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1306 Genetic diversity of Malaria parasites in Nigeria

Location: Nigeria (NG).


Partner study description

This proposal has been developed in response to recently published pilot data showing mutations in genes associated with resistance to artemisinins. The overall objective is to characterise genomic variation inPlasmodium falciparum and non-falciparum malaria parasites from the different geopolitical and ecological zones of Nigeria.

Nigeria contributes a quarter of all annual global malaria infections reported. Given the emergence of drug resistance associated mutations in some parts of the African continent we propose to generate large scale data on Plasmodium falciparum genome sequences and those of other malaria parasites, principally, P. malariae, P. ovale complex and P. vivax observed in mixed infections. The genomes will be used to:

1) Understand the dynamics of transmission of P. falciparum and co-transmission with other Plasmodium species in Nigeria

2) Characterise signatures of selection across the genomes of the malaria parasite species

3) Describe the spatial diversity of markers of drug resistance and targets for malaria vaccines and diagnosis in Nigeria

4) Characterise temporal evolution of P.falciparum from peri-urban western Nigeria.

This project will initially analyse a total of approx. 1700 P. falciparum specimens from 15 states collected between 2017 and 2021. Collections will be expanded across all 38 states, projecting a total sampling of approx. 3000 infections for sequencing.

The collection was done in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) led by Drs Olukosi and Ajibaye. Additional samples are provided by Dr Eniyou Oriero, Mary Oboh, and Olumide Ajibola, all being postdoctoral fellows in the group of Dr Amambua-Ngwa at MRCG. Put together this sequencing project will be one of the largest from Nigeria and will make an important contribution to mapping the population structure of Plasmodium falciparum the country.