Malaria draws global attention in a cyclic manner, with interest and associated financing waxing and waning according to political and humanitarian concerns. Currently we are on an upswing, which should be carefully developed. Malaria parasites have been eliminated from Europe and North America through the use of residual insecticides and manipulation of environmental and ecological characteristics; however, in many tropical and some temperate areas the incidence of disease is increasing dramatically. Much of this increase results from a breakdown of effective control methods developed and implemented in the 1960s, but it has also occurred because of a lack of trained scientists and control specialists who live and work in the areas of endemic infection. Add to this the widespread resistance to the most effective antimalarial drug, chloroquine, developing resistance to other first-line drugs such as sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, and resistance of certain vector species of mosquito to some of the previously effective insecticides and we have a crisis situation. Vaccine research has proceeded for over 30 years, but as yet there is no effective product, although research continues in many promising areas. A global strategy for malaria control has been accepted, but there are critics who suggest that the single strategy cannot confront the wide range of conditions in which malaria exists and that reliance on chemotherapy without proper control of drug usage and diagnosis will select for drug resistant parasites, thus exacerbating the problem. An integrated approach to control using vector control strategies based on the biology of the mosquito, the epidemiology of the parasite, and human behavior patterns is needed to prevent continued upsurge in malaria in the endemic areas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases