Strengthening research capacity

Faculty of Medicine, Université Cheikh Anta Diop (University of Dakar), Senegal

The University of Dakar is one of the largest universities in Africa, with over 50,000 students. It has active medical and science faculties. The Department of Parasitology has four professors and five associate professors, and currently hosts about 10 PhD students from the Faculties of Medicine or Science.

The main focus of research in the department is malaria. The department has clinical trials sites at Hôpital Roi Baudoin to the north of Dakar, and field site at Ker Socé to the south. The department has strong links with several international organisations, including WHO, USAID, UNICEF, IRD and LSHTM. The department is currently hosting a large trial of intermittent preventive treatment in children supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The vision of the department is to become a centre of excellence in malaria research and training, with a strong postgraduate program that serves as a model for other countries in Africa.

Malaria research activities

The parasitology research activities currently being undertaken include:

  • Molecular approaches to investigating P. falciparum resistance and mapping of drug resistance
  • Pathogenesis mechanisms, malaria susceptibility, clinical characterization of malaria, severe malaria, malaria in pregnancy
  • Parasitic interaction with malaria; coinfections with schistosomes and helminths
  • Malaria drug development; clinical assays
  • In vitro evaluation of medicinal plants for malaria activity
  • In vitro drug activity evaluation; Deli test, Dapi, radioisotopic methods
  • Diagnostic strategies for malaria; serodiagnostic, rapid diagnostic tests
  • Malaria and the environment; sociology, geography and economics analysis
  • Preventive strategies in malaria (IPTi, IPTc, IPTp); efficacy and safety studies, immunology studies and studies on the cost effectiveness of strategies
  • Home based management of malaria
  • Epidemiology and surveillance of malaria
  • Preparation for vaccine trials

The entomology research activities currently being undertaken include:

  • Genetic studies of Anopheles gambiae complex
  • Bioecology and vectorial capacities of M and S molecular forms of An. gambiae s.s.
  • The genetics of Anopheles funestus populations and their vectorial capacity
  • Vector control (IRS, ITNs); testing the efficacy of insecticides

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