A discovery and development roadmap for new endectocidal transmission-blocking agents in malaria

10 Dec 2018

Burrows J, Slater H, Macintyre F, Rees S, Thomas A, Okumu F, Hooft van Huijsduijnen R, Duparc S, Wells TNC

Malaria Journal
PMID: 30526594

Doi: 10.1186/s12936-018-2598-5

Photo: gerasimov_foto_174/Shutterstock.com

Reaching the overall goal of eliminating malaria requires halting disease transmission. One approach to blocking transmission is to prevent passage of the parasite to a mosquito, by preventing formation or transmission of gametocytes. An alternative approach, pioneered in the veterinary field, is to use endectocides, which are molecules that render vertebrate blood meals toxic for the mosquito vector, also killing the parasite. Field studies and modelling suggest that reducing the lifespan of the mosquito may significantly reduce transmission, given the lengthy maturation process of the parasite. To guide the development of new endectocides, or the reformulation of existing molecules, it is important to construct a framework of the required attributes, commonly called the target candidate profile. Here, using a combination of insights from current endectocides, mathematical models of the malaria transmission dynamics, and known impacts of vector control, a target candidate profile (TCP-6) and a regulatory strategy are proposed for a transmission reducing agent. The parameters chosen can be used to assess the potential of a new medicine, independent of whether it has classical endectocide activity, reduces the insect and parasite lifespan or any combination of all three, thereby constituting an 'endectocidal transmission blocking' paradigm.

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