Study to Understand Resistance to Malaria in Malawi
The Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Clinical Research Programme together with the Blantyre Malaria Project have recruited severe malaria cases, healthy controls and parents of cases to contribute to Consortial Project 1. These individuals were recruited from the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. Blantyre, a large sprawling city of 500,000 people, is situated at 1000m above sea level. Malaria transmission is seasonal (Nov/Dec through May/June). The vast majority of infections involve Plasmodium falciparum, and less than 5% are due to P. ovale and P. malariae.
Description of study population - Cases
Cases consist of children (2 months-14 years) admitted to hospital with signs of severe malaria. These children were recruited from the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, between 1994 and 2007.
Children with P. falciparum parasitemia are defined as having severe malaria if they have either severe anemia or cerebral malaria. Patients with severe anemia have a packed cell volume (PCV) of <15% at any time during admission or they have received a blood transfusion. Patients with cerebral malaria have a Blantyre Coma Score of <2 on admission and for at least 2 hours thereafter, no evidence of meningitis, and no improvement after correction of hypoglycaemia or within 2 hours of a witnessed convulsion.
Description of study population - Controls
Controls consist of cord blood samples taken from the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, between September 2006 and September 2007.
Description of study population - Parents
Blood samples from the parents of some of the severe malaria cases were collected.