Plasmodium vivax is the most prevalent malaria parasite on the American continent. It generates a global burden of 80-100 million cases annually and represents a tremendous public health problem, particularly in the American and Asian continents. A malaria vaccine would be considered the most cost-effective measure against this vector-borne disease and it would contribute to a reduction in malaria cases and to eventual eradication. Although significant progress has been achieved in the search for Plasmodium falciparum antigens that could be used in a vaccine, limited progress has been made in the search for P. vivax components that might be eligible for vaccine development. This is primarily due to the lack of in vitro cultures to serve as an antigen source and to inadequate funding. While the most advanced P. falciparum vaccine candidate is currently being tested in Phase III trials in Africa, the most advanced P. vivax candidates have only advanced to Phase I trials. Herein, we describe the overall strategy and progress in P. vivax vaccine research, from antigen discovery to preclinical and clinical development and we discuss the regional potential of Latin America to develop a comprehensive platform for vaccine development.
Malaria is currently one of the most serious public health problems in Colombia with an endemic/epidemic transmission pattern that has maintained endemic levels and an average of 105,000 annual clinical cases being reported over the last five years. Plasmodium vivax accounts for approximately 70% of reported cases with the remainder attributed almost exclusively to Plasmodium falciparum. A limited number of severe and complicated cases have resulted in mortality, which is a downward trend that has been maintained over the last few years. More than 90% of the malaria cases in Colombia are confined to 70 municipalities (about 7% of the total municipalities of Colombia), with high predominance (85%) in rural areas. The purpose of this paper is to review the progress of malaria-eradication activities and control measures over the past century within the eco-epidemiologic context of malaria transmission together with official consolidated morbidity and mortality reports. This review may contribute to the formulation of new antimalarial strategies and policies intended to achieve malaria elimination/eradication in Colombia and in the region.
Malaria is a vector-borne disease that is considered to be one of the most serious public health problems due to its high global mortality and morbidity rates. Although multiple strategies for controlling malaria have been used, many have had limited impact due to the appearance and rapid dissemination of mosquito resistance to insecticides, parasite resistance to multiple antimalarial drug, and the lack of sustainability. Individuals in endemic areas that have been permanently exposed to the parasite develop specific immune responses capable of diminishing parasite burden and the clinical manifestations of the disease, including blocking of parasite transmission to the mosquito vector. This is referred to as transmission blocking (TB) immunity (TBI) and is mediated by specific antibodies and other factors ingested during the blood meal that inhibit parasite development in the mosquito. These antibodies recognize proteins expressed on either gametocytes or parasite stages that develop in the mosquito midgut and are considered to be potential malaria vaccine candidates. Although these candidates, collectively called TB vaccines (TBV), would not directly stop malaria from infecting individuals, but would stop transmission from infected person to non-infected person. Here, we review the progress that has been achieved in TBI studies and the development of TBV and we highlight their potential usefulness in areas of low endemicity such as Latin America.
Malaria is the most important parasitic disease worldwide, responsible for an estimated 225 million clinical cases each year. It mainly affects children, pregnant women and non-immune adults who frequently die victims of cerebral manifestations and anaemia. Although the contribution of the American continent to the global malaria burden is only around 1.2 million clinical cases annually, there are 170 million inhabitants living at risk of malaria transmission in this region. On the African continent, where Plasmodium falciparum is the most prevalent human malaria parasite, anaemia is responsible for about half of the malaria-related deaths. Conversely, in Latin America (LA), malaria-related anaemia appears to be uncommon, though there is a limited knowledge about its real prevalence. This may be partially explained by several factors, including that the overall malaria burden in LA is significantly lower than that of Africa, that Plasmodium vivax, the predominant Plasmodium species in the region, appears to display a different clinical spectrus and most likely because better health services in LA prevent the development of severe malaria cases. With the aim of contributing to the understanding of the real importance of malaria-related anaemia in LA, we discuss here a revision of the available literature on the subject and the usefulness of experimental animal models, including New World monkeys, particularly for the study of the mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of malaria.
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