The advancement in any antimalarial medicinal product including vaccines, drugs and diagnostics will have a vital influence on malaria elimination in China and on the global malaria control framework. This study aimed to identify research progress and challenges in China, hoping to better facilitate domestic elimination and for China to be more effectively involved in global malaria research and development.
A systematic search was conducted for research articles published from 2005 to 2014 in PubMed, CNKI and Wanfang using terms including malaria, diagnosis, drugs and vaccines. In total, 4259 articles from PubMed and 561 references from Chinese databases were included and categorized by topic.
The literature from PubMed was clustered and seven antimalarial medicinal product research hotspots were identified; including drug resistance, diagnostic tests and vaccine antigen screening. The reports related to drugs accounted for the largest proportion in PubMed (57%) and Chinese studies (51%) while references associated with diagnostics accounted for the lowest proportion, 10% in PubMed and 14% in Chinese studies.
Despite continuous effort in malaria research and development, there exist gaps in progressive discoveries on malaria diagnostics and drugs in China. Successive focus on antimalarial medicinal products is essential to facilitate malaria control in China and worldwide.