Consortial Project 1




Started 2005

Consortial Project 1 investigates human genetic factors involved in resistance to severe malaria in order to better understand why, in regions where people are repeatedly exposed to malaria parasites, some people die from the infection while others survive.

Objectives & Coordination

Investigating the genetic determinants of resistance to malaria

A person’s risk of developing severe malaria is influenced by many different genetic and environmental factors, but we know relatively little about their precise nature and how they interact.

Our primary objective is to better understand the human genetic factors involved in resistance to severe malaria. This information could provide vital clues about molecular mechanisms of protective immunity and host-parasite interactions, as well as accelerate the development of an effective vaccine.

There are many aspects to our work:

  • Leading research into the ethical issues inherit in these studies, for example informed consent, and data-sharing in low- and middle-income countries
  • Working with our partner studies to support the necessary clinical research infrastructure to gather standardised samples from many thousands of individuals in several malaria-endemic countries in Africa
  • Generating a large and unique data resource for case-control and family-based studies of genetic resistance and susceptibility to severe malaria
  • Developing methods to overcome the unique challenges confronting multi-centre genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in Africa, for example higher levels of genetic diversity, ethnic diversity, and population structure in Africa than on other continents
  • Supporting capacity building for genetic and genomic research amongst scientists in malaria-endemic countries


This project began shortly after MalariaGEN was formed in 2005, and has greatly influenced our approach to collaborative science.

MalariaGEN Consortial Projects 1-4 are overseen by a Governance Committee.

The Publications and Presentations Committee (PPC) helps ensure that publications and presentations arising from our human consortial projects meet the criteria outlined in the Joint Policy of Data Sharing, Intellectual Property and Publications.

Sampling locations

Across the different partner studies, samples were collected from 11,890 children and adults with severe P. falciparum malaria and 17,441 healthy controls matched with the cases by ethnic group, providing a unique resource for case-control and family-based studies.

  • Burkina Faso (BF)
  • Cameroon (CM)
  • Ghana (GH)
  • Kenya (KE)
  • Malawi (MW)
  • Mali (ML)
  • Nigeria (NG)
  • Papua New Guinea (PG)
  • Tanzania (TZ)
  • The Gambia (GM)
  • Vietnam (VN)


The MalariaGEN human consortial projects have produced substantial data resources and collectively agreed to a managed access mechanism for releasing Human GWAS data sets.

For information on how to apply for access, see Human GWAS data.


21 Mar 2016

Genome-wide study of resistance to severe malaria in eleven populations (version 1)

EGA Study ID: EGAS00001001311

Three populations: Gambia (2,786 controls; 2,807 cases; 1 parents); Kenya (1,708 controls; 1,944 cases; 180 parents; 33 other); Malawi (1,498 controls; 1,590 cases)

30 Jun 2014

Imputation-based meta-analysis of severe malaria

EGA Study ID: EGAS00001000807

Three populations: Gambia (1,533 controls; 1,247 cases); Kenya (1,544 controls; 1,711 cases); Malawi (2,239 controls; 1,451 cases)

16 Mar 2011

Gambia Case-Control Study

EGA Study ID: EGAS00000000026

EGA Data Set IDs: EGAD00000000017 (1,496 controls); EGAD00000000018 (1,059 cases)

Method: Affymetrix 500K array

20 Jan 2011

Gambia, Ghana, and Malawi Trios

EGA Study IDs: EGAS00000000087 (Gambia); EGAS00000000088 (Ghana)

Three populations: Gambia (658 trios; 1,984 individuals); Ghana (608 trios; 1,824 individuals); Malawi (122 trios; 366 individuals)
Method: Illumina 650Y array


Dr Anthony Enimil
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Senior Paediatrician
Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Ghana
Dr Edith Bougouma
Centre National de Recherche et de Formation sur le Paludisme (CNRFP), Burkina Faso
Prof Eric Akum Achidi
University of Buea, Cameroon
Dr Giorgio Sirugo
Head, Genetics Center
Ospedale San Pietro Fatebenefratelli, Rome, Italy
Hugh Reyburn
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK
Dr Kalifa Abubakr Bojang
Medical Research Council Unit, The Gambia
Dr Laurens Manning
Associate Professor
University of Western Australia
Infectious Diseases Physician
Department of Infectious Diseases, Fiona Stanley Hospital
Prof Mahamadou Thera
Malaria Research and Training Centre, University of Science, Techniques and Technologies of Bamako, Mali
Prof Malcolm Molyneux
Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme
Prof Michael Wilson
Nogouchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Legon-Accra, Ghana
Dr Muminatou Jallow
MRC Laboratories, The Gambia
Nguyen Thi Ngoc Quyen
Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU), Vietnam
Prof Ogobara Doumbo
Malaria Research and Training Centre, University of Science, Techniques and Technologies of Bamako, Mali
Dr Olukemi Amodu
University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Ousmane Boubacar Toure
Malaria Research and Training Centre, University of Science, Techniques and Technologies of Bamako, Mali
Dr Sodiomon Bienvenu Sirima
Executive Director
Centre National de Recherche et de Formation sur le Paludisme (CNRFP), Burkina Faso
Scientific Team Leader
Groupe de Recherche Action en Sante (GRAS) Burkina Faso
Prof Stephen Allen
Professor of Paediatrics
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK
Honorary Consultant Paediatrician
Alder Hey Children's Hospital
Prof Tom Williams
Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Demography
KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kenya
Chair in Haemoglobinopathy Reseach
Imperial College London, UK
Prof Tsiri Agbenyega
College of Health Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana