News

The BBC Radio Forum programme ‘Man vs Mosquito’ broadcasted on 20 February 2020. The link and mp3 below leads to the full interview.

Mosquitos are a fast-adapting, elusive enemy which humans have been trying to combat for thousands of years. As vectors of dangerous diseases, these tiny insects have killed more people in human history than any other animal. So what impact has the mosquito had on our lives? How have humans tried to halt its spread? And who is winning the battle? Joining Bridget Kendall to discuss the history of man and the mosquito are Dr. Erica McAlister, Senior Curator of Diptera – Flies – at the Natural History Museum in London; Dr. Timothy Winegard, historian and author of The Mosquito: A Human History of our Deadliest Predator; and Dr. Clifford Mutero of the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) in Nairobi, Kenya, and author of Mosquito Hunter: Chronicles of an African Insect Scientist.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csyp64

Notice of intent to modify the classification of ITN products and associated evaluation procedures

WHO is planning to revise the classification of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) communicated in 2017, with a view of providing a clear link between the currently known entomological effects of ITNs and their evaluation. Interested parties are invited to provide their comments by 28 February 2020. All related information is available on the website at the following link: https://www.who.int/malaria/news/2020/notice-of-intent-classification-of-itn-products/en/

GMP Secretariat

Save-the-Date: MALARIA IN ASIA conference in October 2020

There is another conference event planned for Oct 2020. A conference entitled MALARIA IN ASIA is taking place from 22-23 Oct 2020. Prof Shamilah Hisam from Kuala Lumpur IMR will provide more information regarding the scope of the Conference in the near future. …watch this space.

Modified bednet increases mosquito mortality by 29%: recent findings…

Research published recently in Nature Microbiology details how simple additions to traditional bed net design can help reduce the lethality of malaria and increase the choice of insecticides used to target the mosquitoes that carry the deadly disease.

Researchers and engineers from the University of Warwick and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) collaborated on the bed nets, called Barrier Bednets, and showed the netting was highly effective against wild insecticide-resistant Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes in Burkina Faso. Access this Press at https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-12/uow-mdc112919.php and the full paper at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41564-019-0607-2.

WHO World Malaria Report 2019 now available

This message from WHO website: The World malaria report 2019 provides a comprehensive update on global and regional malaria data and trends. The report tracks investments in malaria programmes and research as well as progress across all intervention areas: prevention, diagnosis, treatment, elimination and surveillance. It also includes dedicated chapters on the consequences of malaria on maternal, infant and child health, the “High Burden to High Impact” approach as well as biological threats to the fight against malaria.
The 2019 report is based on information received from more than 80 countries and areas with ongoing malaria transmission. This information is supplemented by data from national household surveys and databases held by other organizations.
The Report can be accessed here (click on blue text and then click again on pop-up): https://www.who.int/publications-detail/world-malaria-report-2019

Latest WHO update on the status of new vector control tools in the development pipeline.

There are 10 different tools discussed and it a very useful and compact synopsis of the various approaches currently being tested for improved vector control or contact reduction. Go to the URL https://www.who.int/vector-control/vcag/new-interventions/en/

Below are some fairly recent publications we found interesting (and yes, we acknowledge this reflects personal bias, but it should nevertheless resonate with many vector biologists)

A Roadmap for the Development of Ivermectin as a Complementary Malaria Vector Control Tool (please read, we need to start taking this seriously…)

In the context of stalling progress against malaria, resistance of mosquitoes to insecticides, and residual transmission, mass drug administration (MDA) of ivermectin, an endectocide used for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), has emerged as a promising complementary vector control method. Ivermectin reduces the life span of Anopheles mosquitoes that feed on treated humans and/or livestock, potentially decreasing malaria parasite transmission when administered at the community level. Following the publication by WHO of the preferred product characteristics for endectocides as vector control tools, this roadmap provides a comprehensive view of processes needed to make ivermectin available as a vector control tool by 2024 with a completely novel mechanism of action. The roadmap covers various aspects, which include 1) the definition of optimal dosage/regimens for ivermectin MDA in both humans and livestock, 2) the risk of resistance to the drug and environmental impact, 3) ethical issues, 4) political and community engagement, 5) translation of evidence into policy, and 6) operational aspects of large-scale deployment of the drug, all in the context of a drug given as a prevention tool acting at the community level. The roadmap reflects the insights of a multidisciplinary group of global health experts who worked together to elucidate the path to inclusion of ivermectin in the toolbox against malaria, to address residual transmission, counteract insecticide resistance, and contribute to the end of this deadly disease.© The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene . Access the paper at https://www.ajtmh.org/content/journals/10.4269/ajtmh.19-0620

Characterizing residual malaria transmission in forested areas …..

