Chapter 2 : Malaria and the Magic Bullet

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Recent evidence places the spread of the most severe form of malaria to a time 12,000 to 7,000 years ago in western Africa, when climate changes were triggering changes in human lifestyle. When people began to drain swamps-not necessarily to combat malaria, or even bad air, but to reclaim valuable land, the numbers of people infected in more temperate climates began to decline. Efforts over the first four decades of the 20th century specifically aimed at reducing malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases were increasingly successful, adding to the growing belief that malaria could be beaten. Although many species of Anopheles can transmit malaria, A. gambiae is among the most vicious of all malaria-bearing mosquitoes. Developments during World War II helped fuel enthusiasm for targeting the mosquito and supplied further evidence that the malaria cycle could be broken. The chapter talks about malaria research conducted by Ogobara Doumbo and his colleague Christopher Plowe in Bandiagara, Mali. The Malaria Research and Training Center (MRTC) that Doumbo heads is in many ways a model for capacity building, a goal of the new Malaria Control Program (MCP). The chapter concludes with a discussion on vaccine research and magic bullets for malaria.

Citation: Needham C, Canning R. 2003. Malaria and the Magic Bullet, p 5-42. In Global Disease Eradication. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817862.ch2
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