Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grants

Novel inhibitors targeting malaria transmission in diverse Plasmodium species

Novel inhibitors targeting malaria transmission in diverse Plasmodium species

Cluster Engagement Track

close up view of a mosquito
Image credit: (Emily Lund and Douglas Paton)

Progress in eliminating malaria, a deadly protozoan disease spread through the bite of infected Anopheles mosquitoes that infects 200 million people annually, has stalled in recent years due to the increasing ineffectiveness of long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets, (LLIN, an intervention that prevented half a billion malaria cases between 2000 and 2015). To address the critical need for novel mosquito-targeted malaria control tools, We have proposed combining insecticides on LLINs with drugs that directly target the developing malaria parasite within the mosquito, such that if a mosquito survives contact with the insecticide, it is cured of malaria, preventing onward pathogen transmission. In this project, we will expand on the initial proof of concept, to test a small panel of antimalarial drugs against the important, but understudied Plasmodium species P. vivax. As part of this project, we will build a new mathematical model of malaria transmission and use this to model the potential impact of antimalarial-impregnated LLINs across multiple established and emerging endemic settings.

Team Lead

Douglas Paton
Department of Infectious Disease

Team Members

Chester Joyner
Department of Infectious Diseases

Pejman Rohani
Odum School of Ecology