Excellent article by Hannah Margaret Edwards, Vu Duc Chinh, Bui Le Duy, Pham Vinh Thanh, Ngo Duc Thang, Dao Minh Trang, Irwin Chavez & Jeffrey Hii. Characterizing residual malaria transmission in forested areas with low coverage of core vector control in central Viet Nam. Parasites & Vectors 12, Article number: 454 (2019) . See the pdf in the link https://parasitesandvectors.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13071-019-3695-1. Here is some background: “Despite great success in significantly reducing the malaria burden in Viet Nam over recent years, the ongoing presence of malaria vectors and Plasmodium infection in remote forest areas and among marginalised groups presents a challenge to reaching elimination and a threat to re-emergence of transmission. Often transmission persists in a population despite high reported coverage of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs), the mainstay control method for malaria. To investigate what factors may contribute to this, a mixed-methods study was conducted in Son Thai commune, a community in south-central Viet Nam that has ongoing malaria cases despite universal LLIN coverage. A cross-sectional behavioural and net-coverage survey was conducted along with observations of net use and entomological collections in the village, farm huts and forest sites used by members of the community. “

Transmission risk beyond the village….

Then there is another interesting one by at least some of the same authors as above: Hannah Edwards et al. 2019 Malaria journal. Transmission risk beyond the village: entomological and human factors contributing to residual malaria transmission in an area approaching malaria elimination on the Thailand–Myanmar border.
https://malariajournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12936-019-2852-5 . The conclusions of this study were: “Entomological and epidemiological findings suggest drivers and modulators of sustained infection prevalence in the area to be: higher mosquito abundance in forested areas where LLINs were used less frequently or could not be used; late sleeping and waking times coinciding with peak biting hours; feeding preferences of Anopheles taking them away from contact with LLIN and indoor residual spraying (IRS), e.g. exophagy and zoophagy; non-use of LLIN and use of damaged/torn LLIN; high population movement across the border and into forested areas thereby increasing risk of exposure, decreasing use of protection and limiting access to healthcare; and, Plasmodium vivax predominance resulting in relapse(s) of previous infection. The findings highlight gaps in current intervention coverage beyond the village setting”.

Prospects and strategies for malaria elimination in the Greater Mekong Sub-region …

Also interesting is the one by Nils Kaehler et al. 2019. Malaria Journal. Prospects and strategies for malaria elimination in the Greater Mekong Sub-region: a qualitative study.
https://malariajournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12936-019-2835-6 . The conclusions of this study include: “Against a backdrop of increasing anti-malarial resistance and decreasing choices of anti-malarial regimens, policy makers and researchers stressed the urgency of finding new malaria elimination strategies. There was consensus that multi-pronged strategies and approaches are needed, that no single potential tool/strategy can be appropriate to all settings. Hence there is a need to customize malaria control and elimination strategies based on the better surveillance data”. This short Conclusions section does not do justice to the excellent content of the paper, highly interesting.

APMEN supporting malaria elimination objectives of member states: The 2nd International Malaria Vector Surveillance for Elimination course recently completed.

