Timeline of malaria in 2016

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This is a timeline of malaria in 2016.

Development summary

  • Parasites: Drug resistant parasites, as well as mechanisms of resistance, are discovered. Certain malarial parasites are found in unexpected regions. Three dimensional protein mapping is developed.
  • Vectors: Methods of disruption of biological processes in Anopheles are discovered. Compounds of chicken feathers are found to act as repellent against mosquitoes.
  • Drugs, vaccines, treatment, and control methods: Vaccine is developed through parasite gene editing. Progress is made in antimalarial drug combination. Ayurvedic and herbal medicine are reintroduced. Multiple testing methods are introduced. Insecticide-treated clothing is introduced for prevention. RTS,S malaria vaccine candidate is programmed for rollout.
  • Eradication and control progress: Sri Lanka is certified as malaria–free.

Timeline

Date (news release) Type of event Event Present time geographical location
January 7 Discovery (drug resistance) Researchers find that malaria-carrying parasites in parts of Cambodia have developed resistance to major drug (piperaquine combined with artemisinin) which has been the main, and one of the few still effective malaria treatments in the country since 2008, and is used to treat the disease in Southeast Asia.[1] Cambodia, Southeast Asia
January 25 Funding British politician George Osborne and Microsoft magnate Bill Gates announce £3 billion pledge to fight malaria. Some £500 million a year would be allocated from United Kingdom's international development budget over the next five years and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation would spend £140 million a year on malaria research.[2]
January 26 Development (testing) Cincinnati–based producer Meridian Bioscience presents Illumigene Malaria, a test developed with the technical assistance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar, Senegal. The test is up to 80,000 times more sensitive at detecting the malaria parasite than conventional tests, with the potential of revolutionizing malaria diagnosis.[3] United States
February 5 Discovery (parasite) Researchers from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute discover unexpected malaria parasite, Plasmodium odocoilei, in North American white-tailed deers. The parasite was previously unknown in the Americas.[4] United States
February 10 Development Researchers at Stanford University manage to purify the proteasome from the malaria parasite and design inhibitors that selectively target the parasite proteasome, while sparing the human host enzyme. This high degree of selectivity would allow the scientists to confirm that the drug can be used to clear parasites from infected mice. The researchers' work hopes to combat malaria parasite's growing resistance to first-defense treatments.[5] United States
February 13 Program launch Indian health minister Jagat Prakash Nadda announces target of making India ‘malaria-free’ by 2030 under the National Framework for Malaria Elimination (2016-2030).[6] India
February 19 Development (technology) Research team at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research develops the first three-dimensional 'map' of a critical protein PvRBP, that malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax uses to invade human red blood cells.[7] Australia (Melbourne)
February 22 Barack Obama administration announces plan to expand its campaign against malaria by spending an additional US$200 million, with aims at expanding services to 70 million more people in Africa and accelerating a global effort to eradicate the disease.[8] United States
February 24 Development (drug) Indian Ayurvedic medicine manufacturer Dabur announces agreement with the Government of India to produce two drugs for both diabetes and malaria.[9] India
March 3 Program launch Malaria Consortium establishes in Myanmar an insecticide-treated clothing (ITC) project, in order to determine its acceptability for malaria prevention among key risk groups.[10] Myanmar
March 22 Discovery (parasite) Scientists at Emory University document for the first time how competition among different malaria parasite strains in human hosts could influence the spread of drug resistance.[11] United States
March 23 Discovery (host) Study conducted at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago reveals evolution of malaria, having its roots in bird hosts, from which it spread to bats, and then on to other mammals.[12] United States
April 11 Promotion The World Health Organization recommends a combination of artemisinin and another drug (artemisinin combination therapy, ACT) as the best malaria treatment.[13]
April 19 Discovery (parasite) Research team led by the University of Melbourne finds that resistance to anti–malarial drug atovaquone cannot be passed on by mosquitoes. Although malaria parasites survive in mammalian hosts due to resistance, the mutation kills the parasites during the mosquito phase of their life cycle.[14] Australia
April 25 The World Malaria Day is commemorated. On the same day, the World Health Organization announces that six African countries could be free of malaria by 2020: Algeria, Botswana, Cape Verde, Comoros, South Africa, and Swaziland.[15]
April 25 Funding American oil and gas corporation ExxonMobil announces on World Malaria Day, grants to local and international organizations fighting malaria. The company's investment program of US$9 million includes grants to Africare (volunteer training), Harvard University (research), Jhpiego (pregnant women focus), President’s Malaria Initiative (diagnosis training, prevention tools), Seed Global Health (medical volunteers), and Worldwide Antimalarial Resistance Network.[16]
May 5 Policy United Kingdom-based charity Against Malaria Foundation starts accepting Bitcoin cryptocurrency donations.[17] United Kingdom
