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      • #5345
        Wulan
        Keymaster
        • #5963
          Leo Braack
          Keymaster

            Origin of the name “Anopheles culicifacies”

            Interesting little snippet published in “Emerging Infectious Diseases” this week, in which they relate the story of how culicifacies got its name:

            Etymologia: Anopheles culicifacies

            Gaurav KumarComments to Author
            Author affiliation: National Institute of Malaria Research, Delhi, India

            Cite This Article

            Anopheles culicifacies [′ə′ nɒfɨliːz′ kyü-lə cifā-sh(ē-)ēz]

            In 1901, George Michael James Giles, a lieutenant-colonel and physician in the Indian Medical Service, described Anopheles culicifacies, which he collected from his guest house in Hoshangabad, India (Figure 1). This mosquito mimicked Culex spp. in facial appearance and resting posture (body angled to the surface they are resting on), prompting Giles to name it Anopheles culicifacies because of its culex (culici)‒like appearance (facies) (Figure 2).

            An. culicifacies is the principle vector of malaria in India, contributing to >60% of malaria cases in this country annually. Therefore, ≈80% of the budget for malaria control in India is spent on control of this mosquito. Adults can be identified based on characteristic wing morphology (dark third vein) and palpi ornamentation (apical pale band is nearly equal to the pre-apical dark band).

             

            • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by Leo Braack.
          • #6308
            Wulan
            Keymaster

              Fighting the ‘Million-Murdering’ Mosquito: Lessons from the Pandemic

              AUGUST 18, 2022

              MICHAEL B. MACDONALD

              On August 20, 1897, Ronald Ross made his momentous discovery. The British medical officer in India, Ross found the malaria parasite in the “dapple-winged” mosquito. He marked the scientific breakthrough by penning these lines:

              O million-murdering Death; I know this little thing; A myriad men will save.

              Little thing, indeed.

              As I wrote 5 years ago in GHN for World Mosquito Day, Sir Ronald’s discovery changed the world, breaking from the past “bad air” theories of malaria transmission and bringing us a new paradigm that has saved many millions over the decades.

              Sadly, 5 years on, gains in global malaria control efforts have stalled. After significant progress in lives saved since the start of the millennium—made possible with increased funding to expand access to insecticide treated nets, indoor residual spraying, new diagnostics, and treatments—we are at a crossroads and no longer on track to meet our malaria elimination goals. There are several contributing reasons, including large populations displaced by conflict and severe weather, insecticide and drug resistance, and competing priorities with COVID-19 and Ebola. Part of the problem may also be us and our pre-pandemic systems.

              Arundhati Roy published “The Pandemic Is a Portal” in the Financial Times on April 3, 2020, writing:

              Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice… our data banks and dead ideas. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.

              The accelerated pandemic response these past 2.5 years with new diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics, as well as the intense health care system response, carry lessons for global malaria efforts. The public sector commitment to work in partnership with the private sector to develop these technologies and expedite their review and deployment stands in stark contrast to the way we approach “the other emergency” of malaria.

              We old malariologists often hold the commercial sector at arm’s length, as “vendors” rather than “partners,” competing in massive global tenders for the lowest possible unit cost. With insecticide treated nets, this cost drive to the bottom stifles innovation for durability and quality improvement, user acceptability, and incorporation of new chemistries to combat insecticide resistance.

              The approval process for malaria products is still numbingly slow, years for innovations that may have already been approved for safety and efficacy by stringent regulatory authorities such as the US EPA. There are often demands for prohibitively expensive randomized control trials (RCTs) with epidemiological endpoints. While RCTs are the “gold standard” for therapeutics and vaccines, they may be inappropriate—and at times unethical—in context-specific environmentally driven processes like malaria transmission.

              We can learn from the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector, which is moving away from RCTs for WASH project evaluation into “transformative WASH,” beginning with human-centered design, stakeholder alignment, tailored evaluation designs, iterative program learning and scale-up, and the discovery not just what works, but why things work.

