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All the more telling for being an arbitrary and often intimate historical record, poetry provides the primary source for this chapter’s account of nineteenth-century medicine. Poems by John Gibson, Thomas Fessenden, George Crabbe, William Wordsworth, and Humphrey Davy disclose that the practice of medicine, whether by quacks or the learned, was so ineffectual at the start of the century as to allow the Romantics to plausibly argue for the curative effects of poetry and the imagination, both of which became integral to a new science of life. The professional medicine that sprang from this science, however, asserted its autonomy from poetry, most effectively by pathologising such poets as John Keats and Oscar Wilde, who in turn offered their own verse ripostes. Its positivism and ‘hands-on’ diagnostics yielded new conceptions of the body and touch that Alfred Tennyson, G. M. Hopkins, and Walt Whitman each reflect upon in their poetry. Finally, the growing acceptance of the germ theory of disease enabled pathologies of art as illness that are variously elaborated upon and joked about by Edward Lear, Henry Savile Clerk, Wilde, and Ronald Ross, who also reaches for poetry to record his sublimely momentous discovery of the malaria pathogen in 1896.
Various host and parasite factors interact to determine the outcome of infection. We investigated the effects of two factors on the within-host dynamics of malaria in mice: initial infectious dose and co-infection with a helminth that limits the availability of red blood cells (RBCs). Using a statistical, time-series approach to model the within-host ‘epidemiology’ of malaria, we found that increasing initial dose reduced the time to peak cell-to-cell parasite propagation, but also reduced its magnitude, while helminth co-infection delayed peak cell-to-cell propagation, except at the highest malaria doses. Using a mechanistic model of within-host infection dynamics, we identified dose-dependence in parameters describing host responses to malaria infection and uncovered a plausible explanation of the observed differences in single vs co-infections. Specifically, in co-infections, our model predicted a higher background death rate of RBCs. However, at the highest dose, when intraspecific competition between malaria parasites would be highest, these effects of co-infection were not observed. Such interactions between initial dose and co-infection, although difficult to predict a priori, are key to understanding variation in the severity of disease experienced by hosts and could inform studies of malaria transmission dynamics in nature, where co-infection and low doses are the norm.
Anaemia is a public health problem in Ghana. We sought to identify factors associated with haemoglobin concentration (Hb) and anaemia among school-attending adolescents. We analysed data from 2948 adolescent girls and 609 boys (10–19 years) selected from 115 schools from regions of Ghana as a secondary analysis of baseline surveys conducted at two time-points. We measured Hb, malaria from capillary blood, anthropometry and used a modified food frequency questionnaire to assess diet. Multivariable linear and Poisson regression models were used to identify predictors of Hb and anaemia. The prevalence of anaemia, malaria and geophagy were 24, 25, and 24 %, respectively, among girls and 13, 27 and 6 %, respectively, among boys. Girls engaging in geophagy had a 53 % higher adjusted prevalence of anaemia and 0⋅39 g/dl lower Hb. There were similar results among those who tested positive for malaria (+52 % anaemia; −0⋅42 g/dl Hb). Among girls, lower anaemia prevalence and higher Hb were associated with consumption of foods rich in haeme iron (−22 %; +0⋅18 g/dl), consumption of iron-fortified cereal/beverages consumed with citrus (−50 %; +0⋅37 g/dl) and being overweight (−22 %; +0⋅22 g/dl). Age was positively associated with anaemia among girls, but negatively associated among boys. Boys who tested positive for malaria had 0⋅31 g/dl lower Hb. Boys who were overweight or had obesity and consumed flour products were also more likely to be anaemic (119 and 56 %, respectively). Factors associated with Hb and anaemia may inform anaemia reduction interventions among school-going adolescents and suggest the need to tailor them uniquely for boys and girls.
Plasmodium falciparum is the main cause of severe malaria in humans that can lead to death. There is growing evidence of drug-resistance in P. falciparum treatment, and the design of effective vaccines remains an ongoing strategy to control the disease. On the other hand, the recognition of specific diagnostic markers for P. falciparum can accelerate the diagnosis of this parasite in the early stages of infection. Therefore, the identification of novel antigenic proteins especially by proteomic tools is urgent for vaccination and diagnosis of P. falciparum. The proteome diversity of the life cycle stages of P. falciparum, the altered proteome of P. falciparum-infected human sera and altered proteins in P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes could be proposed as appropriate proteins for the aforementioned aims. Accordingly, this review highlights and proposes different proteins identified using proteomic approaches as promising markers in the diagnosis and vaccination of P. falciparum. It seems that most of the candidates identified in this study were able to elicit immune responses in the P. falciparum-infected hosts and they also played major roles in the life cycle, pathogenicity and key pathways of this parasite.
