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6th MIM Pan-African Malaria Conference: Second call for abstract open

"Moving towards malaria elimination: Investing in research and control"

On behalf of the MIM secretariat and the local organizing committee, it is our pleasure to invite you to the 6th MIM Pan-African Malaria Conference.  The MIM conference is the largest gathering of the malaria community and therefore provides the ideal opportunity to showcase novel findings, innovations and ground breaking research.  Since the first MIM conference in Senegal 1997, the global face of malaria has changed considerably, with malaria elimination now a viable option in many African countries.  To highlight this paradigm shift, the conference is appropriately themed:  “Moving towards malaria elimination: Investing in research and control” and have both plenary sessions and symposia dedicated to this topic.

The conference will be held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in scenic Durban from the 6th to 11th October 2013.  As Durban is a popular tourist destination there is ample accommodation particularly along Durban’s newly re-vamped beachfront area, which is in close proximity to the ICC.  We look forward to welcoming you to the 6th MIM conference and Durban. Conference website

Book review: Ecology of parasite-vector interactions. Editors: Wilem Takken and Constantanius J.M. Koenraadt. Publisher: Wageningen Academic Publishers ( )The Netherlands ISBN: 978-90-8686-188-0. Pages 13 to 272

 The book ‘Ecology of parasite-vector interactions’ is the third book in the series Ecology and control of vector-borne diseases.  The book includes thirteen chapters, including an introduction by the editors and an epilogue.  The scientific chapters are grouped in three sections: Fundamental aspects of vector-parasite interactions, Species-specific interactions and Strategic issues concerning vector-parasite interactions.

 The book does not pretend to give an exhaustive overview of all current knowledge on parasite-vector interactions. Instead it gives a selection of reviews in this field. The first section includes a compact chapter on the impact of transgenic immune deployment on mosquito fitness; it also draws from studies with other insects. For the non-informed reader a graph or table describing the mentioned examples of innate immune mechanisms and the impact of transgene expression would have been helpful. A chapter on plant-sugar feeding and vectorial capacity presents a wealth of knowledge and opens the eyes to the significance of vegetation studies for vector control. Similarly, the chapter on larval environment and vector competence for arboviruses helps the reader in acquiring a better understanding of the ecological systems in which virus transmitting mosquitoes develop as well as possibilities for intervening in these complex systems. A chapter on temperature in mosquito and malaria biology nicely illustrates that there is much more to temperature dependent mosquito development that mean ambient temperature.  The section is closed by a very readable chapter on evolutionary aspects of Anopheles-Plasmodium interactions. This topic recently received much attention by case reports of Plasmodium species in primates. This chapter provides a basis for understanding beyond case reports.

 The second section is more accessible for non-entomologists than the previous section. Three well written chapters on tick-Borrelia interactions, Wolbachia-Aedes interactions and Leishmania-sandfly interactions provide excellent overviews.  Heavily leaning on the notion that Lyme borreliosis can better be prevented than treated, the behavior of infected ticks is put in the perspective of the reproductive capacity.  The interaction with endosymbiontic Wolbachia species inspires research that has already led to field experiments with transfected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. This exciting research is nicely reviewed in chapter 8.  The chapter on sandflies and Leishmania  touches the surface a field that is characterized by a multitude of parasites, vectors and ecological conditions.  For the reader who needs a rapid overview of this field, chapter 9 should be read.

 The last section in this book discusses strategic issues concerning vector-parasite interactions. The chapter on modeling the control of mosquito-borne diseases gives a student who is starting to dive into the field of modeling for vector control a very readable jump start. For the aficionados of modeling this chapter may still give some insights as well as a nice literature list. The chapter on heterogeneity in malaria transmission nicely illustrates the intuitive feeling that there is much more beyond the concept of stable malaria transmission. A range of variables makes malaria transmission variable and vulnerable because hotspots are exposed which can be targeted for control interventions. The last chapter addresses male fitness in genetic vector control programs. It starts by giving a nice overview. This helps the reader who is further assisted in gaining a quick understanding of the important determinants in this field of research and applied vector control.

 The book is concluded by listing the contributors and reviewers and with a key word index.

 This book is not a text book that can be used for reference. It is merely a collection of reviews. The selection of these reviews may seem a bit random. The rationale for this selection is given in the preface: “to revise classical knowledge about vector parasite interactions and provide insight in the intricate regulation of these interactions, …”.  The book serves this purpose excellently. But, who has enough classical knowledge to grasp the several detailed chapters of this book and still needs revision of knowledge? The book provides the insight that there is much to be known beyond the classics, a very academic notion but questionably appropriate for the non-entomologist epidemiologist or public health specialist and undergraduate students. Besides, the book lacks the structure and cohesion that is needed for study books.  Graduate students entomology and post docs probably like the book because it rapidly broadens their scope and gives lots of literature references. This probably also applies to professional entomologists who work in vector control or other sectors. Even for the mature scientists in this field, the book is a nice selection of review articles and the lists of references are useful. Together with the hard cover and nice layout this book will find its way to many a bookshelf, even those where the previous editions of this series are still lacking.

