This article is dedicated to my dog: ​​Sassy Camilo González (January 5, 2007 - February 20, 2014), which received Doxycycline as part of treatment during their stay in a Veterinary Hospital. We love you and we will always remember you like Sassy La Campeona "Sassy the Champion".


Prepared by: Francheska Camilo González
Research Paper Project - MICR 4505 - 8072
Prof. Eva Rodríguez
UIPR – Recinto Metro
February11, 2014

English version: February 27, 2014





Malaria is a parasitic disease transmitted to humans by bites of mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles [1]. Malaria is the most common systemic disease in the world, being reported 200 to 500 million cases and 1 million deaths from this parasitic disease [1]. In countries with a climate temperate, the mosquitoes can carry malaria, but in the winter season, the parasite tends to disappear [3].




  • Quartan malaria

  • Biduoterian fever

  • Falciparum malaria

  • Blackwater fever

  • Plasmodium

  • Tertian malaria


Malaria is caused by a parasite that is transmitted from one human to another by bites of infected Anopheles mosquitoes [3, 18]. Now once is the host infected (human), the parasites migrate through the bloodstream to the liver, where they have several cycles of asexual multiplication, and then enter to the bloodstream to infect red blood cells [3, 4, 18]. Most symptoms are caused by the release of merozoites (shape acquired by the maturation stage of the parasite or sporozoite after migrate through the bloodstream until to the liver) in the blood, is produced anemia due to destruction of red blood cells, and large amounts of hemoglobin released into circulation by the breakdown of red blood cells [3, 18].

Figure 1: Malaria Transmission Cycle
Available: January 16, 2014.


The Malaria symptoms usually appear in 7-15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito [2]. Early symptoms are often difficult to recognize, as these commonly include fever, headache, chills and vomiting [2]. In endemic areas, the children with severe disease often report severe anemia or cerebral malaria [2]. In such areas, individuals can gain some partial immunity to the disease, facilitating the occurrence of asymptomatic infections [2].

Figure 2: Symptoms of Malaria
Source: Young Doctors’ Research Forum
Available: February 15, 2014.


The travelers going to countries such as Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Azerbaijan, and other areas of risk by the presence of malaria should call to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States, for information about the types of malaria, preventive drugs, and times of the year that should not travel to these areas [3, 5, 18]. In areas with a higher incidence of Plasmodium falciparum, are recommended antimalarial treatments such as atovaquone / proguanil (Malarone), doxycycline and mefloquine, and repellents with DEET concentrations of about 35% as prevention methods [1, 3, 18]. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends confirming the diagnosis with parasitological methods, prior to administering any treatment for malaria [2]. For those infected with Plasmodium falciparum individuals, there is a treatment know as Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy [2].

Table 1: Effects and complications of malaria [3, 18]


Effect of the disease, condition or complication

Hemolytic anemia [3, 18]

The body's immune system to attack mistakenly the individual's own red blood cells, causing that to disintegrate, and hemolysis occurs [8].

Kidney failure [3, 18]

The kidneys losing their ability to remove waste and concentrate urine without losing electrolytes [9].

Hepatic Impairment [3,18]

The liver lose their ability to carry out its synthetic and metabolic function, causing complications such as excessive bleeding, infection and kidney failure, and increased brain pressure [10 , 11].

Encephalitis [3, 18]

Inflammation in the brain and spinal cord because of a viral infection [12].

Meningitis [3, 18]

Inflammation of the thin tissue that originates around the brain and spinal cord [13].

Pulmonary edema [3, 18]

Abnormal accumulation of fluid in the lungs, especially in the area between the capillaries and alveoli, which can cause swelling [14].

Ruptured spleen [3, 18]

Massive internal bleeding (hemorrhage) [3, 18].

Figure 3: Malaria parasites destroying red blood cells
Photograph by Albert Bonniers Forlag
Source: National Geographic
Available: February 13, 2014.


