Comprehensive malaria surveillance at sentinel sites in Uganda to improve our understanding of the epidemiology of disease and impact of control interventions
Malaria remains one of the most important global health challenges, with an estimated three billion people at risk of infection, leading to approximately 250 million cases and one million deaths each year. The greatest burden of malaria, by far, remains in the heartland of Africa, characterized by large contiguous areas of high transmission, low coverage of proven control interventions, and limited infrastructure to monitor trends in malaria burden and measure the impact of interventions.
The overall purpose of this program will be to perform comprehensive surveillance studies aimed to improve understanding of the disease and measure the impact of population-level control interventions. Uganda provides an ideal environment for this program, where malaria covers a wide range of epidemiological settings. Studies will be conducted in three sentinel sites, ranging from areas of relatively low transmission intensity to areas with some of the highest transmission intensities recorded in the world.
Our comprehensive approach to surveillance will bring together expertise from multiple disciplines to collect data across multiple levels, reflecting the complex nature of interactions between the mosquito vector, malaria parasite, and human host. In addition to research activities, this program will place a strong emphasis on local training and capacity building, the transfer of technology, and building strong relationships between researchers and policymakers.
Grant Dorsey is an Associate Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of California San Francisco. His research has primarily involved clinical and molecular studies of malaria with a focus on antimalarial drug therapy in Uganda.
Along with his collaborators, he has been involved in 19 clinical trials and numerous molecular biology studies involving the genotyping of malaria parasites and evaluating the role of molecular markers of drug resistance in response to therapy. These studies have been influential in the rapidly changing approach to antimalarial therapy within Uganda and around Africa.
Complementary projects, frequently undertaken by American and African trainees, have involved studies of interactions between HIV and malaria; asymptomatic parasitemia; malaria-related knowledge, attitudes, and practices; studies of severe malaria; reviews on malaria treatment policy; predictors of response to antimalarial therapy; and the role of host polymorphisms in malaria incidence and response to therapy. He is the principal investigator of one of the NIH’s International Centers of Excellence in Malaria Research, representing the East African region.