EAST LANSING, Mich. As part of a continued effort to eliminate the scourge of malaria in the southern African nation of Malawi, a Michigan State University-led research team will use a $9.1 million federal grant to create new prevention and control strategies in the small, landlocked country.
Terrie Taylor, an MSU University Distinguished Professor of internal medicine and an osteopathic physician, is leading the project, which aims to establish a self-sustained research entity capable of implementing and evaluating anti-malaria strategies. The research project is funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
"Successful malaria prevention and elimination activities require sustained, effective and well-targeted interventions," said Taylor, who spends six months each year working at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. There she treats malaria patients predominantly children and conducts research on the disease that kills as many as one million children in sub-Saharan Africa every year.
Using new molecular and genomic tools in conjunction with established approaches, Taylor and her team will study patients, malaria parasites, the mosquitoes that infect people with the parasite, and the individuals who carry the parasite and infect mosquitoes but manifest no symptoms themselves. The work will be carried out in three ecologically varied locations in Malawi, representative of geographic regions across southern Africa.
"By identifying the contributions made by people, parasites and mosquitoes to the incidence and prevalence of malaria in diverse geographic settings, we will be able to tailor prevention and control strategies to specific seasons dry and rainy and locations highland and lowland, urban and rural," she said.
Malaria is widespread in Malawi; between July 2006 and June 2007, nearly 4.4 million cases were reported in the count
|Contact: Jason Cody|
Michigan State University