Timeline of malaria in 2015

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This is a timeline of malaria in 2015, attempting to describe progress related to the disease throughout the year.

Development summary

  • Parasites: Mutations linked to resistance are found.
  • Vectors: Mosquitoes can be infected by multiple strains. Spider is found to hund female Anopheles. A strain of mosquitoes capable of rapidly introducing malaria-blocking genes is created in lab. CRISPR technique is used to alter Anopheles DNA.
  • Drugs, treatment, and control methods: Antimalarial hydroxychloroquine is found to reduce heart rate. Also, Parkinson's disease may be treatable with antimalarials.
  • Vaccine: Malaria vaccine candidate RTS,S trials are conducted with reported promising results.
  • Eradication and control progress: Report reveals that nearly 700 million cases of malaria have been prevented in Africa as a result of concerted efforts to tackle the disease since 2000. Maldives becomes the first malaria-free country in the South-East Asia WHO Region.
  • Vector control: The population at risk in Sub-Saharan Africa sleeping under an insecticide-treated mosquito net (ITN) or protected by indoor residual spraying (IRS) reaches 57% (up from 37% in 2010).[1]
  • Other: Tu Youyou is awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria".

Key figures

Global cases 214 million (range 149–303 million)[2]
Global deaths 438,000 (range 236,000–635,000)[2]
Deaths among children 306,000 (range 219,000–421,000)[2]
Distribution 88% of cases and 90% of deaths occurred in the WHO African Region. 10% of cases and 7% of deaths occurred in the WHO South-East Asia Region. Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo, accounted for more than 35% of global malaria deaths.[2]
Malaria financing US$ 2.9 billion[1]

