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London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Malaria Centre

Malaria research in drug development, deployment and resistance

Mapping the spread of drug resistance in African malaria.

LSHTM investigators:
Cally Roper & Inbarani Naidoo.
External collaborators:
Jennifer Flegg & Philippe Guerin (WWARN and University of Oxford, UK); Simon Hay & Anand Patil (MAP and University of Oxford, UK).
Funding body:
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through WWARN.

In this project we have developed a mathematical model of the prevalence of point mutations in the dhfr and dhps genes of P. falciparum that confer resistance to Sulphadoxine and Pyrimethamine. Resistance in dhfr and dhps genes emerged on just a few occasions, but then showed a remarkable capacity to disperse.

After collating, standardising and mapping all published surveillance data we are using modelling to describe spatial and temporal patterns of resistance dispersal. Adopting a Baysian model-based geostatistics approach, we converted spatio-temporal data to a continuous surface.

Models of resistance dispersal patterns in the past will help to inform policy on the management and containment of resistance in future.