Artemisinin is the main component of the current antimalarial treatments recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Resistance to artemisinin is not new and has been reported in South-East Asia for more than a decade. Scientists have been monitoring the geographical distribution of artemisinin resistance since 2014, but they only recently observed a drug-resistant strain of the malaria parasite in Africa.

The research is available at Nature Medicine. Scientists analysed blood samples from patients in Rwanda and found a mutation of the parasite, resistant to artemisinin, in 7.4% of patients at one of the health centres they monitored. The findings represent a setback to the progress in the fight against malaria so far. In 2018, African countries reported 93% of the malaria cases worldwide (WHO).

Insects are at the leading edge of gene drive research, given their rapid reproduction and lots of offspring. Scientists are evaluating the possibility of using the technology to solve numerous challenges caused by them, including stopping invasive insects from destroying native ecosystems and making mosquitoes immune to the malaria parasite.

A recent article from The Conversation explores a few potential gene drive applications, simultaneously recognizing that the technology still raises some concerns. Uncertainty regarding its impacts in nature, ethical issues, and the lack of clarity on who should develop the technology and for what purposes are some of the red flags often raised. The article responds to each of them, emphasizing the importance of research and case-by-case risk assessment to guarantee informed decision-making and protect society from potential negative impacts.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) will host an online roundtable with representatives from the Asian private sector to discuss experiences and lessons learned in the efforts to support the fight against COVID-19 and malaria in the region. The objective is to inspire other businesses to act and foster partnerships between the private sector and the health community. The event, to take place on July 28, will gather members of the M2030 – a group of businesses, foundations and health organizations committed to eliminating malaria by 2030 founded by Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance.

Screwworms once killed millions of dollars’ worth of cattle a year by finding their way into these animals through any opening in their skin. These flesh-eating worms named C. hominivorax can infect any living, warm-blooded animal, including pets and humans.

In the 1950s, ranchers urged the United States Department of Agriculture to act, leading to a multidecade effort to get the country free of screwworms. WW2 had just ended; the world already knew the horrific impact radiation could have on human and tissue cells. Would radiation be able to sterilize screwworms? Scientists discovered that it could.

Join the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) and the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network on the launch of APLMA Leaders’ Dashboard 2019. The online event, to take place on July 16, will highlight the progress made towards malaria elimination in the Asia Pacific region over the past decade. Speakers will also discuss key policy challenges that countries can address to accelerate elimination.

If you want to join, register here!