Full timeline

Month/date Event type Details Country
January 17 Parasite Scientists identify mutations in the parasite genome that are linked to resistance, a growing problem in South East Asia.[3]
February 5 Drug Artificial intelligence named Eve, created specifically to automate the early stages of drug design, finds compounds with the potencial of combating drug-resistant malaria.[4][5][6]
February 15 Parasite Scientists report that drug-resistant malaria is on the cusp of re-emerging in India, after the strain is detected near the country’s border in Myanmar.[7] India
March 18 Symptom Scientist in Michigan publish research indicating devastating effects of malaria in the brain.[8] United States
March 19 Symptom Researchers describe conclusively that in children infected with malaria, brain swelling crushes the brainstem, which is where the neural stimulus for breathing originates, causing some children to die from cerebral malaria.[9]
March 25 Parasite, Vector Research team at Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, Missouri finds that the parasite that causes malaria produces an odor which attracts mosquitoes, inviting more bites and infections.[10] United States
April 24 Drug Clinical trial results of malaria vaccine candidate RTS,S shows partial protection for up to four years.[11][12]
April 24 Statistics In Africa, where 80 percent of malaria cases occur, malaria costs an estimated minimum of US$ $12 billion in lost productivity each year. In some high-burden countries the disease is estimated to account for as much as 40% of public health expenditure.[13]
May 8 Drug Malaria vaccine candidate developed at Oxford University is found to be 67% effective in a study of 121 men in Kenya.[14]
May 21 Drug Medical researchers at University of Oxford find that malaria drug hydroxychloroquine reduces heart rate significantly. The drug was also found useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus}.[15] United Kingdom
June 17 Drug Researchers at Dundee University discover a new compound which could treat malaria while protecting people from the disease and preventing its spread, all in a single dose.[16][17][18] United Kingdom
June 24 Epidemiology Study suggests that malaria likely killed many more people than usual in the west African nation of Guinea during the West African Ebola virus epidemic, as tens of thousands with potential signs of the mosquito-spread disease probably shunned health clinics.[19] Tens of thousands of malaria cases would have gone untreated in Guinea last year as people with symptoms shunned health clinics for fear of being sent into isolation at Ebola treatment centres, according to authoritative research. The study suggests that far more people will have died from malaria in 2014 than Ebola, which had killed 2,444 people by 15 June of 2015.[20]
July 8 Drug Sanofi teams with its partners at Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) with the purpose of developing a single-dose treatment for malaria, advancing a pair of candidates through mid-stage development.[21]
July 14 Funding The global community agrees to reduce deaths by 90%, and eliminate malaria in at least 35 countries by 2030, amid the negotiations taking place at the third international financing for development conference in Addis Ababa. Experts estimate that the cost of achieving such goals would be US$ 100bn, which requires to raise $6.5bn per year by 2020.[22] Ethiopia
July 16 Vector Lab tests at Pennsylvania State University and the United States National Institutes of Health show that mosquitoes can be infected with multiple strains of the malaria parasite, and the potent bite of these overburdened bugs seem more likely to result in malaria transmission.[23] United States
July 16 Drug Researchers at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and in Australia show that a drug currently in testing shows potential to cure malaria in a single dose and offers promise as a preventive treatment as well.[24] United States, Australia
July 17 Drug International team, including members from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore and McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Massachussets report that Parkinson's disease may be treatable with antimalaria drugs.[25] Singapore, United States
July 24 Drug European drugs regulators recommend RTS,S (trade name Mosquirix), as safe and effective to use in babies in Africa at risk of the mosquito-borne disease.[26] "The first malaria vaccine is set to be given the green light by regulators on Friday, opening the door for the World Health Organization to recommend its use in developing countries."[27][28]
August 5 Vector Researchers at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (Icipe) in Kenya, who co-authored a study on the spiders, describe a species of jumping spider found only around Lake Victoria in east Africa, called Evarcha culicivora, which is adapted to hunt female Anopheles mosquitoes that transmit malaria parasites.[29] Kenya
October 23 Drug The World Health Organization advisory committee endorses use of the RTS,S vaccine candidate in small-scale demonstrations.[30]
September 11 Epidemiology Study conducted in sub-Saharan Africa finds that living close to a dam could increase the risk of contracting malaria. After looking at infection rates among people living close to 1,268 dam reservoirs, the researchers found that about 15 million people reside in "risk areas", fewer than 5 kilometers away from a dam. It is stipulated that at least 1.1 million cases of malaria annually can be directly linked to the presence of dams.[31][32][33]
September 17 Statistics Report published in the journal Nature reveals that nearly 700 million cases of malaria have been prevented in Africa as a result of concerted efforts to tackle the disease since 2000, with the number of infections falling by 50% across the continent. Bed nets are considered responsible for the vast majority of the decrease. Meanwhile, a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the charity Unicef says that malaria death rates have fallen 60% globally since 2000 and more than six million lives have been saved. 13 countries reporting malaria cases in 2000 would report no cases in 2014 while a further six countries would have fewer than ten cases. It is communicated that Africa still accounts from 80% of cases and 78% of deaths worldwide. [34]
September 20 Drug Turing Pharmaceuticals, led by American businessman Martin Shkreli, after acquiring Antimalarial drug Daraprim in August, raises the price to $750 a tablet from $13.50, bringing the annual cost of treatment for some patients to hundreds of thousands of dollars. This would result in a backlash, leading Shkreli to be referred to as "the most hated man in America".[35][36][37] United States
September 28 Funding The United Nations and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation releases report titled "From Aspiration to Action: What Will It Take to End Malaria?" urging major donors and malaria-affected countries to expand their commitment to the fight against the disease, noting that eradication could save 11 million lives and unlock $2 trillion in economic benefits.[38]
October 5 Award Chinese pharmaceutical chemist Tu Youyou is awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria". Youyou discovered artemisinin (also known as qinghaosu) and dihydroartemisinin.[39][40]
October 14 Parasite Malaria researchers at the University of Copenhagen and cancer scientists at the University of British Columbia reveal that the carbohydrate that the malaria parasite attaches itself to in the placenta in pregnant women is identical to a carbohydrate found in cancer cells. This suggests that a hunt for a vaccine against malaria in pregnant women could provide an unexpected side effect as a cure for cancer.[41][42][43][44] Denmark, Canada
October 20 Parasite, vector Research conducted at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) shows that drug-resistant malaria parasite found in South East Asia can also infect mosquito species in Africa.[45]
November 9 Drug Research project boosted by $10 million in funding from Microsoft founder Bill Gates and conducted by Australian scientists at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane attempts testing candidate antimalarial drugs in healthy volunteers inoculated with a small number of malaria parasites.[46] Australia
November 10 Drug The British Defence Select Committee conducts inquiry into use of anti-malarial drug mefloquine (sold under brand name Lariam) given to British military personnel, among concerns of the possible side-effects listed for Lariam, such as depression, paranoia, hallucinations, and psychosis.[47]
November 23 Vector Research team from the University of California uses CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing method to insert a package of new genes into 680 embryos of Anopheles stephensi with the purpose of altering their DNA in order to block the parasite that carries malaria, and having within a few generations virtually all the insects’ descendants the antimalaria DNA inherited. The researchers would discuss the possibility that lab-engineered insects could be released into the wild to stop malaria.[48] United States
November 23 Funding British counselor George Osborne teams up with Bill Gates and announces the creation of a £1 billion fund (US$1.5 billion) to combat malaria and other infectious diseases.[49][50] United Kingdom
November 23 Vector Researchers at the University of California, using gene editing technique, manage to create a strain of mosquitoes capable of rapidly introducing malaria-blocking genes into a mosquito population through its progeny, ultimately eliminating the insects’ ability to transmit the malaria to humans.[51][52] United States
December Epidemiology The World Health Organization officially certifies the Republic of Maldives as the first malaria-free country in the South-East Asia WHO Region.[53] Maldives
December 9 Report The World Malaria Report is published. A total of 438,000 deaths due to malaria are reported worldwide during the year, with most occuring in the African Region (90%), followed by the South-East Asia Region (7%) and the Eastern Mediterranean Region (2%).[54][55] Of the 106 countries and territories with malaria transmission in 2000, 102 are projected to reverse the incidence of malaria by the end of 2015. Also, between 2000 and 2015, the proportion of children under 5 sleeping under an insecticide treated net in sub-Saharan Africa is found to have increased from less than 2% to an estimated 68%. 1 in 4 children in sub-Saharan Africa still lives in a household with no ITN and no protection provided by indoor residual spraying.[56]
December 8 Vector Scientists from Imperial College London, using CRISPR technology –a genome editing tool–, announce having successfully genetically modified major malaria vector Anopheles gambiae to carry infertile traits.[57][58] United Kingdom

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See also

External links

References

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