The APMEN VCWG partnered with Kasetsart University in Bangkok to present the 2nd International Malaria Surveillance for Elimination course between 29th September and 11th October. The course was held under the leadership of Professor Theeraphap Chareonviriyaphap, and focused on capacity building in Country Partner NMCP entomology staff as well as representatives of academic institutions across Asia Pacific. Main training themes included malaria vector diversity, identification, sampling methods and sample processing, but also a good number of topics relevant to malaria entomologists such as Work Plan development, GIS, mapping, Insectary techniques, and Insecticide Susceptibility testing. We were fortunate in getting the commitment of ten experts in these topics to fly in to present lectures and help with the practical work. Thank you to all these people for their support, time and goodwill! The course was attended by 30 participants from 20 countries in the Asia Pacific region, and were selected on a competitive basis. APMEN (by way of a grant from Sumitomo Chemical Company) covered the bulk of the costs of the course, with significant contributions from supporting institutions including Kasetsart University and ACT Malaria.

PMI is seeking malaria research partners: Please see below a message sent out by RBM VCWG

The President’s Malaria Initiative: Evaluation & Research-to-Use Implementation Project
Solicitation Number: GH-BAA-2018-Addendum 04
Agency: Agency for International Development
Office: Washington D.C.
Location: USAID/Washington

Synopsis: 
Through this BAA addendum, USAID seeks creation of a malaria evaluation and research partnership, via an organization or group of organizations, to conduct future program evaluation and research activities, establish consensus for new collaborative research ideas, synthesize and conduct meta-analysis of existing malaria data, and provide solutions to improve evaluation and research data utilization. Please see the following links for more details.

FedBizOpps – https://www.fbo.gov/spg/AID/OP/WashingtonDC/GH-BAA-2018-Addendum04/listing.html
Grants.gov – https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=320960

VectorWorks Releases NetCALC Lite!K

The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative VectorWorks Project is pleased to release NetCALC Lite (https://www.vector-works.org/resources/netcalc-planning-tool/). A simplified version of the original NetCALC tool, it is an insecticide-treated net (ITN) quantification tool designed to guide users toward an estimate of their ITN need by distribution channel. This new tool allows users to either input their desired distribution channels or to have NetCALC Lite recommend a channel mix based on a few questions concerning the context of the distribution environment. In as little as five minutes, users can have a printable report detailing ITN need to fulfill programmatic needs in the coming years.

For more information and to access the tool, visit: https://www.vector-works.org/resources/netcalc-planning-tool/

News

The BBC Radio Forum programme ‘Man vs Mosquito’ broadcasted on 20 February 2020. The link and mp3 below leads to the full interview.

Mosquitos are a fast-adapting, elusive enemy which humans have been trying to combat for thousands of years. As vectors of dangerous diseases, these tiny insects have killed more people in human history than any other animal. So what impact has the mosquito had on our lives? How have humans tried to halt its spread? And who is winning the battle? Joining Bridget Kendall to discuss the history of man and the mosquito are Dr. Erica McAlister, Senior Curator of Diptera – Flies – at the Natural History Museum in London; Dr. Timothy Winegard, historian and author of The Mosquito: A Human History of our Deadliest Predator; and Dr. Clifford Mutero of the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) in Nairobi, Kenya, and author of Mosquito Hunter: Chronicles of an African Insect Scientist.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csyp64

Notice of intent to modify the classification of ITN products and associated evaluation procedures

WHO is planning to revise the classification of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) communicated in 2017, with a view of providing a clear link between the currently known entomological effects of ITNs and their evaluation. Interested parties are invited to provide their comments by 28 February 2020. All related information is available on the website at the following link: https://www.who.int/malaria/news/2020/notice-of-intent-classification-of-itn-products/en/

GMP Secretariat

Save-the-Date: MALARIA IN ASIA conference in October 2020

There is another conference event planned for Oct 2020. A conference entitled MALARIA IN ASIA is taking place from 22-23 Oct 2020. Prof Shamilah Hisam from Kuala Lumpur IMR will provide more information regarding the scope of the Conference in the near future. …watch this space.

Modified bednet increases mosquito mortality by 29%: recent findings…

Research published recently in Nature Microbiology details how simple additions to traditional bed net design can help reduce the lethality of malaria and increase the choice of insecticides used to target the mosquitoes that carry the deadly disease.

Researchers and engineers from the University of Warwick and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) collaborated on the bed nets, called Barrier Bednets, and showed the netting was highly effective against wild insecticide-resistant Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes in Burkina Faso. Access this Press at https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-12/uow-mdc112919.php and the full paper at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41564-019-0607-2.

