Our approach

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A global resource for genomic epidemiology of malaria

The MalariaGEN community is building genomic data resources to answer questions on how genome variation in human, Plasmodium and Anopheles populations affects the biology and epidemiology of malaria. Genomic epidemiology is shedding light on the key molecular processes of the disease and informing public health decisions on how to control malaria.

Partnerships that generate genetic data

MalariaGEN provides a platform for large-scale collaborative studies and has over 200 partners, each with independent scientific objectives, in more than thirty countries. Partners access MalariaGEN's large-scale high-throughput sequencing facilities, and its frameworks for genetic sequencing and data sharing, and use programme data to lead research studies relevant to their region.

Genomic surveillance projects

By genome sequencing and analysis of entire parasite, mosquito and human genomes, MalariaGEN has built a high-resolution genetic data resource that is a global reference point for genetic variation associated with malaria. This is vital for identifying and characterising mutations that drive drug or insecticide resistance, and for tracking emerging resistant populations of parasite and mosquitoes.

Amplicon sequencing

Amplicon sequencing is a key tool within the MalariaGEN's sequencing platform. It is simple and fast and enables partners to analyse genetic variation in specific genomic regions associated with drug and insecticide resistance. Using simple PCR amplification methods to create sequences of DNA (amplicons) with barcodes, partners can pool different samples so they can be used to detect emerging variants. 

Curating large-scale data

MalariaGEN's multidisciplinary team, which includes bioinformaticians, data scientist, statisticians and geneticists, turn raw genomic sequences into high-value, analysis-ready data resources. Each project filters and annotates the data on sequence alignments, variant calls and haplotypes, as well as including population-level data, such as allele frequencies and maps of the distribution and spread of resistance mutations. This high-quality curated data is accessible and can offer definitive answers to important scientific and operational questions.

Coordinating the MalariaGEN programme

The MalariaGEN Resource Centre coordinates project activities, by bringing together partners with large-scale genotyping and sequencing process, sample and data stewardship and data curation.