The overall objective of this International Center for Excellence in Malaria Research (ICEMR) in the SE Asia region is to advance knowledge of how national and regional programs to control and eliminate malaria in Papua New Guinea (PNG), Solomon Islands and Vanuatu affect the epidemiology, transmission and pathogenesis/immunity of Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax. Infection and morbidity in 3 distinct endemic settings which represent a wide spectrum of malaria endemicity (holoendemic in mainland PNG, meso/hypoendemic in East New Britain PNG, and hypoendemic in Western Province, Solomon Islands). A related goal is to build local capacity and infrastructure to monitor, evaluate and guide ongoing and future malaria interventions used by national health authorities in the region. Transmission and Pathogenesis/immunity Research Projects 2 and 3 are integrated with Epidemiology Project 1 that will evaluate in all three endemic sites the changing patterns of malaria infection and disease that result from progressive deployment of similar malaria interventions - free universal long lasting insecticide treated bed nets and rapid evidence based diagnosis of malaria and treatment with artemether-lumefantrine. Research and infrastructure enhancing activities will be served by GCP compliant Database/Biostatistics and Molecular Diagnostics Cores. Unique features of the program include the potential for gaining novel insight into the control of P. vivax relative to P. falciparum given the anticipated greater resilience of the former to control and elimination, improvement of the meager knowledge of anophelines that transmit malaria in this region of SE Asia and the Pacific (primarily An. punctulatus), appreciation of how diminishing transmission affects P. falciparum and P. vivax genetics, and greater understanding of the significance of continuing exposure as a prerequisite for developing and maintaining naturally acquired immunity against malaria and the impact of various interventions on immune-mediated protection. An advantage of an ICEMR in this site Is the opportunity to rapidly transfer research findings to the monitoring, evaluation and implementation goals of national malaria control programs. Synergy among the ICEMR projects and cores and incorporation ICEMR findings into national programs will help answer unresolved key issues related to malaria control and elimination locally and in the SE Asia region.

Public Health Relevance

Research and capacity building activities of this program will be useful to health officials and other stakeholders in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu who are responsible for implementing, monitoring and evaluating malaria interventions that are intended to control malaria (reduce the burden of disease due to Plasmodium spp. in PNG) and ultimately, eliminate malaria (stop transmission by the mosquito vector locally in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu).

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Research Program--Cooperative Agreements (U19)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZAI1-AWA-M (M2))
Program Officer
Rao, Malla R
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Case Western Reserve University
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Lerch, Anita; Koepfli, Cristian; Hofmann, Natalie E et al. (2017) Development of amplicon deep sequencing markers and data analysis pipeline for genotyping multi-clonal malaria infections. BMC Genomics 18:864
Messerli, Camilla; Hofmann, Natalie E; Beck, Hans-Peter et al. (2017) Critical Evaluation of Molecular Monitoring in Malaria Drug Efficacy Trials and Pitfalls of Length-Polymorphic Markers. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 61:
Fran├ža, Camila T; Li Wai Suen, Connie S N; Carmagnac, Amandine et al. (2017) IgG antibodies to synthetic GPI are biomarkers of immune-status to both Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria in young children. Malar J 16:386
Schofield, Louis; Ioannidis, Lisa J; Karl, Stephan et al. (2017) Synergistic effect of IL-12 and IL-18 induces TIM3 regulation of ?? T cell function and decreases the risk of clinical malaria in children living in Papua New Guinea. BMC Med 15:114
Hofmann, Natalie E; Karl, Stephan; Wampfler, Rahel et al. (2017) The complex relationship of exposure to new Plasmodium infections and incidence of clinical malaria in Papua New Guinea. Elife 6:
Jain, Aarti; Taghavian, Omid; Vallejo, Derek et al. (2016) Evaluation of quantum dot immunofluorescence and a digital CMOS imaging system as an alternative to conventional organic fluorescence dyes and laser scanning for quantifying protein microarrays. Proteomics 16:1271-9
Hupalo, Daniel N; Luo, Zunping; Melnikov, Alexandre et al. (2016) Population genomics studies identify signatures of global dispersal and drug resistance in Plasmodium vivax. Nat Genet 48:953-8
Koepfli, Cristian; Nguitragool, Wang; Hofmann, Natalie E et al. (2016) Sensitive and accurate quantification of human malaria parasites using droplet digital PCR (ddPCR). Sci Rep 6:39183
Guo, Suqin; He, Lishan; Tisch, Daniel J et al. (2016) Pilot testing of dipsticks as point-of-care assays for rapid diagnosis of poor-quality artemisinin drugs in endemic settings. Trop Med Health 44:15
de Assis, Rafael Ramiro; Ludolf, Fernanda; Nakajima, Rie et al. (2016) A next-generation proteome array for Schistosoma mansoni. Int J Parasitol 46:411-5

Showing the most recent 10 out of 69 publications