Malaria Research

//Malaria Research
Malaria Research2019-09-13T21:44:56+00:00

Project Description

Multidisciplinary Research for Malaria Control and Prevention in West Africa
Lead Institution: University of Sciences, Tech & Tech of Bamako, Bamako; Principal Investigator: Seydou Doumbia, M.D., Ph.D.

The overall goal of this ICEMR is to understand the variable effectiveness of current malaria control interventions in different ecological settings of West Africa.  This goal will be accomplished by performing field and laboratory studies of the epidemiology, entomology (transmission), immunology and pathogenesis of malaria to characterize and understand: 1) The heterogeneity of malaria infection, disease and transmission, 2) The effects of control strategies on malaria transmission and pathogenesis, 3) The major obstacles to improving malaria control and potentially eliminating malaria, including drug and insecticide resistance.

Research Areas

The overall goal of this ICEMR is to understand the variable effectiveness of current malaria control interventions in different ecological settings of West Africa.  This goal will be accomplished by performing field and laboratory studies of the epidemiology, entomology (transmission), immunology and pathogenesis of malaria to characterize and understand:

  • The heterogeneity of malaria infection, disease and transmission
  • The effects of control strategies on malaria transmission and pathogenesis
  • The major obstacles to improving malaria control and potentially eliminating malaria, including drug and insecticide resistance

Regional Impact

Sub-Saharan Africa continues to carry a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden. of malaria deaths. Moreover, incidence remains high but stable in some settings while rebounding in others after a long period of decrease associated with intensive deployment of malaria control tools. This Center proposes to link the different aspects of malaria transmission and disease into a unified whole, adding the ability to distinguish the contributions of different malaria control interventions on parasite population and immune responses as well as the seasonal and geographical distribution of anopheline mosquitoes. Understanding the factors relating to entomological and epidemiological patterns of transmission will provide more definitive guidelines for malaria control efforts in Mali and in West Africa.

Malaria Transmission and the Impact of Control Efforts in Southern and Central Africa
Lead Institution: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore; Principal Investigator: William Moss, M.D., M.P.H.

The overall goal of the Southern and Central Africa ICEMR is to study the barriers to malaria control and elimination in Southern and Central Africa. The ICEMR will examine factors contributing to sustained malaria infections in high, moderate and low transmission settings. This goal will be achieved through a combination of: 1) State-of-the-art research on malaria epidemiology, vector biology, and the genetics of the malaria parasite in three different epidemiological settings in southern and central Africa, 2) Collaborations with national malaria control programs to develop locally-adapted control strategies, 3) Training, career development, and capacity building at research institutions in Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Research Areas

The overall goal of the Southern and Central Africa ICEMR is to study the barriers to malaria control and elimination in Southern and Central Africa. The ICEMR will examine factors contributing to sustained malaria infections in high, moderate and low transmission settings. This goal will be achieved through a combination of

  • State-of-the-art research on malaria epidemiology, vector biology, and the genetics of the malaria parasite in three different epidemiological settings in southern and central Africa
  • Collaborations with national malaria control programs to develop locally-adapted control strategies
  • Training, career development, and capacity building at research institutions in Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In addition, the research team will collaborate with other ICEMRs in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and South America.

Regional Impact

The proposed research activities will provide detailed knowledge of malaria transmission, including epidemiology, vector biology, and parasite population structure, to develop control strategies for the regional elimination of malaria.

Program for Resistance, Immunology, Surveillance & Modeling of Malaria in Uganda (PRISM)
Lead Institution: University of California, San Francisco; Principal Investigator: Grant Dorsey, M.D.

This program called “PRISM” is based in Uganda and represents the East African region for the International Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research network. Uganda is emblematic of the challenges faced by high burden countries, where routine surveillance systems are inadequate to assess trends in the burden of malaria or to monitor the impact of control interventions. Through PRISM researchers have implemented a comprehensive malaria surveillance program including enhanced health facility-based surveillance and detailed longitudinal studies with differing transmission intensities. Complementary laboratory-based studies include surveillance for markers of antimalarial drug and insecticide resistance and serologic measures of malaria exposure.

