Strengthening research capacity

Genetic surveillance of Plasmodium falciparum population structure and diversity during an enhanced malaria control program in Siaya County, western Kenya

Lead researcher: 
Harold Ocholla MCDC post-doctoral researcher

Malaria Control and Elimination Partnership in Africa in collaboration with KEMRI/CDC Kisumu have embarked on an ambitious path to reduce malaria transmission to <1% prevalence over a 5 year period in Siaya County, western Kenya, through repeated rounds of mass drug administration plus ‘enhanced malaria control’ consisting of augmented coverage of long-lasting insecticidal nets, IPTp for pregnant women and enhanced community-based passive case detection and treatment with artemether-lumefantrine. To assess and measure the impact and success of these interventions, we applying genomics and genetics approaches to monitor changes in P. falciparum population structure in the context of malaria elimination and key drug resistance biomarkers. Additionally, we are using genomics tools to understand the importance of importation and exportation of parasites between Siaya County (high transmission, source) and low transmission areas (sinks) in the context of malaria elimination.


Study sites include: Siaya County, Nairobi County, other regions connected to Siaya County through substantial human and parasite movement and long distance truck drivers. Malaria positive samples will be collected as whole blood spots on Whatman FTA filter papers from these regions and genotyped for population analysis.


This is an on-going study. No results to date.


Genetic surveillance approaches to understand and estimate malaria transmission dynamics in the context of malaria elimination activities is crucial in evaluating the effectiveness of disease control strategies and will assist a rational global malaria eradication campaign.


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