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African-led network gets a head start on malaria

Scientists are poised to capture data that will help support efforts to track and respond to the drug-resistant malaria parasites in Africa.

News 12 Sep 2014
Parasite
PDNA meeting, Hinxton Hall, Wellcome Genome Campus Conference Centre, June 2014. Photo courtesy of Dr Vikki Cornelius.

The Plasmodium Diversity Network Africa (PDNA) has been established across eleven countries in sub-Saharan Africa and will help to ensure that scientists are able to work together and perform effective and timely surveillance for the genetic markers of emerging antimalarial drug resistance.

The role of PDNA is outlined in a special global health issue of Science, with the goal of the network being to use its range of expertise to engage local and international stakeholders, and contribute towards malaria elimination.

The network works closely with the MalariaGEN P. falciparum Community Project and has received support from the MRC Centre for Genomics and Global Health.

In a blog for the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, PDNA lead and Sanger International Fellow Abdoulaye Djimdé explains why this network will help ensure that we are prepared for the next resistant strains of malaria when they emerge. Read the blog post.

Publication

Ghansah A et al. Monitoring parasite diversity for malaria elimination in sub-Saharan Africa. Science. 2014 Sep 12;345(6202):1297-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1259423.