              The other lesson of the past 2 years was our over-reliance on top-down “solution-implementation” rather than a bottom-up “problem-solving” capacity. As the attention of donors, ministries, and implementing partners was diverted to pandemic response, some, but not all, malaria programs foundered. Thankfully, there is interest by WHO to “Rethink Malaria” that includes capacity-building and decentralized decision-making at the subnational level. There are also initiatives for “new routes to market” for community access to lifesaving commodities that are not wholly dependent on government deployment systems.

              The pandemic is a portal. I hope that on tomorrow’s “World Mosquito Day 2022” marking the day in 1897 we broke from the “bad air” theories, we heed Arundhati Roy, break from the past, learn the lessons from COVID-19, change our systems, and imagine a new path towards a malaria-free world.

               

               

              Michael B. Macdonald, ScD, is a public health entomologist in Catonsville, Maryland.

            • #6408
              Leo Braack
              Keymaster

                Not quite malaria, but still mosquito-borne…

                There is an interesting article on chikungunya recently published, that I enjoyed reading, and explains the rise and spread and epidemiology of chikungunya well. Quite a bit on timelines and spread of the virus in Asia as well. The article is:

                Hakim MS, Annisa L, Gazali FM, Aman AT. The origin and continuing adaptive evolution of chikungunya virus. Archives of Virology. 2022 Aug 20:1-3.

                and the Abstract is as follows:

                Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is the responsible agent of chikungunya fever, a debilitating arthritic disease in humans. CHIKV is endemic in Africa and Asia, although transmission cycles are considerably different on these continents. Before 2004, CHIKV had received little attention, since it was only known to cause localised outbreaks in a limited region with no fatalities. However, the recent global reemergence of CHIKV has caused serious global health problems and shown its potential to become a significant viral threat in the future. Unexpectedly, the reemergence is more rapid and is geographically more extensive, especially due to increased intensity of global travel systems or failure to contain mosquito populations. Another important factor is the successful adaptation of CHIKV to a new vector, the Aedes albopictus mosquito. Ae. albopictus survives in both temperate and tropical climates, thus facilitating CHIKV expansion to non-endemic regions. The continuous spread and transmission of CHIKV pose challenges for the development of effective vaccines and specific antiviral therapies. In this review, we discuss the biology and origin of CHIKV in Africa as well as its subsequent expansion to other parts of the world. We also review the transmission cycle of CHIKV and its continuing adaptation to its mosquito vectors and vertebrate hosts. More-complete understanding of the continuous evolution of CHIKV may help in predicting the emergence of CHIKV strains with possibly greater transmission efficiency in the future.

              • #6432
                Leo Braack
                Keymaster

                  Here is a useful quote I came across earlier today: “…a 1921 appraisal of mosquitoes by English physician and writer Havelock Ellis asks us, “If you would see all of Nature gathered up at one point, in all her loveliness, and her skill, and her deadliness, and her sex, where would you find a more exquisite symbol than the mosquito?”

                • #6910
                  Leo Braack
                  Keymaster

                    I came across this fascinating article recently: Sugiarto SR, Baird JK, Singh B, Elyazar I, Davis TM. The history and current epidemiology of malaria in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Malaria Journal. 2022 Dec;21(1):1-6. Here is a part of the Abstract: “In the present review, the history of malaria and its current epidemiology in Kalimantan are examined, including control and eradication efforts over the past two centuries, mosquito vector prevalence, anti-malarial use and parasite resistance, and the available data from case reports of knowlesi malaria and the presence of conditions which would support transmission of this zoonotic infection.” It is a wonderful read, highly enjoyable!