Resistance to antimalarial drugs is the main problem of malaria [2]. It has been detected in four countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam), that the parasite has shown artemisinin resistance [2]. In these areas, it is assumed that the resistance pattern is because the patients are abandoning their treatment when the symptoms subside, and are treated with an oral artemisinin monotherapy (partial treatment in which there is not a second drug), which allows the existence of parasites that are resistant in the blood, and transmission to other mosquitoes, and from these to other individuals [2].





Biotechnology is technology application that uses systems based in biology to create or modify products or processes having a specific use, such as the development of treatments for diseases, among other technological applications [6].


Researchers at the National Center of Biotechnology of CSIC and the U.S., led by Dr. Mariano Esteban, with the use of biotechnology applications, developed a new combined immunization protocol for vector to remove an infection caused by the parasite Plasmodium (the causative agent of malaria) in a murine model [7]. In a phase III clinical trial with 15,450 children, they showed that the vaccine (RTS, S/AS01), for a period of one year, produced a 50% reduction against malaria in children 5 to 17 months of age [7]. Also with the use of technological applications, in the published studies by the group of Esteban (Journal of Immunology: "Adjuvant-like Effect of Vaccinia Virus 14K Protein: A Case Study with Malaria Vaccine Based on the Circumsporozoite Protein", published in May 21, 2012 [15] ), it was demonstrated that with vaccination in two phases, in where the first phase is administrated a chimeric protein (CS -14K), and after two weeks is administrated an attenuated virus (MVA-CS) produced by the CS protein, is obtained the complete protection in mice with the parasite Plasmodium yoelii [7].

Increased incidences Malaria and the need for identification of new drugs and treatments require a search for alternatives to inhibit infection of different stages of the life cycle of the malaria parasite in the vertebrate host [20]. Dr. Photini Sinnis and his research group composed of Dr. David Mirelman, Dr. Melissa Cabinian and Dr. Alida Coppi, conducted two experimental trials in which were used allicin to determine efficacy against erythrocytic stages in vivo and the sporozoite infectivity in vivo [20]. In the experimental testing to determine the effectiveness against the erythrocytic stages in vivo , they proceeded to inject mice females "Swiss Webster", with 2 x 105 parasites "GFP- expressing P. berghei", and subsequently proceeded to inject 8 mg/kg of allicin (in DMEM without Cys/Met) [20]. In the assay for determining the sporozoite infectivity in vivo, they proceeded to inject female mice "Swiss Webster" with 5-8 mg/kg of allicin (in DMEM without Cys/ Met). Subsequently, they proceeded to inject 104 P. yoelii sporozoites, and after 40 hours, they isolated the total RNA, to quantify the malaria infection by reverse transcription using real time PCR [20]. The experimental tests showed that allicin, a cysteine protease inhibitor present in teeth of garlic freshly crushed, was effective in both assays and could be used as a useful drug for the prophylaxis and malaria [20]. In the scientific article "Allylation of Intraerythrocytic Hemoglobin by Raw Garlic Extracts", indicated that the phenomenon of induced vasodilation by the garlic could lead to new research on the changes that natural products exert on the proteome [21]. This is important, because the progress in the genomic and proteomic studies, could facilitate the identification of new Plasmodium antigens[19].