In 2019, a 42-year-old African man who works as an Ebola virus disease (EVD) researcher traveled from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), near an ongoing EVD epidemic, to Philadelphia and presented to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Emergency Department with altered mental status, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. He was classified as a “wet” person under investigation for EVD, and his arrival activated our hospital emergency management command center and bioresponse teams. He was found to be in septic shock with multisystem organ dysfunction, including circulatory dysfunction, encephalopathy, metabolic lactic acidosis, acute kidney injury, acute liver injury, and diffuse intravascular coagulation. Critical care was delivered within high-risk pathogen isolation in the ED and in our Special Treatment Unit until a diagnosis of severe cerebral malaria was confirmed and EVD was definitively excluded.
This report discusses our experience activating a longitudinal preparedness program designed for rare, resource-intensive events at hospitals physically remote from any active epidemic but serving a high-volume international air travel port-of-entry.
Emerging evidence started to delineate multiple layers of memory B cells, with distinct effector functions during recall responses. Whereas most studies examining long-lived memory B cell responses have focussed on the IgG+ memory B cell compartment, IgM+ memory B cells have only recently started to receive attention. It has been proposed that unlike IgG+ memory B cells, which differentiate into antibody-secreting plasma cells upon antigen re-encounter, IgM+ memory B cells might have the additional capacity to establish secondary germinal centre (GC) responses. The precise function of IgM+ memory B cells in the humoral immune response to malaria has not been fully defined. Using a murine model of severe malaria infection and adoptive transfer strategies we found that IgM+ memory B cells induced in responses to P. berghei ANKA readily proliferate upon re-infection and adopt a GC B cell-like phenotype. The results suggest that that IgM+ memory B cells might play an important role in populating secondary GCs after re-infection with Plasmodium, thereby initiating the induction of B cell clones with enhanced affinity for antigen, at faster rates than naive B cells.
Due to side-effects and inefficiency of the drugs used in malaria treatment, finding alternative medicine with less side-effects has attracted much attention. In this regard, in the present study, nanocomposite synthesized and its effects on the metabolites of P. falciparum were investigated. Subsequent to synthesis of nanocomposites, characterization was carried out using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS), scanning electron microscopy, dynamic light scattering and Fourier-transform infrared tests. Solubility and drug release were measured and its toxicity on Vero cell was assessed using the MTT assay. The antiparasitic effect of the nanocomposite on the metabolites of P. falciparum was investigated by 1H NMR spectroscopy. Among synthesized nanocomposites, the average size of 239 nm showed suitable solubility in water as well as slow drug release. The MTT assay showed no toxicity for Vero cell lines. Concentrations of 2.5 μg mL−1 of nanocomposite eliminated 82.6% of the total parasites. The most effected metabolic cycles were glyoxylate and dicarboxylate metabolism. In this study, 1H NMR spectroscopy was used with untargeted metabolomics to study the effect of the nanocomposite on P. falciparum. Playing an essential role in understanding drug-target interactions and characterization of mechanism of action or resistance exhibited by novel antiprotozoal drugs, can be achieved by targeting metabolic using LC-MS.
This study aims to ascertain the long-term epidemic trends of malaria and evaluates the probability of achieving the eradication goal by 2020 in China. Data on malaria incidence and deaths were extracted from the China Information System for Disease Control and Prevention. The epidemic trends by sex, age and spatial distribution and predictions of malaria were estimated by using Joinpoint and Poisson regressions. From 1950 to 2016, 227 668 374 malaria cases were reported in China, with an annualised average incidence of 337.02 (336.98–337.07, 95% confidence interval (CI)) per 100 000 population. The incidence decreased with an average annual per cent change (AAPC) of −11.4% (−16.6 to −6.0). There were 36 085 malaria deaths, with an annualised average mortality of 0.534 (0.529–0.540) per 1 000 000 population. The mortality decreased with an AAPC of −8.7% (−13.7 to −3.4). The predicted number of malaria cases and deaths for 2020 is 2 562 and 10, respectively, and zero for indigenous cases. The disease burden of malaria dramatically decreased in China. Though, the goal of malaria elimination is realistic by 2020 in China, routine clinical and entomological surveillance should be continually conducted, especially for the cross-border areas and imported malaria cases.
