STORIES

Fighting Malaria in Africa, a CRID perspective

Mosquittoes in Africa: expert research and recommendations to National Malaria Control Programmes – Dr. NDO Cyrille, Vector Biologist, Head of Parasitology and Microbiology Department at CRID

Mosquittoes in Africa: expert research and recommendations to National Malaria Control Programmes – Dr. NDO Cyrille, Vector Biologist, Head of Parasitology and Microbiology Department at CRID

Africa has over 10 indigenous Anopheles species with ability to transmit Plasmodium parasites that cause malaria [2, 3]. Therefore, control of these vector species is the pillar of prevention strategies. Vector control relies extensively on the use of pyrethroid-based insecticide-treated bed nets or indoor residual spraying. Mosquitoes have however developed resistance against the insecticides actually in use. More so, in some settings, it has been noticed that instead of biting indoor (as people are protected by bed net), some mosquito populations have developed a new tendency of biting outdoor in the early hours of the day when people are not protected by the bed net. This high insecticide resistance profile (and associated change in biting behaviour) is a major challenge to the efforts of National Malaria Control Programmes in fighting the killer disease [4, 5].

The Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases (CRID) has over the years sort to understand the challenges in the fight against malaria vectors, and to find ways to improve the efficacy of current vector control tools. Drawing from studies conducted in Central, West and  East Africa, cases of high resistance levels to insecticides in major malaria vectors leading to loss of efficacy of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) have been reported [6-13].

 In order to improve malaria control and a possible disease elimination which is backed in the agenda [14], there is an urgent need to first preserve the optimal efficacy of existing vector control tools. We advise National Malaria Control Programmes to conduct routine entomological surveillance for determination of insecticide resistance profile and mechanisms in vector populations, using standard WHO bioassays protocols, but also molecular techniques that can allow early detection of target site [15, 16] and metabolic-mediated resistance [6, 11, 17]. Availability of these data will help to better design resistance management strategies, and to implement evidence-based and integrated vector control.

Meanwhile researchers at the CRID are working, in collaboration with the broad malaria research community,  in  indentifying new insecticides with different mode of action and/or in developing alternative vector control tools such as the sterile insect technique [18, 19].

References

1.   WHO: World Malaria Report 2019. WHO Global Malaria Programme. World Health Organiszation https://wwwwhoint/publications-detail/world-malaria-report-2019.

2.   Fontenille D, Cohuet A, Awono-Ambene PH, Antonio-Nkondjio C, Wondji C, Kengne P, Dia I, Boccolini D, Duchemin JB, Rajaonarivelo V et al: [Systematics and biology of Anopheles vectors of Plasmodium in Africa, recent data]. Med Trop (Mars) 2003, 63(3):247-253.

3.   Antonio-Nkondjio C, Kerah CH, Simard F, Awono-Ambene P, Chouaibou M, Tchuinkam T, Fontenille D: Complexity of the malaria vectorial system in Cameroon: contribution of secondary vectors to malaria transmission. J Med Entomol 2006, 43(6):1215-1221.

4.   Benelli G, Beier JC: Current vector control challenges in the fight against malaria. Acta Trop 2017, 174:91-96.

5.   Sougoufara S, Doucoure S, Backe Sembene PM, Harry M, Sokhna C: Challenges for malaria vector control in sub-Saharan Africa: Resistance and behavioral adaptations in Anopheles populations. J Vector Borne Dis 2017, 54(1):4-15.

6.   Weedall GD, Mugenzi LMJ, Menze BD, Tchouakui M, Ibrahim SS, Amvongo-Adjia N, Irving H, Wondji MJ, Tchoupo M, Djouaka R et al: A cytochrome P450 allele confers pyrethroid resistance on a major African malaria vector, reducing insecticide-treated bednet efficacy. Sci Transl Med 2019, 11(484).

7.   Tchigossou G, Djouaka R, Akoton R, Riveron JM, Irving H, Atoyebi S, Moutairou K, Yessoufou A, Wondji CS: Molecular basis of permethrin and DDT resistance in an Anopheles funestus population from Benin. Parasit Vectors 2018, 11(1):602.

8.  Kamgang B, Tchapga W, Ngoagouni C, Sangbakembi-Ngounou C, Wondji M, Riveron JM, Wondji CS: Exploring insecticide resistance mechanisms in three major malaria vectors from Bangui in Central African Republic. Pathog Glob Health 2018, 112(7):349-359.

9.   Riveron JM, Watsenga F, Irving H, Irish SR, Wondji CS: High Plasmodium Infection Rate and Reduced Bed Net Efficacy in Multiple Insecticide-Resistant Malaria Vectors in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. J Infect Dis 2018, 217(2):320-328.

10. Ibrahim SS, Fadel AN, Tchouakui M, Terence E, Wondji MJ, Tchoupo M, Kerah-Hinzoumbe C, Wanji S, Wondji CS: High insecticide resistance in the major malaria vector Anopheles coluzzii in Chad Republic. Infect Dis Poverty 2019, 8(1):100.

