Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Clinical Research Programme
The Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Clinical Research Programme is a collaboration between the Malawi College of Medicine, Liverpool University and the Wellcome Trust. Situated in Blantyre in the south of Malawi, the unit has research laboratories linked to a purpose-built paediatric research ward in the grounds of the Queen Elizabeth Teaching Hospital. The programme provides a platform for research on tropical medicine, particularly malaria and HIV-related pathogens, and increasing local research capacity by working with and training local scientific and technical staff within the College of Medicine. It collaborates closely with the US funded Blantyre Malaria Project, which is also located in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
How the team is contributing to MalariaGEN
The Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Clinical Research Programme, together with the Blantyre Malaria Project, is recruiting children with severe malaria and ethnically matched controls for Consortial Project 1. They are also participating in Consortial Project 3.
The project is based in a designated research ward with 16 cots, adjacent to the paediatric ward of the national hospital. Malaria syndromes qualifying for inclusion include encephalopathy, severe anaemia and metabolic disorders. Controls were collected from the cord blood of newborn babies. The project is unique in that retinopathy data are collected, which can improve the precision of specifying severe disease cases.
For Consortial Project 1 the team have contributed over 1800 cases of severe malaria, 3700 controls and 200 trios. These were collected over a period of 10 years, from 1997 to 2007, and include both archived and newly collected samples. The new samples were recruited from the catchment area for the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, including urban Blantyre and surrounding rural areas/districts where malaria is endemic. For Consortial Project 3 around 100 samples are being selected from the pool of new cord blood samples.
Read Vysaul Nyirongo's account of dealing with a lack of data on ethnicity for some of the samples collected. More>>