MALARIA: A SCIENTIFIC STUDY CONCERNING PHYSIOLOGICAL AND BIOCHEMICAL IMPLICATIONS
thesisposted on 14.05.2019, 00:00 authored by Lachlan Brennan
Malaria is by far the world’s most common cause of parasitic morbidity and mortality. In the year 2017, approximately 219 million global cases of malaria occurred along with 435,000 deaths caused by infection. Malaria is a parasitic disease of red blood cells caused by microorganisms of the Plasmodium species usually contracted and spread by the female Anopheles mosquito: typical symptoms include headache, vomiting, and fever with more serious manifestations resulting in jaundice, seizures, coma and even death. While malarial infection is usually non-fatal, some types are implicated in chronic recurrence, vascular occlusion, and diminished oxygen transport (hypoxia). The type and severity of malarial infection is predicated upon the species of parasite, with each of four types possessing different characteristics and distinct impacts on pathogenesis and mortality. Treatment primarily involves pharmaceuticals targeting various stages of the Plasmodium life cycle by either killing the parasite or preventing its replication. Prevention involves protection from mosquitoes with netting and the recent completion of clinical trials on the first anti-malarial vaccine to be approved by the WHO in 2015. In addition, high-risk populations in historically tropical areas may possess genetic alterations that facilitate resistance to the malarial disease process of which the biochemical consequences of Sickle Cell Disease as well as a condition known as Glucose 6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency will be discussed. This review concerns the specific challenges associated with current malarial treatment as well as current efforts to produce a lasting viable alternative to current disease management.