11. Mugenzi LMJ, Menze BD, Tchouakui M, Wondji MJ, Irving H, Tchoupo M, Hearn J, Weedall GD, Riveron JM, Wondji CS: Cis-regulatory CYP6P9b P450 variants associated with loss of insecticide-treated bed net efficacy against Anopheles funestus. Nat Commun 2019, 10(1):4652.

12. Ibrahim SS, Mukhtar MM, Irving H, Labbo R, Kusimo MO, Mahamadou I, Wondji CS: High Plasmodium infection and multiple insecticide resistance in a major malaria vector Anopheles coluzzii from Sahel of Niger Republic. Malar J 2019, 18(1):181.

13. Riveron JM, Huijben S, Tchapga W, Tchouakui M, Wondji MJ, Tchoupo M, Irving H, Cuamba N, Maquina M, Paaijmans K et al: Escalation of Pyrethroid Resistance in the Malaria Vector Anopheles funestus Induces a Loss of Efficacy of Piperonyl Butoxide-Based Insecticide-Treated Nets in Mozambique. J Infect Dis 2019, 220(3):467-475.

14. Rabinovich RN, Drakeley C, Djimde AA, Hall BF, Hay SI, Hemingway J, Kaslow DC, Noor A, Okumu F, Steketee R et al: malERA: An updated research agenda for malaria elimination and eradication. PLoS Med 2017, 14(11):e1002456.

15. Nwane P, Etang J, Chouasmall yi UM, Toto JC, Mimpfoundi R, Simard F: Kdr-based insecticide resistance in Anopheles gambiae s.s populations in. BMC Res Notes 2011, 4:463.

16. Djogbenou L, Weill M, Hougard JM, Raymond M, Akogbeto M, Chandre F: Characterization of insensitive acetylcholinesterase (ace-1R) in Anopheles gambiae (Diptera: Culicidae): resistance levels and dominance. J Med Entomol 2007, 44(5):805-810.

17. Riveron JM, Yunta C, Ibrahim SS, Djouaka R, Irving H, Menze BD, Ismail HM, Hemingway J, Ranson H, Albert A et al: A single mutation in the GSTe2 gene allows tracking of metabolically based insecticide resistance in a major malaria vector. Genome Biol 2014, 15(2):R27.

18. Lobo NF, Achee NL, Greico J, Collins FH: Modern Vector Control. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med 2018, 8(1).

19. Ndo C, Poumachu Y, Metitsi D, Awono-Ambene HP, Tchuinkam T, Gilles JLR, Bourtzis K: Isolation and characterization of a temperature-sensitive lethal strain of Anopheles arabiensis for SIT-based application. Parasit Vectors 2018, 11(Suppl 2):659.

STORIES

Prof Charles Wondji in conversation with MESA Alliance

The Executive Director of CRID and Professor of Genetics at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine Prof Charles Wondji, on May 26, was in conversation with the MESA Alliance, a living database which captures research projects and institutions’ portfolios in malaria elimination and eradication.

The conversation with Professor Charles Wondji focused on Genetic and genomic tools to fight vector-borne diseases where he reveals in depth the importance of genetic epidemiology research in malaria surveillance and control, how genetic epidemiology can facilitate the management of insecticide resistance in Africa, how it can improve the operational decisions made by National Malaria Control Programmes, challenges researchers are faced with and the necessary steps that the malaria community could take in order to advance towards malaria elimination.

Find and read complete interview here http://www.mesamalaria.org/updates/genetic-and-genomic-tools-fight-vector-borne-diseases-conversation-prof-charles-wondji

VACANCIES

Recruitment of a Social Scientist

The Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases (CRID) is seeking a Social Scientist specialist to deliver Objective 1 of a 5-year proposal aiming at increasing local involvement, ownership, and integration of vector control implementation, surveillance and operational research for malaria elimination in Africa starting with three countries with a high malaria burden (Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Tanzania) and where centres of excellence in mosquito research and control have been established (PAMCA Phase II grant: Strengthening local capacity for malaria surveillance and elimination in Africa). The objective 1 of this project is to conduct a detailed appraisal of vector control implementation and surveillance structures, stakeholders involved and local entomology capacity in target countries accountabilities. The project is implemented and piloted in Cameroon by the Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases (CRID). 

CRID is a research centre providing an excellent environment to perform high quality and internationally approved research on infectious diseases in Cameroon and Africa and contributing to capacity building by training the next generations of African scientists. Located in Yaoundé, Cameroon, we are working to fight against major infectious diseases such as malaria, sleeping sickness, yellow fever and emerging vector-borne disease as Zika or Dengue. The Social Scientist will work under the authority of the Project Coordinator.

