“This program has two major aims, preventing malaria infection in the first place, and understanding how some individuals can remain infected without ever becoming sick,” said Dr. Terrie Taylor. “That latter group represents ‘reservoirs of infection’ – people going about their daily lives not realizing they are infected, all the while transmitting the disease to others through mosquitoes.” Read about it and meet the team in Malawi.
Terrie Taylor’s talk, The Pathogenesis of Fatal Cerebral Malaria: A Few More Pieces of the Puzzle, described her work to characterize and treat this deadly complication among young children in Malawi. In this area of Africa, the burden of disease of malaria falls largely on children between the ages of one and three. Children who develop cerebral malaria experience seizures and often become comatose. Death is usually related to respiratory arrest, although the exact process that leads to death in these children has until recently been somewhat of a mystery. See the full presentation.
Researchers at Michigan State University have identified a test that can determine which children with uncomplicated malaria are more likely to develop cerebral malaria, a life-threatening form of the disease. Read more.
Building on more than a quarter century of work in Malawi, work which includes the first systematic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies, Dr. Karl Seydel, a Michigan State University researcher and colleague of Dr. Taylor’s, is traveling to neighboring Zambia to help characterize patients who will undergo MRI scans on a stronger MRI machine. The comparisons between images from patients in Malawi and images from similar patients in Zambia will illuminate our understanding of how malaria damages the pediatric brain. Read more.
Research by the Blantyre Malaria Project has been published far and wide.