The relative contribution of imported vs. locally acquired infections to urban malaria burden remains largely unexplored in Latin America, the most urbanised region in the developing world. Here we use a simple molecular epidemiology framework to examine the transmission dynamics of Plasmodium vivax in Mâncio Lima, the Amazonian municipality with the highest malaria incidence rate in Brazil. We prospectively genotyped 177 P. vivax infections diagnosed in urban residents between June 2014 and July 2015 and showed that local parasites are structured into several lineages of closely related microsatellite haplotypes, with the largest genetic cluster comprising 32% of all infections. These findings are very unlikely under the hypothesis of multiple independent imports of parasite strains from the rural surroundings. Instead, the presence of an endemic near-clonal parasite lineage circulating over 13 consecutive months is consistent with a local P. vivax transmission chain in the town, with major implications for malaria elimination efforts in this and similar urban environments across the Amazon.
The CXCR3 chemokine CXCL10 or IFN-γ inducible protein 10 (IP-10) has been identified as an important biomarker of cerebral malaria (CM) mortality in children. Studies in mouse malaria infection models have shown that CXCL10 blockade alleviates brain intravascular inflammation and protects infected mice from CM. Despite the key role that CXCL10 plays in the development of CM, the leucocytic sources of CXCL10 in response to human malaria are not known. Here we investigated CXCL10 responses to Plasmodium falciparum in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). We found that PBMCs from malaria-unexposed donors produce CXCL10 in response to P. falciparum and that this response is IFN-γ-dependent. Moreover, CD14+ monocytes were identified as the main leucocytic sources of CXCL10 in peripheral blood, suggesting an important role for innate immune responses in the activation of this pathway involved in the development of symptomatic malaria.
Entomological indicators such as vector density, distribution, biology and bionomics and their vectorial attributes are important parameters for measuring the pattern and intensity of malaria transmission. Although published articles provide evidence for the existence of associations between entomological indices and malaria transmission dynamics, none of them is able to establish a strong correlation. In order to address this issue, the present study aims to assess how malaria transmission is influenced and can be predicted by local major vector dynamics. We carried out an entomological assessment of major Anopheline vector abundance, habit/habitat, resting and feeding behavior, infectivity rates, and other entomological parameters. Results suggest that malaria transmission was correlated with a vector control intervention and non-intervention scenario in a high endemic region of Kalahandi district of Odisha, India. Amongst all indices, infective anthropophagic vectors established a strong positive correlation with malaria morbidity in comparison to infective or anthropophagic vector species during both the study periods. Though other entomological parameters influenced the transmission intensity, little quantifiable association was detected among study sites. This study provides strong baseline evidence of an association between entomological indices and malaria transmission dynamics, which could be used as an early warning system for outbreak prediction.
This study aims to determine the prevalence of malaria and HIV seropositivity among children with undernutrition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
A cross-sectional study of undernourished children aged between 12 and 60 months in Kalembe-Lembe hospital was carried out. Blood samples were collected for the analyses of malaria parasite, haemoglobin and haematocrit levels. HIV serostatus was determined with rapid HIV antibody tests and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Logistic regression analyses were used to identify clinical predictors of HIV seropositivity.
Of 225 children, 88.9% had malaria; the parasite loads were 16 000 para per μL (38.0%); 24 400 para per μL (56.8%), P < 0.001 and malaria and associated HIV infection accounted for 29.2%. In children aged >12 months, HIV seroprevalence was 29.3%; 86.0% had undernutrition and malaria, 6.8% had undernutrition and HIV and 4.3% had undernutrition, HIV and malaria (P < 0.001). The occurrence of at least three or more symptoms was highly specific (96.4–100.0%) for HIV seropositivity (P < 0.05). The overall mortality rate was 18.4%, higher in children with malaria and HIV (39.6% vs 12.2%, P < 0.001) and those with lower weight gain (4.3 vs 7.5 g kg−1 day−1, P < 0.001).
There was high prevalence of malaria and HIV and mortality among severely undernourished children with malaria and HIV.
C-mannosylation was recently identified in the thrombospondin-related anonymous protein (TRAP) from Plasmodium falciparum salivary gland sporozoites. A candidate P. falciparum C-mannosyltransferase (PfDPY-19) was demonstrated to modify thrombospondin type 1 repeat (TSR) domains in vitro, exhibiting a different acceptor specificity than their mammalian counterparts. According to the described minimal acceptor of PfDPY19, several TSR domain-containing proteins of P. falciparum could be C-mannosylated in vivo. However, the relevance of this protein modification for the parasite viability remains unknown. In the present study, we used CRISPR/Cas9 technology to generate a PfDPY19 null mutant, demonstrating that this glycosyltransferase is not essential for the asexual blood development of the parasite. PfDPY19 gene disruption was not associated with a growth phenotype, not even under endoplasmic reticulum-stressing conditions that could impair protein folding. The data presented in this work strongly suggest that PfDPY19 is unlikely to play a critical role in the asexual blood stages of the parasite, at least under in vitro conditions.