Primary Responsibilities

Specifically, the Social Scientist will undertake the following activities:

  • Contribute in the development, planning and implementation of qualitative research to attain Objective 1. This will include, but will not be limited to (a) contributing in the finalisation of a research tool/questionnaire (b) preparing data collection (engaging respondents and setting up interviews, note taking and recording during interviews and more as the need may arise) (c) utilizing the questionnaire to collect data in the field electronically (d) Coding and analysing the data and (e) contributing in report writing and developing visuals to convey findings and more as it as may be needed.
  • Contribute to the PAMCA work streams through knowledge generation and sharing activities, with a focus on priority topic areas including analytics and practice of entomological findings over time
  • Conduct quantitative and qualitative analysis, including analysis, set up and maintenance of databases, literature reviews, lessons-learned, briefs, portfolio and operational reviews, and other activities are required.
  • Help respond to requests on program briefings and priorities as they relate to knowledge and operations in entomology activities.
  • Support the development and execution of learning events, including core courses, learning forums, and other initiatives for staff, clients and/or partners;
  • Help facilitate formal and informal on-demand community-building initiatives that help stakeholders connect and share knowledge and practices.
  • Contribute in ongoing analysis of programme impact with special attention to identifying possible adaptions necessary to take advantage of windows of opportunity;
  • Contribute in writing quarterly technical reports.

Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree or higher in social science, anthropology or related field is required;
  • At least three (3) years of work experience in the management of field monitoring, evaluation design, empirical and statistical analysis, or research in international development projects is required;
  • At least two years of experience in data analysis, policy formulation, programme evaluation, and/or operational implementation;
  • Operational knowledge in health (infectious diseases, malaria, community health) with country experience desirable;
  • Experience in designing and operationalizing data collection tools for quantitative and qualitative data collection;
  • Quantitative and qualitative data analysis skills and competency in statistical software such as SPSS/STATA and NVIVO are preferred;
  • Skills in gathering, analysing and interpreting from various sources and communicating complex data and information to a wide range or stakeholders, including analytical reports, data visualizations, is highly desirable;
  • Be able to coordinate closely with the leadership to support and facilitate the implementation of knowledge management activities and use critical inputs, feedback, and assessments to inform changes in program approaches and scale-up;
  • Ability to review and validate data captured in the field
  • Experience in designing and implementing MEL trainings is highly desirable;
  • Proficiency in MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Web Conferencing Applications, knowledge-sharing networks is required;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and a demonstrated track record of working effectively in a teamwork environment are highly desirable;
  • Written and spoken fluency in French and in English is required;

Job duration: 12 months

Job start date: July 2020

Constitution of the file

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Cover letter
  • Photocopy of diplomas
  • A reference letter
  • A copy of national identification card or passport

STORIES

Yellow Fever Sensitisation- Dr Basile Kamgang on Radio Maria

As part of CRID’s mission of saving life through quality research, it is also expedient to raise public awareness on diseases infecting humans while supporting disease control programmes with hands-on research to help them make excellent vector control policies. As part of our public engagement activities, Medical Entomologist Dr. Basile Kamgang granted exclusive and extensive interview to Radio Maria on the programme “Santé et Vie”.

During this media outing, Dr. Basile who is an expert researcher on arboviral diseases sensitised the general public on transmission, prevention, symptoms and treatment of Yellow Fever. Every human from zero to infinity age is susceptible to yellow fever.

Yellow Fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic diseases transmited to humans by the bite of an infected mosquitoe especially Aesdes aegyti. Also known as the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti is present on the national territory of Cameroon and bites mainly during the day.

Factors favouring transmission

Human exposure to the mosquito vector particularly when humans come in contact with the forest, low immunization coverage in epidemic risk areas, poor waste management in urban areas which favour vector development.

The Aedes mosquito vector becomes infected during the blood meal in an infected human subject and after an incubation period of approximately 14 days, it becomes infectious and can transmit the virus to a healthy subject when taking another blood meal. It would be interesting to highlight that only female mosquitoes can bite a human. 

Signs & symptoms

Once a human is beaten by an infected mosquito, the human will display symptoms such;

  • Fever;
  • Headache;
  • Muscle aches particularly in your back and knees,;
  • Sensitivity to light;
  • Nausea, vomiting or both;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Dizziness;
  • Red eyes, face or tongue

These signs and symptoms usually improve and disappear within several days.

How to Prevent Yellow Fever

To successfully prevent yellow will mean first controlling the vector which transmits this disease. So to keep the Aedes aegyti mosquito at arm’s length, it is necessary to take the following in to consideration:

  • Keep environment void of abandoned containers, used tires, tin cans…. Throw away any dish, pot or container which is not been used so as to avoid accumulating water;
  • Avoid storing water in containers without lids. If you must store water at home, ensure such a container is well covered so the mosquito won’t have to lay eggs therein. The Aedes mosquito does not like dirty water, so even if water is clean but not covered, the mosquito will lay her eggs inside;
  • If you have natural plants in your home, ensure to change the water in the vase at least twice a week;
  • Wear clothes that cover your body to avoid bites from this mosquito;
  • Get vaccinated against yellow fever virus. Contrary to other arboviral diseases, there exists in Cameroon a vaccine to protect the population against yellow fever.

It is worthy of note, that yellow fever cannot be transmitted through sexual organs, thus, it is not contagious. Symptoms of yellow fever shouldn’t be confused with that of malaria. As such, it is advisable to go to the nearest health centre to get tested once you see any of these symptoms or more manifest.