Peter J. de Vries

Week March 09, 2012

News/ Press Releases
Call for applications on Research on the Efficacy of Insecticide-Treated Durable Wall Liners
The Translating Research into Action (TRAction) Project, a USAID-funded Implementation Research Project, has issued a call for Applications (RFA) on Research on the Efficacy of Insecticide-Treated Durable Wall Liners(ITWLs) as a Method for Malaria Control.
The purpose of this research is to compare the impact on malaria transmission of indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) and ITWLs under conditions of universal coverage (UC) of LLINs, to UC of LLINs alone in a PMI focus country.  The research experience and results will provide guidance to the selected country’s National Malarial Control Program (NMCP) for scaling-up the most efficacious and cost-effective malaria prevention and reduction activities, and specifically inform decisions about whether countries and malaria control programs should consider phasing out IRS, or replacing or supplementing IRS programs with ITWLs.
The due date for applications is April 20, 2012. Further information about the request for applications is available at the following link:

RBM publishes 2012 "roadmaps" for tracking progress in malaria-endemic countries
Early this week, the Roll Back Malaria partnership (RBM) published the 2012 roadmaps of 17 malaria-endemic countries.  The roadmaps track expenditures and coverage of malaria interventions to help identify resource needs and coverage gaps.
These roadmaps will allow RBM partners to track progress in malaria control in countries for the year 2012.
The country roadmaps were first produced in 2009 and have since become an essential tool for guiding donors and implementation partners. They have also enabled advocates to leverage support and produce comprehensive reporting on country progress. Additional 31 roadmaps will be published by the end of March 2012, bringing the total number of endemic countries using this tool to 48. The country roadmaps are available at:

March 02- 09 2012 Malaria Publications
Estimating the Burden of Malaria in Senegal: Bayesian Zero-Inflated Binomial Geostatistical Modeling of the MIS 2008 Data.
Giardina F, Gosoniu L, Konate L, Diouf MB, Perry R, Gaye O, Faye O, Vounatsou P. 2012. PLoS ONE 7(3): e32625. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032625. 
Full text available online at:
Developmental allometry and paediatric malaria
Billig E, O'Meara W, Riley EM, McKenzie FE, 2012. Malaria Journal, 11:64, Manuscript available online as provisional pdf
Abstract available online at:

Increased sensitivity for detecting malaria parasites in human umbilical cord blood using scaled-up DNA preparation
Polley SD, Sutherland CJ, Regan F, Hassan M, Chiodini PL. 2012. Malaria Journal, 11:62. Manuscript published ahead of print.
Abstract available online at:
Optimal dose finding for novel antimalarial combination therapy
Duparc S, Lanza C, Ubben D, Borghini-Fuhrer I, Kellam L. 2012. Tropical Medicine and International Health, manuscript published ahead of print.
Abstract available online at:
Proveblue (Methylene Blue) as an Antimalarial Agent: In Vitro Synergy with Dihydroartemisinin and Atorvastatin Dormoi J, Pascual A, Briolant S, Amalvict R, Charras S, Baret E, Huyghues des Etages E, Feraud M, Pradines B. 2012. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, manuscript published ahead of print
Abstract available online at:
Evolution and Architecture of the Inner Membrane Complex in Asexual and Sexual Stages af the Malaria Parasite.
Kono M, Herrmann S, Loughran NB, Cabrera A, Engelberg K, Lehmann C, Sinha D, Prinz B, Ruch U, Heussler V, Spielman T, Parkinson J, Gilberger TW. 2012. Molecular Biology and Evolution. Manuscript published ahead of print
Abstract available online at:      
Evidence for the Contribution of the Hemozoin Synthesis Pathway of the Murine Plasmodium yoelii to the Resistance to Artemisinin-Related Drugs
Witkowski B, Lelièvre J, Nicolau-Travers M-L, Iriart X, Njomnang Soh P, Bousejra-Elgarah F, Meunier B, Berry A, Benoit-vical F.2012.  PLoS ONE 7(3): e32620. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032620
Full text available online at:
Chemical activation of a high-affinity glutamate transporter in human erythrocytes and its implications for malaria-parasite induced glutamate uptake.
Winterberg M, Rajendran E, Baumeister S, Bietz S, Kirk K, Lingelbach K. 2012. Blood, Manuscript published ahead of print
Abstract available online at:                                                                 
Plasmodium falciparum line dependent association of in vitro growth-inhibitory activity and risk of malaria Infection
Rono J, Färnert A, Olsson D, Osier F, Rooth I, Persson K. 2012. Immunity and Infection, Manuscript published ahead of print
Abstract available online at:      
Mutations of complement lectin pathway genes MBL2 and MASP2 associated with placental malaria.
Holmberg V, Onkamo P, Lahtela E, Lahermo P, Bedu-Addo G, Mockenhaupt FP, Meri S. 2012. Malaria Journal, 11(1):61. Manuscript available online as pprovisional pdf
Abstract available online at:
Structural Analysis of the Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) Intracellular Domain Reveals a Conserved Interaction Epitope.
Mayer C, Slater L, Erat MC, Konrat R, Vakonakis I. 2012. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 287(10):7182-9.
Abstract available online at:
Antibodies against a Plasmodium falciparum antigen PfMSPDBL1 inhibit merozoite invasion into human erythrocytes.
Sakamoto H, Takeo S, Maier AG, Sattabongkot J, Cowman AF, Tsuboi T. 2012. Vaccine, 30(11):1972-80.
Abstract available online at:
Lipophilic analogs of zoledronate and risedronate inhibit Plasmodium geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (GGPPS) and exhibit potent antimalarial activity.
No JH, de Macedo Dossin F, Zhang Y, Liu YL, Zhu W, Feng X, Yoo JA, Lee E, Wang K, Hui R, Freitas-Junior LH, Oldfield E. 2012. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA, manuscript published ahead of print
Abstract available online at:


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