WHO World Malaria Report 2019 now available

This message from WHO website: The World malaria report 2019 provides a comprehensive update on global and regional malaria data and trends. The report tracks investments in malaria programmes and research as well as progress across all intervention areas: prevention, diagnosis, treatment, elimination and surveillance. It also includes dedicated chapters on the consequences of malaria on maternal, infant and child health, the “High Burden to High Impact” approach as well as biological threats to the fight against malaria.
The 2019 report is based on information received from more than 80 countries and areas with ongoing malaria transmission. This information is supplemented by data from national household surveys and databases held by other organizations.
The Report can be accessed here (click on blue text and then click again on pop-up): https://www.who.int/publications-detail/world-malaria-report-2019

Latest WHO update on the status of new vector control tools in the development pipeline.

There are 10 different tools discussed and it a very useful and compact synopsis of the various approaches currently being tested for improved vector control or contact reduction. Go to the URL https://www.who.int/vector-control/vcag/new-interventions/en/

Below are some fairly recent publications we found interesting (and yes, we acknowledge this reflects personal bias, but it should nevertheless resonate with many vector biologists)

A Roadmap for the Development of Ivermectin as a Complementary Malaria Vector Control Tool (please read, we need to start taking this seriously…)

In the context of stalling progress against malaria, resistance of mosquitoes to insecticides, and residual transmission, mass drug administration (MDA) of ivermectin, an endectocide used for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), has emerged as a promising complementary vector control method. Ivermectin reduces the life span of Anopheles mosquitoes that feed on treated humans and/or livestock, potentially decreasing malaria parasite transmission when administered at the community level. Following the publication by WHO of the preferred product characteristics for endectocides as vector control tools, this roadmap provides a comprehensive view of processes needed to make ivermectin available as a vector control tool by 2024 with a completely novel mechanism of action. The roadmap covers various aspects, which include 1) the definition of optimal dosage/regimens for ivermectin MDA in both humans and livestock, 2) the risk of resistance to the drug and environmental impact, 3) ethical issues, 4) political and community engagement, 5) translation of evidence into policy, and 6) operational aspects of large-scale deployment of the drug, all in the context of a drug given as a prevention tool acting at the community level. The roadmap reflects the insights of a multidisciplinary group of global health experts who worked together to elucidate the path to inclusion of ivermectin in the toolbox against malaria, to address residual transmission, counteract insecticide resistance, and contribute to the end of this deadly disease.© The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene . Access the paper at https://www.ajtmh.org/content/journals/10.4269/ajtmh.19-0620

Characterizing residual malaria transmission in forested areas …..

Excellent article by Hannah Margaret Edwards, Vu Duc Chinh, Bui Le Duy, Pham Vinh Thanh, Ngo Duc Thang, Dao Minh Trang, Irwin Chavez & Jeffrey Hii. Characterizing residual malaria transmission in forested areas with low coverage of core vector control in central Viet Nam. Parasites & Vectors 12, Article number: 454 (2019) . See the pdf in the link https://parasitesandvectors.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13071-019-3695-1. Here is some background: “Despite great success in significantly reducing the malaria burden in Viet Nam over recent years, the ongoing presence of malaria vectors and Plasmodium infection in remote forest areas and among marginalised groups presents a challenge to reaching elimination and a threat to re-emergence of transmission. Often transmission persists in a population despite high reported coverage of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs), the mainstay control method for malaria. To investigate what factors may contribute to this, a mixed-methods study was conducted in Son Thai commune, a community in south-central Viet Nam that has ongoing malaria cases despite universal LLIN coverage. A cross-sectional behavioural and net-coverage survey was conducted along with observations of net use and entomological collections in the village, farm huts and forest sites used by members of the community. “

Transmission risk beyond the village….