                  • #6298
                    Michael Macdonald
                    Participant

                      <h1 class=”page-title” style=”box-sizing: inherit; font-size: 2.625rem; margin: 0px 0px 1.875rem; font-family: ‘Quadon ExtraBold’, tahoma, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; line-height: 1; width: auto; color: #000000;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”>Fighting the ‘Million-Murdering’ Mosquito: Lessons from the Pandemic</span></h1>
                      <div class=”article-date” style=”box-sizing: inherit; font-family: ‘Gentona Medium’, tahoma, sans-serif; text-transform: uppercase; font-size: 1rem; margin-bottom: 2.5rem; color: #000000;”>AUGUST 18, 2022</div>
                      <div class=”field field-article-contributor field-items” style=”box-sizing: inherit; margin-bottom: 2.5rem; color: #000000; font-family: ‘Gentona Book’, tahoma, sans-serif, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 19px;”>
                      <div class=”field-item” style=”box-sizing: inherit; margin-bottom: 0px;”><article class=”node node–type-article-contributor node–view-mode-headshot-name” style=”box-sizing: inherit; display: flex; align-items: center;” role=”article”>
                      <div class=”field-title” style=”box-sizing: inherit; font-family: ‘Gentona Medium’, tahoma, sans-serif; font-size: 1rem; text-transform: uppercase;”>MICHAEL B. MACDONALD</div>
                      </article></div>
                      </div>
                      <div class=”field field-paragraphs field-items” style=”box-sizing: inherit; margin-bottom: 2.5rem; color: #000000; font-family: ‘Gentona Book’, tahoma, sans-serif, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 19px;”>
                      <div class=”field-item” style=”box-sizing: inherit; margin-bottom: 0px;”>
                      <div class=”text paragraph–text” style=”box-sizing: inherit;”>
                      <div class=”text-inner inner” style=”box-sizing: inherit; max-width: 1260px; width: 568px; margin: 0px auto; padding: 0px;”>
                      <div class=”text-long” style=”box-sizing: inherit;”>
                      <p style=”box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 1.25rem;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”>On August 20, 1897, </span></span></span><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”>Ronald Ross made his momentous discovery. The British medical officer in India, Ross found the malaria parasite in the “dapple-winged” mosquito. He marked the scientific breakthrough by penning these lines:</span></span></span></span></span></span></p>
                      <p style=”box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 1.25rem;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”><em style=”box-sizing: inherit;”>O million-murdering Death; I know this little thing; A myriad men will save.</span></span></span></p>
                      <p style=”box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 1.25rem;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”>Little thing, indeed.</span></p>
                      <p style=”box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 1.25rem;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”>As I </span></span></span><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”>wrote 5 years ago in GHN</span></span></span><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”> for World Mosquito Day, Sir Ronald’s discovery changed the world, breaking from the past “bad air” theories of malaria transmission and bringing us a new paradigm that has saved many millions over the decades.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p>
                      <p style=”box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 1.25rem;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”>Sadly, 5 years on, gains in global malaria control efforts have stalled. After significant progress in lives saved since the start of the millennium—made possible with increased funding to expand access to insecticide treated nets, indoor residual spraying, new diagnostics, and treatments—we are at a crossroads and no longer on track to meet our malaria elimination goals. There are several contributing reasons, including large populations displaced by conflict and severe weather, insecticide and drug resistance, and competing priorities with COVID-19 and Ebola. Part of the problem may also be us and our pre-pandemic systems.</span></p>
                      <p style=”box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 1.25rem;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”>Arundhati Roy published “The Pandemic Is a Portal” in the Financial Times on April 3, 2020, writing:</span></p>
                      <p style=”box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 1.25rem;”><em style=”box-sizing: inherit;”>Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice… our data banks and dead ideas. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.</p>
                      <p style=”box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 1.25rem;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”>The accelerated pandemic response these past 2.5 years with new diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics, as well as the intense health care system response, carry lessons for global malaria efforts. The public sector commitment to work in partnership with the private sector to develop these technologies and expedite their review and deployment stands in stark contrast to the way we approach “the other emergency” of malaria.</span></p>
                      <p style=”box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 1.25rem;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”>We old malariologists often hold the commercial sector at arm’s length, as “vendors” rather than “partners,” competing in massive global tenders for the lowest possible unit cost. With insecticide treated nets, this <em style=”box-sizing: inherit;”>cost <em style=”box-sizing: inherit;”>drive to the bottom stifles innovation for durability and quality improvement, user acceptability, and incorporation of new chemistries to combat insecticide resistance.</span></p>
                      <p style=”box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 1.25rem;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”>The approval process for malaria products is still numbingly slow, years for innovations that may have already been approved for safety and efficacy by stringent regulatory authorities such as the US EPA. There are often demands for prohibitively expensive randomized control trials (RCTs) with epidemiological endpoints. While RCTs are the “gold standard” for therapeutics and vaccines, they may be inappropriate—and at times unethical—in context-specific environmentally driven processes like malaria transmission.</span></p>
                      <p style=”box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 1.25rem;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”>We can learn from the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector, which is moving away from RCTs for WASH project evaluation into “transformative WASH,” beginning with human-centered design, stakeholder alignment, tailored evaluation designs, iterative program learning and scale-up, and the discovery not just <em style=”box-sizing: inherit;”>what works, but <em style=”box-sizing: inherit;”>why things work.</span></p>
                      <p style=”box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 1.25rem;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”>The other lesson of the past 2 years was our over-reliance on top-down “solution-implementation” rather than a bottom-up “problem-solving” capacity. As the attention of donors, ministries, and implementing partners was diverted to pandemic response, some, but not all, malaria programs foundered. Thankfully, there is interest by WHO to “Rethink Malaria” that includes capacity-building and decentralized decision-making at the subnational level. There are also initiatives for “new routes to market” for community access to lifesaving commodities that are not wholly dependent on government deployment systems.</span></p>
                      <p style=”box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 1.25rem;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”>The pandemic is a portal. I hope that on tomorrow’s “World Mosquito Day 2022” marking the day in 1897 we broke from the “bad air” theories, we heed Arundhati Roy, break from the past, learn the lessons from COVID-19, change our systems, and imagine a new path towards a malaria-free world.</span></p>
                      <p style=”box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 1.25rem;”></p>
                      <p style=”box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”><span style=”box-sizing: inherit;”><em style=”box-sizing: inherit;”>Michael B. Macdonald, ScD, is a public health entomologist in Catonsville, Maryland.</span></span></span></p>

