This proposal is the first renewal of our training program entitled """"""""Enhancing vivax malaria research in Thailand"""""""" (D43TW006571). Plasmodium vivax is a highly prevalent, potentially dangerous, and most neglected tropical disease. It continues to cause a staggering 130-145 million clinical infections per year and accounts for the most malaria infections outside Africa. Recent studies have shown that vivax malaria is frequently associated with severe pathology. Yet, the first-line treatment for vivax malaria comprised of chloroquine and primaquine has remained unchanged for over 50 years and resistance to these drugs severely compromises their efficacy. Due to several unique biological features, P. vivax has shown extreme resilience to control efforts. It has become the most prevalent malaria parasite species in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) of Southeast Asia. Although countries within this region are motivated to embark on malaria elimination, the lack of effective control measures for vivax malaria hampers the achievement of this ambitious goal. As such, this training program will continue to address key knowledge gaps in vivax malaria research, focusing on three scientific areas. Specifically, we aim to understand the changing malaria epidemiology in the GMS, to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of drug resistance, and to advance the development of transmission blocking vaccines for effective interruption of vivax malaria transmission. This training program is a continuous collaboration between Pennsylvania State University and Mahidol University in Thailand. Within this program, mentors of diverse scientific disciplines will join forces to offer multidisciplinary training in innovativ approaches that address critical problems in the current malaria elimination campaign in this region. Based on training needs assessment, we want to expand our training efforts to include scientists from Myanmar, where malaria burden is the heaviest in this region. We propose to use a double-track mechanism: 1) long-term training of five junior faculty members, four postdoctoral fellows, and six PhD students, and 2) short-term training of endemic country scientists through annual short courses and workshops. The overall training paradigm designed in the renewal application will ensure that all trainees receive the required technical and intellectual expertise to conduct independent research on vivax malaria. In addition, this training program will serve as an important platform for the transfer of enabling technologies to endemic area scientists. By advancing the careers of these trainees, this program aims to build a critical mass of investigators and a necessary intellectual network in the GMS to focus on vivax malaria research.

Public Health Relevance

Plasmodium vivax malaria is a highly prevalent, potentially dangerous, and most neglected tropical disease. In this renewal application of our research training program, we propose to train a cadre of junior scientists from Thailand and Myanmar in the Greater Mekong Subregion of Southeast Asia to address important problems in vivax malaria research. Through long- and short-term training of endemic area scientists, this program will provide necessary capacity building to ensure sustained interests in research and training on vivax malaria research in this region.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
Type
International Research Training Grants (D43)
Project #
2D43TW006571-06
Application #
8664535
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
Program Officer
Sina, Barbara J
Project Start
2003-10-01
Project End
2018-12-31
Budget Start
2014-04-12
Budget End
2014-12-31
Support Year
6
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Pennsylvania State University
Department
Zoology
Type
Earth Sciences/Resources
DUNS #
City
University Park
State
PA
Country
United States
Zip Code
16802
Sriwichai, Patchara; Karl, Stephan; Samung, Yudthana et al. (2017) Imported Plasmodium falciparum and locally transmitted Plasmodium vivax: cross-border malaria transmission scenario in northwestern Thailand. Malar J 16:258
Kittichai, Veerayuth; Koepfli, Cristian; Nguitragool, Wang et al. (2017) Substantial population structure of Plasmodium vivax in Thailand facilitates identification of the sources of residual transmission. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 11:e0005930
Nguitragool, Wang; Mueller, Ivo; Kumpitak, Chalermpon et al. (2017) Very high carriage of gametocytes in asymptomatic low-density Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax infections in western Thailand. Parasit Vectors 10:512
Zaw, Myo Thiha; Thant, Myo; Hlaing, Tin Maung et al. (2017) Asymptomatic and sub-microscopic malaria infection in Kayah State, eastern Myanmar. Malar J 16:138
Sriwichai, Patchara; Samung, Yudthana; Sumruayphol, Suchada et al. (2016) Natural human Plasmodium infections in major Anopheles mosquitoes in western Thailand. Parasit Vectors 9:17
Ponsuwanna, Patrath; Kochakarn, Theerarat; Bunditvorapoom, Duangkamon et al. (2016) Comparative genome-wide analysis and evolutionary history of haemoglobin-processing and haem detoxification enzymes in malarial parasites. Malar J 15:51
Sriwichai, Patchara; Karl, Stephan; Samung, Yudthana et al. (2015) Evaluation of CDC light traps for mosquito surveillance in a malaria endemic area on the Thai-Myanmar border. Parasit Vectors 8:636
Roobsoong, Wanlapa; Tharinjaroen, Chayada S; Rachaphaew, Nattawan et al. (2015) Improvement of culture conditions for long-term in vitro culture of Plasmodium vivax. Malar J 14:297
Xia, Hui; Fang, Qiang; Jangpatarapongsa, Kulachart et al. (2015) A comparative study of natural immune responses against Plasmodium vivax C-terminal merozoite surface protein-1 (PvMSP-1) and apical membrane antigen-1 (PvAMA-1) in two endemic settings. EXCLI J 14:926-34
Putaporntip, Chaturong; Miao, Jun; Kuamsab, Napaporn et al. (2014) The Plasmodium vivax merozoite surface protein 3? sequence reveals contrasting parasite populations in southern and northwestern Thailand. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 8:e3336

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