Then there is another interesting one by at least some of the same authors as above: Hannah Edwards et al. 2019 Malaria journal. Transmission risk beyond the village: entomological and human factors contributing to residual malaria transmission in an area approaching malaria elimination on the Thailand–Myanmar border.
https://malariajournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12936-019-2852-5 . The conclusions of this study were: “Entomological and epidemiological findings suggest drivers and modulators of sustained infection prevalence in the area to be: higher mosquito abundance in forested areas where LLINs were used less frequently or could not be used; late sleeping and waking times coinciding with peak biting hours; feeding preferences of Anopheles taking them away from contact with LLIN and indoor residual spraying (IRS), e.g. exophagy and zoophagy; non-use of LLIN and use of damaged/torn LLIN; high population movement across the border and into forested areas thereby increasing risk of exposure, decreasing use of protection and limiting access to healthcare; and, Plasmodium vivax predominance resulting in relapse(s) of previous infection. The findings highlight gaps in current intervention coverage beyond the village setting”.

Prospects and strategies for malaria elimination in the Greater Mekong Sub-region …

Also interesting is the one by Nils Kaehler et al. 2019. Malaria Journal. Prospects and strategies for malaria elimination in the Greater Mekong Sub-region: a qualitative study.
https://malariajournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12936-019-2835-6 . The conclusions of this study include: “Against a backdrop of increasing anti-malarial resistance and decreasing choices of anti-malarial regimens, policy makers and researchers stressed the urgency of finding new malaria elimination strategies. There was consensus that multi-pronged strategies and approaches are needed, that no single potential tool/strategy can be appropriate to all settings. Hence there is a need to customize malaria control and elimination strategies based on the better surveillance data”. This short Conclusions section does not do justice to the excellent content of the paper, highly interesting.

APMEN supporting malaria elimination objectives of member states: The 2nd International Malaria Vector Surveillance for Elimination course recently completed.

The APMEN VCWG partnered with Kasetsart University in Bangkok to present the 2nd International Malaria Surveillance for Elimination course between 29th September and 11th October. The course was held under the leadership of Professor Theeraphap Chareonviriyaphap, and focused on capacity building in Country Partner NMCP entomology staff as well as representatives of academic institutions across Asia Pacific. Main training themes included malaria vector diversity, identification, sampling methods and sample processing, but also a good number of topics relevant to malaria entomologists such as Work Plan development, GIS, mapping, Insectary techniques, and Insecticide Susceptibility testing. We were fortunate in getting the commitment of ten experts in these topics to fly in to present lectures and help with the practical work. Thank you to all these people for their support, time and goodwill! The course was attended by 30 participants from 20 countries in the Asia Pacific region, and were selected on a competitive basis. APMEN (by way of a grant from Sumitomo Chemical Company) covered the bulk of the costs of the course, with significant contributions from supporting institutions including Kasetsart University and ACT Malaria.

PMI is seeking malaria research partners: Please see below a message sent out by RBM VCWG

The President’s Malaria Initiative: Evaluation & Research-to-Use Implementation Project
Solicitation Number: GH-BAA-2018-Addendum 04
Agency: Agency for International Development
Office: Washington D.C.
Location: USAID/Washington

Synopsis: 
Through this BAA addendum, USAID seeks creation of a malaria evaluation and research partnership, via an organization or group of organizations, to conduct future program evaluation and research activities, establish consensus for new collaborative research ideas, synthesize and conduct meta-analysis of existing malaria data, and provide solutions to improve evaluation and research data utilization. Please see the following links for more details.

FedBizOpps – https://www.fbo.gov/spg/AID/OP/WashingtonDC/GH-BAA-2018-Addendum04/listing.html
Grants.gov – https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=320960

VectorWorks Releases NetCALC Lite!K

The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative VectorWorks Project is pleased to release NetCALC Lite (https://www.vector-works.org/resources/netcalc-planning-tool/). A simplified version of the original NetCALC tool, it is an insecticide-treated net (ITN) quantification tool designed to guide users toward an estimate of their ITN need by distribution channel. This new tool allows users to either input their desired distribution channels or to have NetCALC Lite recommend a channel mix based on a few questions concerning the context of the distribution environment. In as little as five minutes, users can have a printable report detailing ITN need to fulfill programmatic needs in the coming years.

For more information and to access the tool, visit: https://www.vector-works.org/resources/netcalc-planning-tool/

HIGHLIGHTS