May 9 Development (vaccine) Biotechnology corporation Sanaria reports experimental malaria vaccine tested in varying doses providing 55 percent protection for one year to a few volunteers. The vaccine, made by the company, contains thousands of live malaria parasites weakened by radiation; the parasites would create an immune response but do not persist in the body for long.[18] United States
May 25 Discovery (parasite) Research team at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, shows that malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum uses an arm of the human immune response called the complement system as a mechanism to evade the human immune response and invade red blood cell.[19] United States
June 6 Report The World Health Organization reports that about one in seven people in India (aproximately 187 millions of people) is at risk of contracting malaria.[20] India
June 7 Discovery (parasite) Researchers at University of California, San Francisco report that some members of a class of compounds called oxaboroles, which contain the element boron, have potent activity against malaria parasites.[21] United States
June 16 Development (drug) Research team at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, makes progress toward a pill (anti-parasitic and anti-malaria drug ivermectin) that lingers in the stomach and releases its contents over a span of two weeks, when oral drugs would almost never last for more than a day. This advance is expected to boost the fight against malaria and other diseases.[22][23] United States
June 20 Partnership Basel based multinational pharmaceutical company Novartis announces collaboration expansion with not-for-profit public-private partnership Medicines for Malaria Venture.[24] Switzerland
June 27 Discovery (parasite) An international team led by researchers at New York University's Center for Genomics and Systems Biology manages to uncover global, evolving variations in malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax genome by using DNA sequencing. The process would be able to show how the malaria-causing parasite evolves rapidly at a localized level to develop drug resistance.[25]
June 30 Discovery (vector) Researchers at Lancaster University identify a gene that stimulates the male-specific genetic program in the African malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae. The gene, called Yob, is lethal when expressed in genetically female mosquito embryos. The study emphasizes a way toward genetic approaches to propagate male-only mosquitoes that could help kill malaria parasite–carrying females in the wild.[26] United Kingdom
July 1 Development (testing) Researchers successfully use strips in testing to detect biomarkers for both ovarian cancer and malaria.[27]
July 16 Discovery (vector) Researchers from University of Edinburgh and colleagues in the United states find that mosquitoes can become more dangerous by accumulating mixed strain malaria infections after feeding on multiple hosts, and that parasites have a greater chance of establishing a secondary infection if another Plasmodium strain is already present in a mosquito. The research team would also find that the presence of a primary infection facilitates replication of a secondary infection while the first infection developed as normal. This would result in doubly infected mosquitoes having substantially higher parasite loads.[28] United Kingdom, United States
July 18 Development (vaccine) Scientists from the Institut Pasteur, the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) and the Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (Inserm) experimentally develops a live, genetically attenuated vaccine for Plasmodium, the parasite responsible for malaria. By identifying and deleting one of the parasite's genes, the researchers would enable it to induce an effective, long-lasting immune response in a mouse model.[29] France
July 18 Discovery Study conducted by researchers from Columbia University ans University of Vermont suggests that climate change could make West Africa less hospitable for mosquitoes by the end of the 21th century, thus reducing the risk of malaria incidence.[30] United States
July 21 Discovery (vector) Researchers from Sweden and Ethiopia find that while mosquitoes have a taste for human blood, they are repelled by the smell of chickens. Four compounds of chicken feathers (isobutyl butyrate, naphthalene, hexadecane and trans-limonene) would appear to have a repellent effect.[31] Ethiopia
July 25 Discovery (drug) Researchers at Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology report that antimalarial drug atovaquone could help radiotherapy destroy tumours.[32] United Kingdom
August 4 Discovery (parasite) Researchers at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique and the University of Melbourne discover that the parasites responsible for malaria and toxoplasmosis depend on mechanisms inherited from the plants.[33] France, Australia
September 5 Achievement Sri Lanka is certified malaria–free by the World Health Organization.[34] Sri Lanka
September 7 Discovery (parasite) Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology find compound that targets enzyme phenylalanyl-tRNA synthetase and appears to wipe out malaria parasites before they can multiply in the liver and be released in bigger numbers into the bloodstream.[35] United States
September 16 Development (testing) Researchers at Duke University report a method that uses light-based, holographic imaging and deep learning to spot malaria-infected cells from a simple, untouched blood sample without any help from a human.[36] United States
September 17 Funding The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria raises US$12.9 billion to fight those diseases.[37]
