genetic mutations that cause malaria drug resistance common in Asia, Africa

Health
Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Genetic mutations that fuel resistance to a drug intended to prevent malaria in pregnant women and children are common in countries that are fighting the disease, according to a PLOS Genetics analysis. Mutations of a gene linked with resistance to the drug sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine in the parasite that causes malaria were discovered in one-fourth of the samples collected in southeast Asia and one-third of those obtained in Africa, the researchers said. Advertisement The growth in the number of malaria parasites with mutations to the gene pfgch1 are concerning because they may increase resistance to the drug, they said. "We need to understand how these mutations work and monitor them as part of malaria surveillance programs," study co-author Taane Clark, a professor of gen...
Oxford malaria vaccine almost ready to start final stage of human trials

Oxford malaria vaccine almost ready to start final stage of human trials

Technology
The Oxford team behind a successful COVID-19 vaccine candidate are close to entering the final stage of human trials in their jab against malaria.Speaking to The Times, The Jenner Institute director Adrian Hill said the much-anticipated injection will be tested on around 4,800 children in African countries next year, after earlier trials showed promising results. Professor Hill speculated that the vaccine could be ready by 2024, assuming final human trials are carried out successfully. Image: A malaria vaccine could be ready by 2024 Malaria, a mosquito-borne infectious disease, is responsible for the deaths of more than 400,000 according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).Nearly half of the world's population is at risk of contrac...
Defeat malaria in a generation – here’s how

Defeat malaria in a generation – here’s how

Health
The world could be free of malaria - one of the oldest and deadliest diseases to affect humanity - within a generation, a major report says. Each year there are still more than 200 million cases of the disease, which mostly kills young children.The report says eradicating malaria is no longer a distant dream, but wiping out the parasite will probably need an extra $ 2bn (£1.6bn) of annual funding.Experts say eradication is a "goal of epic proportions".What is malaria?Malaria is a disease caused by Plasmodium parasites.These are spread from person to person by the bite of female mosquitoes in search of a blood meal.Once infected, people become very sick with a severe fever and shaking chills. The ...
GM fungus rapidly kills 99% of malaria mosquitoes, study suggests

GM fungus rapidly kills 99% of malaria mosquitoes, study suggests

Health
A fungus - genetically enhanced to produce spider toxin - can rapidly kill huge numbers of the mosquitoes that spread malaria, a study suggests.Trials, which took place in Burkina Faso, showed mosquito populations collapsed by 99% within 45 days.The researchers say their aim is not to make the insects extinct but to help stop the spread of malaria.The disease, which is spread when female mosquitoes drink blood, kills more than 400,000 people per year. Worldwide, there are about 219 million cases of malaria each year.Conducting the study, researchers at the University of Maryland in the US - and the IRSS research institute in Burkina Faso - first identified a fungus called Metarhizium pingshaense, which naturally infects the Anopheles mosquitoes that spre...
Malaria: Sniffer dogs to help in fight to eradicate disease

Malaria: Sniffer dogs to help in fight to eradicate disease

Health
Media playback is unsupported on your device Scientists in the UK and The Gambia say they have the first evidence that dogs can sniff out malaria.They have trained dogs to recognise tell-tale aromas using clothes from people infected with the disease.It is hoped the animals can be used to stop malaria spreading and eventually help with eradication. Although the research is still at an early stage, experts say the findings may even lead to new ways of testing for the disease.Studies have already shown that being infected with the malaria parasite changes our aroma to make us more attractive to the mosquitoes that spread the disease. Now dogs are on the scent, too.Smelly socksSocks worn overnight by children in the Upper River Region of The Gamb...