                      </div>
                      </div>
                      </div>
                      </div>
                      </div>

                    • #8850
                      Wulan
                      Keymaster

                        APMEN and Malaria Consortium wrote a piece of work on Community Engagement for vector-borne disease control in Asia Pacific. Community engagement is core to any public health intervention. It is a process in which community groups, organisations and individuals come together to build a dynamic relationship with a collective vision for development and growth of the community. It is rooted in principles involving equity and empowerment, tailored and context-specific solutions, and practices comprising of communication, capacity strengthening and politically and culturally oriented activities. The goal is to engage and enable the communities to assume responsibility of factors influencing their surroundings and to improve their health, to promote equitable access to health services and ensure communities can engage in improving the quality of their health services. The document aims to describe tools and approaches of community engagement for vector-borne disease control by highlighting the experiences, historical lessons, opportunities and examples of country programmes and the projects of Partner Institutions. Read here: https://apmen.org/resources/community-engagement-vector-borne-disease-control-asia-pacific-tools-approaches-and

                      • #21401
                        Leo Braack
                        Keymaster

                          Hi everyone. In an article published earlier this year: Topazian, Hillary M., et al. “Modelling the relative cost-effectiveness of the RTS, S/AS01 malaria vaccine compared to investment in vector control or chemoprophylaxis.” Vaccine 41.20 (2023): 3215-3223 the authors state that WHO recommends the vaccine to be administered as a four-dose intervention in children in settings of moderate to high malaria transmission. This has to be contextualized in the reality that funding for malaria control is inadequate, with a current USD2,6 billion gap between what is available and what is needed. How do you therefore use the available funds in the most cost-effective way. The answer varies according to whether there is insecticide resistance in target areas, and you need to read the article to understand all these exceptions, but the general, overall conclusion is that ITN’s are still the most effective method for malaria control. In their words, “Vaccination may offer a route to fill a gap in settings where either ITN use is low but routine immunization programs are strong, or where ITNs are not replaced sufficiently frequently, where not enough ITNs are distributed, or where certain ITN types are not effective due to insecticide-resistance”.