Research Areas

This program called “PRISM” is based in Uganda and represents the East African region for the International Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research network. Uganda is emblematic of the challenges faced by high burden countries, where routine surveillance systems are inadequate to assess trends in the burden of malaria or to monitor the impact of control interventions. Through PRISM researchers have implemented a comprehensive malaria surveillance program including enhanced health facility-based surveillance and detailed longitudinal studies with differing transmission intensities. Complementary laboratory-based studies include surveillance for markers of antimalarial drug and insecticide resistance and serologic measures of malaria exposure. These studies have greatly improved the understanding of the epidemiology of malaria in Uganda and of the impact of control interventions. This program will continue key components of the malaria surveillance work and expand the scope to address more fundamental questions about interactions between the parasite, mosquito vector, and human host. More intensive longitudinal evaluations will be conducted and cutting edge molecular studies will be added to better measure exposure to infective bites; more sensitively identify bloodstream infections; characterize parasite, vector, and human genetic factors that impact on malaria; and assess impacts of these factors on infectivity and transmission. The program will consist of three research projects linked together in an integrated manner to maximize scientific discovery.

  • Resistance project: will use samples collected over time at multiple sites to characterize the evolution of phenotypic and genotypic markers of drug and insecticide resistance and assess the impacts of these markers on malaria transmission.
  • Epidemiology project: will use longitudinal samples from cohorts to characterize factors that determine whether sporozoite inoculation results in the establishment of blood stage infection and characterize factors affecting the duration, density, and clinical consequences of blood stage infections.
  • Transmission project: will use cohort samples to determine factors associated with gametocyte production and development, evaluate infectivity of the human host to mosquito vectors, and characterize the human infectious reservoir.

These highly interrelated projects will be conducted in settings with varied malaria epidemiology and differing population level control intervention to provide critical information needed to optimize strategies for the control and ultimate elimination of malaria in Uganda.

Regional Impact

There has recently been a dramatic increase in the scale up of control interventions and reduction in the burden of malaria across Africa. However, progress has not been uniform, and in fact has been slowest in countries with the highest burden, such as Uganda. Uganda provides an ideal environment for this program as malaria covers a wide range of epidemiological settings in the country. This Center will conduct studies in health centers around Uganda, ranging from areas of relatively low transmission intensity to areas with some of the highest transmission intensities recorded in the world. Researchers hope to use the varied settings to evaluate intervention strategies and assess optimal control methods.

 

The Intransigence of Malaria in Malawi: Understanding Hidden Reservoirs, Successful Vectors and Prevention Failures
Lead Institution: Michigan State University, East Lansing; Co-Principal Investigators: Terrie Taylor, D.O. and Don Mathanga, M.D., M.P.H.

The primary objectives of research supported by the Malawi ICEMR are to identify, understand, and evaluate interventions that target the determinants of malaria disease. The Center aims to identify reasons why malaria in Malawi has remained resistant to usual control measures. Researchers will accomplish these objectives by systematically surveying populations of vectors, hosts, and parasites using newly developed molecular and genomic tools in conjunction with well-established epidemiologic approaches.

Research Areas

The primary objectives of research supported by the Malawi ICEMR are to identify, understand, and evaluate interventions that target the determinants of malaria disease. The Center aims to identify reasons why malaria in Malawi has remained resistant to usual control measures. Researchers will accomplish these objectives by systematically surveying populations of vectors, hosts, and parasites using newly developed molecular and genomic tools in conjunction with well-established epidemiologic approaches.

Regional Impact

By identifying the contributions made by the parasite, the human host, and the mosquito vector to the incidence and prevalence of malaria disease in diverse eco-geographic settings in Malawi, the research team hopes to tailor prevention and control strategies to specific seasons (such as dry versus rainy climates) and locales (highland and lowland, urban and rural). The team will also determine the critical parameters required for monitoring the impact of such strategies.

 

Environmental Modifications in Sub-Saharan Africa: Changing Epidemiology, Transmission and Pathogenesis of Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax Malaria
Lead Institution: University of California, Irvine; Principal Investigator: Guiyun Yan, Ph.D.

The overarching goal of this ICEMR project is to assess the impact of human-induced environmental modifications such as dam construction, irrigation and shifting agricultural practices on the epidemiology, transmission, pathogenesis and immunology of Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax malaria in highly populated Kenya and Ethiopia where major investments in water resource development projects are taking place.

Research Areas

The overarching goal of this ICEMR project is to assess the impact of human-induced environmental modifications such as dam construction, irrigation and shifting agricultural practices on the epidemiology, transmission, pathogenesis and immunology of Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax malaria in highly populated Kenya and Ethiopia where major investments in water resource development projects are taking place.

Regional Impact

In the past decade, sub-Saharan African countries have experienced a new era of large dam constructions and expansion of irrigated agricultural farms to resolve famine and food shortage. These environmental changes may have unforeseen ecologic consequences that adversely affect human health. Knowledge gained from this ICEMR is important to malaria control, not only for the two study countries studied, but also to other regions of Africa prone to drought, famine, and large scale human population movement.

Project Details

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