October 3 Discovery (drug resistance) Resistance monitoring at the University of Copenhagen shows that previously efficacious drug chloroquine is once again beginning to work against malaria, after 30 years of malaria parasite resistance development.[38] Denmark
November 1 Program launch The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation sets target to eradicate malaria by 2040.[39]
November 4 Achievement Kyrgyzstan receives the official World Health Organization certification of malaria elimination. This would imply an important achievement for the European WHO Region: all 53 countries would have interrupted the chain of indigenous malaria transmission for at least 1 year.[40] Kyrgyzstan
November 10 Discovery (parasite) Research team at Columbia University Medical Center discovers that some mutations that enable drug resistance in the malaria-causing parasite Plasmodium falciparum may also help it grow.[41] United States
November 16 Development (testing) Team at Vanderbilt University develops a test for malaria, using innovative “paper microfluidics” that gives one hundred times more sensitivity than commercially available tests while retaining the low cost and simplicity.[42] United States
November 17 Program launch The World Health Organization confirms, with secure funding, the world’s first malaria vaccine to be rolled out in pilot projects in sub-Saharan Africa by 2018.[43] Switzerland (Geneva)
November 17 Discovery (testing) Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill discover that false-negative results are given by Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) when malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is infected by a pfhrp2 (Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2)-deleted mutant.[44] United States
November 17 Program launch RTS,S malaria vaccine (against Plasmodium Falciparum) is set for 2018 rollout in Africa after the World Health Organization secures funding. US$15 million for the malaria vaccine pilots – for the first phase of the program–, are reported to be received. An additional commitment of about $37 million from partners would be expected to cover the first four years.[45]
November 28 Report American non-profit charity evaluator GiveWell publishes a blog post announcing its updated top charities for end-of-year 2016. United Kingdom-based Agains Malaria Foundation is included in the list of top charities.[46]
November 29 Discovery (drug) Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine report that giving anti-malarial drugs to older children (by expanding the range from 5 to 10 years of age) can significantly reduce overall transmission of the disease.[47] United Kingdom
November 29 Charity recommendation American non-profit charity evaluator GiveWell American non-profit charity evaluator places international non-profit organisation Malaria Consortium as a top charity for its seasonal malaria chemoprevention program.[48][49][50] GiveWell also reiterates its recommendation of Against Malaria Foundation that finances mosquito net distribution.[48] United States
December 1 Development (drug) A group of Australian high school students manage to synthesize the active agent in Daraprim, by using classroom equipment for $2 per dose. Daraprim, which is used to treat malaria, had previously risen by 5,000% from US$13.50 to US$750 a tablet overnight after an unscrupulous price-hike by hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli.[51] Australia
December 5 Discovery International research team publishes some of the first direct DNA evidence of malaria dating from the 1st to the 4th century, in skeletons found in southern Italy.[52] Italy
December 13 Report The 2016 World Malaria Report is released by the World Health Organization. 10 countries report no malaria deaths in 2015. The report also finds that malaria control has improved for the most vulnerable people in Africa. It is also revealed that children and pregnant women in Sub-Saharan Africa have now greater access to effective malaria control. A steep increase in diagnostic testing for the same group is also reported. However, inadequate funding and fragile health systems are observed to stand in the way of reaching global eradication targets. Funding shortfalls and fragile health systems are denounced.[53][54][55]
December 15 Discovery (vector) Research team at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health reports that synthetic chemical dibenzoylhydrazine (DBH) disrupts biological processes in female Anopheles mosquitoes and can be just as effective as insecticides in reducing the spread of malaria. The study would provide a new strategy based on the use of a non-toxic compound that prevents transmission of malaria parasites without killing the mosquito.[56] United States
December 19 Discovery (treatment) Research at Michigan State University finds that ancient herbal medicine, used to effectively treat malaria, could potentially aid in the treatment of tuberculosis and may slow the evolution of drug resistance.[57] United States

See also

References

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  2. "Bill Gates and George Osborne announce £3bn to fight malaria". independent.co.uk. Retrieved 16 June 2017. 
  3. "New Malaria Test, illumigene® Malaria, Sets a New Gold Standard for Diagnosis". globenewswire.com. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
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  8. McKay, Betsy. "Obama Administration Plans to Expand Malaria Effort by $200 Million". wsj.com. Retrieved 8 July 2017. The Obama administration plans to use an additional $200 million to expand its fight against malaria, expanding services to 70 million more people in Africa and accelerating a global effort to eradicate the disease. 
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  11. "Mixed-strain malaria infections influence drug resistance". phys.org. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
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