                        • #21402
                          Leo Braack
                          Keymaster

                            Hi everyone. In an article published earlier this year: Topazian, Hillary M., et al. “Modelling the relative cost-effectiveness of the RTS, S/AS01 malaria vaccine compared to investment in vector control or chemoprophylaxis.” Vaccine 41.20 (2023): 3215-3223 the authors state that WHO recommends the vaccine to be administered as a four-dose intervention in children in settings of moderate to high malaria transmission. This has to be contextualized in the reality that funding for malaria control is inadequate, with a current USD2,6 billion gap between what is available and what is needed. How do you therefore use the available funds in the most cost-effective way. The answer varies according to whether there is insecticide resistance in target areas, and you need to read the article to understand all these exceptions, but the general, overall conclusion is that ITN’s are still the most effective method for malaria control. In their words, “Vaccination may offer a route to fill a gap in settings where either ITN use is low but routine immunization programs are strong, or where ITNs are not replaced sufficiently frequently, where not enough ITNs are distributed, or where certain ITN types are not effective due to insecticide-resistance”.

                          • #22874
                            Leo Braack
                            Keymaster

                              DENGUE: WHO Strategic Advisory Group and QDENGA vaccine

                              Not quite malaria, but we are the “Vector Control” group and presumably our interests stretch beyond malaria. Here is some interesting news about the latest dengue vaccine:

                              The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization provided recommendations for use of Takeda’s QDENGA, (Dengue Tetravalent Vaccine [Live, Attenuated]) (TAK-003) today (3rd October 2023 I think)

                              These include:

                              1. Consideration for introduction in settings with high dengue disease burden and high transmission intensity to maximize the public health impact and minimize any potential risk in seronegative persons.

                              2. Introduction to children aged six to 16 years of age. Within this age range, the vaccine should be introduced about 1-2 years prior to the age-specific peak incidence of dengue-related hospitalizations. The vaccine should be administered in a 2-dose schedule with a 3-month interval between doses.

                              3. Introduction should be accompanied by a well-designed communication strategy and community engagement.

                            • #22875
                              Leo Braack
                              Keymaster

                                DENGUE: WHO Strategic Advisory Group and QDENGA vaccine

                                Not quite malaria, but we are the “Vector Control” group and presumably our interests stretch beyond malaria. Here is some interesting news about the latest dengue vaccine:

                                The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization provided recommendations for use of Takeda’s QDENGA, (Dengue Tetravalent Vaccine [Live, Attenuated]) (TAK-003) today (3rd October 2023 I think)

                                These include:

                                1. Consideration for introduction in settings with high dengue disease burden and high transmission intensity to maximize the public health impact and minimize any potential risk in seronegative persons.

                                2. Introduction to children aged six to 16 years of age. Within this age range, the vaccine should be introduced about 1-2 years prior to the age-specific peak incidence of dengue-related hospitalizations. The vaccine should be administered in a 2-dose schedule with a 3-month interval between doses.

                                3. Introduction should be accompanied by a well-designed communication strategy and community engagement.

                              • #38360
                                Leo Braack
                                Participant

                                  Time to drop the term ‘simian malaria parasites’

                                • #38361
                                  Leo Braack
                                  Participant

                                    Sorry, the above extract regarding “Simian malaria parasites” comes from the latest Trends in Parasitology, Volume 40, Issue 2February 2024, Pages 100-101

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