Challenges of collecting cord blood control samples in The Gambia


At the Medical Research Centre in The Gambia we have been working on the best way to add to our collection of controls samples. The aim is to maximize the potential of the severe malaria cases that we are contributing to the MalariaGEN Consortial Project 1.

To match the severe malaria cases we needed to increase the number of controls in our collection by approximately 2000. Having carefully considered the ethical issues associated with collecting such samples from healthy children we decided to use cord bloods.

Obtaining informed consent for family trios in Cameroon


At the University of Buea we are performing a family trio study to investigate the genomic basis of resistance against malaria for Consortial Project 3. For this study we needed to identify families where the mother, father and child were all willing to participate. To do this we faced multiple challenges around designing appropriate informed consent processes.

Wondrous diversity


Malaria is transmitted from one person to another by mosquitoes. In parts of the world where malaria is endemic, targeting mosquitoes remains one of the best hopes for controlling malaria. Mosquitoes can be controlled by bed-nets treated with insecticides and by spraying homes with insecticides.

A view from the field


I heard her cries before I saw her. Rita* is a slight girl, maybe eight years old, and she has malaria. In this part of West Africa – a far northern corner of Ghana, near the border with Burkina Faso – the most likely culprit is the parasite Plasmodium falciparum that causes the deadliest type of malaria.  Rita emerged from the clinic: teary-eyed, exhausted, miserable. She walked slowly and unsteadily beside her mother, and then dropped to the floor and vomited.

Resisting Malaria


Malaria causes one in ten of all deaths among children in sub-Saharan Africa, with more than 600,000 dying each year from over 200 million reported cases.

Although the number of deaths is staggeringly high, this is a mortality rate of only 0.3%. Early diagnosis and proper treatment are crucial to prevent death, but it is known that some individuals naturally resist malaria severity.


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