Detection of antigens, antibodies and genetic material are part of the basic principle of molecular diagnostic tests [16]. Advances in molecular biology, the development of robotic technology, the proteomic and genomic sequencing are significant contributors to the development of more specific tests that help identify biomarkers , and with the use of the methodology of biotechnology can produce high purity reagents and identify the genes that encoding specific antigens, production of monoclonal antibodies, and others [16]. In a study to detect cases of malaria in the Vall d' Hebron Hospital - Barcelona, were carried out various diagnostic tests to a group of 26 patients in which were suspected had contracted malaria while traveling to their country of origin [17]. To determine the presence of the parasite in the blood of these patients were carried out laboratory tests like the Thin Extension of Blood, Drop Thick, and the Rapid test for antigen detection of Plasmodium [17]. The Rapid Test to Antigen Detection of Plasmodium is a laboratory test used in biotechnology to diagnose infection with the malaria parasite (Plasmodium spp.) [16, 17]. This test is based on the identification of biomarkers such as protein-rich in histidine 2 (PRH2), and Dehydrogenase enzyme of lactate (pLDH) [16, 17]. These serve to establish a differential diagnosis or by mixed infection, because the diagnostic strips have monoclonal antibodies at its distal end, which allows recognize pLDH, which containing the specific antibodies against the Plasmodium falciparum [16].



Malaria is a major public health problem [7]. From these infections caused by this parasitic disease, there is an infection rate of about 225 million people, and about 1 million deaths annually [7]. These numbers are increasing, because in some regions of the world, mosquitoes that carry malaria have developed resistance to insecticides and antibiotics, allowing the spread of the disease and makes difficult to control the rate of disease [3]. The Malaria is dangerous parasitic disease, because is potentially mortal and transmitted to humans by the bites from mosquitoes that are infected with parasites of the genus Plasmodium, and as a conclusion, that if the disease is not controlled by suitable preventive methods, will survive those parasites that are resistant, allowing the transmission of this to other mosquitoes, and from these to other individuals.



  1. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Facultad de Medicina, Centro de Investigaciones Médicas. Malaria. Available: December 17, 2013

  2. Organización Mundial de la Salud. Paludismo. Available: December 17, 2013

  3. MedlinePlus. Malaria. Available: December 17, 2013

  4. ANLIS. Malaria o Paludismo. Available: December 17, 2013

  5. CDC. Malaria Information and Prophylaxis, by Country [A] Available: February 11, 2013

  6. Grupo Biotecnología. ¿Qué es la Biotecnología?. Available: December 17, 2013

  7. Real Academia Nacional de Farmacia. Vacuna frente a malaria. Available: December 17, 2013

  8. NYU Langone Medical Center. Anemia Hemolítica Autoinmune. Available: January 16, 2014

  9. Salud Médica. Insuficiencia Renal Aguda. Available: January 16, 2014

  10. EcuRed. Insuficiencia Hepática. Available: January 16, 2014

  11. Insuficiencia Hepática. Available: January 16, 2014

  12. EIS IFAS University of Florida. ¿Qué es la Encefalitis?. Available: January 16, 2014

  13. MedlinePlus. Meningitis. Available: January 16, 2014

  14. Salud180. Edema pulmonar. Available: January 16, 2014

  15. Vijayan, A., Gomez, C., Espinoza, D., Goodman, A., Sanchez-Sampedro, L., Sorzano, C., Zavala, F., Esteban, M. Adjuvant-like Effect of Vaccinia Virus 14K Protein: A Case Study with Malaria Vaccine Based on the Circumsporozoite Protein. Available: January 16, 2014

  16. Hernández - Hernández, F., Rodríguez, M. Avances biotecnológicos en el diagnostico de enfermedades infecciosas. Available: January 16, 2014

  17. De la Vega, F., López, I., Saura, J., Gabaldón, F. Malaria. Una vieja enfermedad en un nuevo siglo. Available: January 16, 2014

  18. MedlinePlus. Malaria. Available: February 15, 2014

  19. Valencia, S. La Malaria: Estrategias actuales para el desarrollo de una vacuna efectiva. Available: February 11, 2014

  20. Coppi, A., Cabinian, M., Mirelman, D., Sinnis, P. Antimalarial Activity of Allicin, a Biologically Active Compound from Garlic Cloves. Available: February 11, 2014

  21. Bonaventura, J., Rodríguez, E., Beyley, V., Vega, I. Allylation of Intraerythrocytic Hemoglobin by Raw Garlic Extracts. Available: February 11, 2014