Using archaeological and textual evidence, this chapter discusses the nature and prevalence of infectious disease in early Palestine. An analysis of the human bones from Palestinian tombs, in particular the ones relating to the urban sites of Jerusalem and Jericho, demonstrates a high level of subadult deaths especially of infants. Those socially and economically advantaged were equally at risk with those less well off when faced with an aggressive and persistent pathogen, as evidenced by the Akeldama tombs containing the remains of the wealthy. In one tomb, poor maternal health is suggested by the long-bone measurements of new-born infants, which are well below the norm for the period. And in another tomb (Tomb of the Shroud) both leprosy and tuberculosis were identified in a high-class man, possible a priest. Yet another Akeldama tomb revealed the remains of a man severely infected by the hydated tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus. Malaria is described by Josephus with reference to a Hasmonean king in the first century BCE, but there is no evidence that it was a serious problem in the first century, and certainly there is no evidence for the deadly falciparum form.
This chapter explores socio-economic versus halachic explanations for the distribution of ethnic indicators between Judea and Galilee. Fewer miqwa’ot and scant ossuaries have been found in Galilee. Regarding ossuaries, the trickle-down effect from the Judean elite, who had adopted this Roman mode of burial, to the Galilean elite, would have taken time and resulted in smaller and more modest adjustments; this could partially account for any ossuary disparity between Galilee and Judea pre-70 CE. But, more importantly, the difficulties in distinguishing between first-century and second-century Galilean tombs have hampered firm conclusions being made. The miqwa’ot data demonstrate a difference in the interpretation of the Halacha (religious rules), that reflects a diverse Judaism firmly underpinned by a common Judaism identified through a number of archaeological artefacts, such as the Herodian or knife-pared oil lamp common in both Galilee and Judea. The widespread presence of pig bones on Jewish sites, albeit in low numbers, also demonstrates a diverse Judaism. Stone vessels were discovered on all types of site across Judea and Galilee and, with the exception of large jars clearly produced for the wealthy, were used by all classes. This stone vessel revolution has been interpreted as establishing Jewish identity and self-sufficiency.
This study was undertaken with an aim of exploring community knowledge and treatment practices related to malaria and their determinants in high- and low-transmission areas of central India. A community-based cross-sectional study was carried out between August 2015 and January 2016 in two high- and two low-malaria-endemic districts of central India. A total of 1470 respondents were interviewed using a pre-tested structured interview schedule. Respondents residing in high-transmission areas with higher literacy levels, and of higher socioeconomic status, were found to practise more modern preventive measures than those living in low-transmission areas with low literacy levels and who were economically poor. Level of literacy, socioeconomic status and area (district) of residence were found to be the main factors affecting people’s knowledge of malaria aetiology and clinical features, and prevention and treatment practices, in this community in central India.
Bio-Detection Dogs (BDDs) are used in some high-income countries as a diagnostic intervention, yet little is known about their potential in low/middle-income countries with limited diagnostic resources. This exploratory study investigated the opportunities and implications of deploying BDDs as a mobile diagnostic intervention to identify people with asymptomatic malaria, particularly at ports of entry, as an important step to malaria elimination in a population. A qualitative study design consisting of participant observation, five focus group discussions and informal conversations was employed in The Gambia in April–May 2017. A disciplined German Shepherd companion dog (not trained as a BDD) was introduced to research participants and their perceptions recorded. Field-notes and discussions were transcribed, translated and analysed thematically. Most research participants viewed positively the possibility of using BDDs to detect malaria, with the major advantage of being non-invasive. Some concerns, however, were raised regarding safety and efficacy, as well as cultural issues around the place of dogs within human society. The Gambia is a rabies-endemic country, and unfamiliar dogs are not usually approached, with implications for how research participants perceived BDDs. Understanding such concerns and working with local people to address such issues must be part of any successful strategy to deploy BDDs in new settings. Bio-Detection Dogs represent a potentially non-invasive diagnostic tool for the detection of asymptomatic or chronic malaria infections, particularly in areas with very low parasite rates. However, it is important to understand local concerns and work closely with communities to address those concerns. Wider deployment of BDDs will also require careful planning and sustained financial support.