Public Release: 

Global malaria map

PLOS

Global malaria map released

More than 2.3 billion people, or about 35% percent of the world's population, live in areas where there is risk of a deadly form of malaria, according to a spatial distribution map published in PLoS Medicine.

Malaria is a parasitic disease that occurs in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. 500 million cases of malaria occur every year, and one million people, mostly children living in sub-Saharan Africa, die as a result. The parasite mainly responsible for these deaths--Plasmodium falciparum--is transmitted to people through the bites of infected Anopheles mosquitoes.

An accurate spatial description of malaria risk is critical in guiding campaigns to control the disease. To construct their map, Robert W. Snow and colleagues at the Malaria Atlas Project (MAP)- a collaboration between the Kenyan Medical Research Institute and the University of Oxford, funded by the Wellcome Trust -collected information including nationally reported data on malaria cases, travel advisories, and surveys in several thousand communities across 87 countries. They also incorporated information about climatic conditions that affect the parasite's life cycle and consequently the likelihood of active transmission. For example, below a certain temperature, infected mosquitoes reach the end of their natural life span before the parasite has had time to develop into a stage that can infect humans, which means that malaria transmission does not occur.

The map not only shows areas of high P. falciparum risk, but also provides an estimate of the number of people who are living in areas where malaria transmission is low, and where it should be possible to use existing control strategies to eliminate the parasite. In addition, it identifies large regions of Africa where P. falciparum might be more amenable to elimination than previously thought.

By publishing their research online in an open access journal, the authors intend to guarantee global availability and facilitate ongoing updates, by the open access release of the maps via their website (http://www.map.ox.ac.uk), as new data become available.

Citation: Guerra CA, Gikandi PW, Tatem AJ, Noor AM, Smith DL, et al. (2008) The limits and intensity of Plasmodium falciparum transmission: Implications for malaria control and elimination worldwide. PLoS Med 5(2): e38

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0050038

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-05-02-snow.pdf

CONTACT:
Robert Snow
Malaria Public Health and Epidemiology Group
P.O. Box 43640
Nairobi, 00100
Kenya
+254 (0) 2 2720163
rsnow@nairobi.kemri-wellcome.org

Simon Hay
University of Oxford
Department of Zoology
Tinbergen Building
South Parks Road
Oxford
United Kingdom
+44 1865 271243
+44 1865 271243 (fax)
simon.hay@zoo.ox.ac.uk


New formulation of paraquat improves survival rates in cases of self-poisoning

In this week's PLoS Medicine, a study by Martin Wilks (of Sygenta) and independent scientists from Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom and Australia, compared the outcome of paraquat self-poisoning with the standard formulation against a new formulation following its introduction into Sri Lanka.

The study is discussed in a related expert commentary by Nick Bateman - uninvolved with the research - who argues the findings can "focus attention on simple strategies to reduce paraquat-induced death (and morbidity from this and other pesticides) in Asia".

Citation: Wilks MF, Fernando R, Ariyananda PL, Eddleston M, Berry DJ, et al. (2008) Improvement in survival after paraquat ingestion following introduction of a new formulation in Sri Lanka. PLoS Med 5(2): e49.

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0050049

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-05-02-wilks.pdf

CONTACT:
Martin Wilks
Syngenta Crop Protection AG
Global Stewardship
WRO 1004.3.34
Basel, Basel 4002
Switzerland
+41613235723
+41613237779 (fax)
martin.wilks@syngenta.com

Related PLoS Medicine perspective:

Citation: Bateman DN (2008) New formulation of paraquat: A step forward but in the wrong direction? PLoS Med 5(2): e58.

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0050058

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-05-02-bateman.pdf

CONTACT:
Nick Bateman
National Poisons Information Service
Edinburgh
United Kingdom
nick.bateman@luht.scot.nhs.uk

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About PLoS Medicine

PLoS Medicine is an open access, freely available international medical journal. It publishes original research that enhances our understanding of human health and disease, together with commentary and analysis of important global health issues. For more information, visit http://www.plosmedicine.org

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