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1132 Using whole genome sequence data to analyse the spatio-temporal genetic diversity of malaria parasites in Kilifi, Kenya

Location: Kenya (KE).

Parasite

Partner study description

Effective control and final elimination of malaria in the face of declining transmission and increasing spatial heterogeneity of disease and infection will require the identification and targeting of hotspots or reservoirs of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infections. However, the level of parasite mixing across regions containing hotspots will likely impact the effectiveness and durability of targeted control interventions and should be taken into consideration when developing control programmes. This study aims to use whole genome sequence data of malaria parasites sampled from symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals in Kilifi, Kenya between 1994 and 2020 to analyse variation in Plasmodium falciparum genotype over space and time, with a view to determine the patterns of parasite connectivity and transmission networks across the region, as well as to study the evolution of the parasite over the study period, during which there have been substantial changes in the epidemiology of malaria. The findings of this study will enable us to map parasite flow and help us predict the likely outcome of malaria control interventions targeted at different spatial scales, thus informing the design of effective hotspot-targeted interventions.