The proposed Center of Excellence for Malaria Research will focus on the epidemiology, vector biology and genetic diversity of malaria parasites under conditions typical of much of southern Africa. The research will be conducted in three endemic areas with different levels of malaria transmission and stages of control. The main research site will be located at the Malaria Institute at Macha (MIAM) in the Choma District of the Southern Province of Zambia. This is a semi-arid region that has a history of intense seasonal malaria transmission. While chemotherapy to reduce deaths from malaria has been in effect for over 20 years, no vector control interventions were implemented until 2007. The second field site will be at the Tropical Disease Research Centre (TDRC) in the Nchelenge District in the Luapula Province in northern Zambia, in the environs of Lake Mweru. This is a high transmission area with hyper- to holo-endemic malaria. The third field site will be at the Biomedical Research Training Institute (BRTI) in Mutasa District in Manicaland Province, Zimbabwe. This region was under an effective malaria control program for about 50 years but the program was terminated in the late 1990's. Consequently, there has been a resurgence of malaria. The ecological, geographical and demographic differences between these research areas provide a range of epidemiological conditions to investigate malaria transmission and control in southern Africa, specifically spatio-temporal patterns of transmission, vector biology and parasite diversity. Studies of malaria epidemiology will focus on hospital, clinic and community-based prospective studies to track spatial and temporal changes in transmission. Population genetic studies of the vector and parasite will allow characterization of the genetic heterogeneity associated with natural and imposed bottle necks and the changing frequency of insecticide resistance and antimalarial resistance mutations. The project Cores, consisting of Environmental Surveillance, Genomics and Data Management/Biostatistics provide links between the three research areas. An integrated relational data base will link information across space and time. The Training/Career Development Program will be coordinated at the University of Zambia and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and will take advantage of local capacity to strengthen their training programs to ensure the Center of Excellence for Malaria Research is sustained after the completion of this program.
Despite progress in malaria control, the southern Africa region continues to have a diversity of malaria transmission and control efforts. The proposed research activities will provide the detailed knowledge of malaria transmission, including epidemiology, vector biology and parasite population structure, to develop locally-adapted, targeted control strategies for the regional elimination of malaria.
|Comfort, Alison B; van Dijk, Janneke H; Mharakurwa, Sungano et al. (2014) Association between malaria control and paediatric blood transfusions in rural Zambia: an interrupted time-series analysis. Malar J 13:383|
|Mharakurwa, Sungano; Daniels, Rachel; Scott, Alan et al. (2014) Pre-amplification methods for tracking low-grade Plasmodium falciparum populations during scaled-up interventions in Southern Zambia. Malar J 13:89|
|Ricotta, Emily E; Frese, Steven A; Choobwe, Cornelius et al. (2014) Evaluating local vegetation cover as a risk factor for malaria transmission: a new analytical approach using ImageJ. Malar J 13:94|
|Liu, Kun; Dong, Yuemei; Huang, Yuzheng et al. (2013) Impact of trehalose transporter knockdown on Anopheles gambiae stress adaptation and susceptibility to Plasmodium falciparum infection. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110:17504-9|
|Norris, Laura C; Norris, Douglas E (2013) Heterogeneity and changes in inequality of malaria risk after introduction of insecticide-treated bed nets in Macha, Zambia. Am J Trop Med Hyg 88:710-7|
|Tsujimoto, Hitoshi; Liu, Kun; Linser, Paul J et al. (2013) Organ-specific splice variants of aquaporin water channel AgAQP1 in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. PLoS One 8:e75888|
|Promeneur, Dominique; Lunde, Lisa Kristina; Amiry-Moghaddam, Mahmood et al. (2013) Protective role of brain water channel AQP4 in murine cerebral malaria. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110:1035-40|
|Moss, William J; Norris, Douglas E; Mharakurwa, Sungano et al. (2012) Challenges and prospects for malaria elimination in the Southern Africa region. Acta Trop 121:207-11|
|Mharakurwa, Sungano; Thuma, Philip E; Norris, Douglas E et al. (2012) Malaria epidemiology and control in Southern Africa. Acta Trop 121:202-6|
|Mharakurwa, Sungano; Kumwenda, Taida; Mkulama, Mtawa A P et al. (2011) Malaria antifolate resistance with contrasting Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) polymorphisms in humans and Anopheles mosquitoes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 108:18796-801|