A series of articles published by Malaria Journal suggests that a number of hurdles need to be cleared before the disease can be eliminated globally.
The articles, which appear in a supplement published by the magazine, review various aspects of the research agenda for global malaria elimination.
One of them charts the progress made in the development of malaria vaccines intended for eradication, rather than clinical disease prevention.
The write-up says that eliminating malaria calls for a different vaccine strategy, as a complete stoppage of transmission will depend upon killing all parasites in the community.
"Nobody believes that elimination will be easy to achieve and it will undoubtedly require sustained, high level funding and political commitment for many years," says Marcel Hommel, the Editor-in-Chief of the journal.
Another article in the journal suggests that an intense transmission of malaria may cause even effective interventions, which reduce mortality, to have little noticeable effect on the clinical pattern of disease.
The review says that a successful elimination of the disease would require mass treatment of all people in an area, as some types of malaria can remain hidden in a reservoir of asymptomatic carriers.
The articles also underscore the findings that a combination of mass distribution of mosquito nets and artemisinin-based combination therapies has resulted in substantial declines in malaria cases and deaths in a number of countries.
"A general pattern is emerging, that malaria incidence is decreasing worldwide and this is now actually being documented by reliable data," Hommel said.