16 – 22 April 2018

A new LSHTM co-led study finds that children infected with malaria parasites produce a distinctive odour making them more attractive to mosquitoes than uninfected children. James Logan provides comment to NPR: “What we didn’t know was which chemicals in body odour were responsible…the tricky bit is picking out which ones are important for mosquitoes.” Findings from the study are reported by at least 150 outlets across the world including The Independent, Science, New Scientist and Kenya Broadcasting Corporation.

James Logan is interviewed by BBC World Service Radio’s Science in Action programme (from 00m53s) 

At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 held in London, national leaders made an important pledge to halve cases of malaria in Commonwealth countries by 2023. Ahead of the meeting, our experts are quoted by a wide range of media:

The Daily Telegraph publish an article outlining the current landscape of malaria research from bed nets to vaccines. Mark Rowland is quoted on a recent study that demonstrates a new class of bed net could significantly reduce malaria infection in children: “The project is a game-changer…and justifies the continued investment and research on alternative insecticides for use on nets.”

Kimberly Fornace is interviewed by The Guardian about Monkeybar, an LSHTM-led project studying Plasmodium knowlesi, a malaria parasite which was previously thought to only affect macaque monkeys but is being increasingly found affecting people: “[The rise in cases] is a cause for concern because Malaysia has made really huge gains in controlling other forms of malaria and the P knowlesi strain now makes up the vast majority of cases.” Kimberly is also quoted by Nature about the project.

The Financial Times published a series of articles for their special report: Combating Malaria (£):

Brian Greenwood provides comment on the Meeting and the need to invest more in the fight against malaria: “We know from past experience that malaria comes back as soon as you take your foot off the pedal.” Brian was also quoted on the large-scale mass drug administration of antimalarial medicines.

David Conway is quoted in an article exploring the use of gene technology that could hinder a mosquito’s ability to transmit the disease: “A lot of [the study of the] genetics of the parasite is trying to unravel that mechanism.”

David Mabey discusses associated impacts of contracting malaria, explaining that salmonella can be a problem: “If you have malaria, it’s much more likely to invade your bloodstream, and make you very sick.”

Elsewhere in the news

Peter Piot is interviewed by California’s KQED Forum, also broadcast nationally on National Public Radio (US). He discussed his career working on Ebola and HIV/AIDS and how society can prepare for the next big pandemic.

Martin McKee writes a BMJ Blog on the funding of the NHS post-Brexit: “There is one thing about which almost all British politicians now agree—the NHS needs more money.”

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