Host-parasite interactions

We translate our findings to the host-parasite interface to understand how transmission-blocking strategies can influence malaria epidemiology, particularly in pre-elimination settings in Africa.

We do field testing in a malaria endemic area, the Vhembe district in Limpopo Province, where we identify malaria parasite carriage in both symptomatic patients and asymptomatic carriers. We use SNP and microsatellite analyses to genotype the parasites to understand the genetic complexity of the parasites, their origin (local or imported) and their contribution towards sustained, residual malaria transmission in the country.

This information is translated to guide policy decisions within the South Africa Malaria Elimination Committee and individualise control strategies towards malaria elimination.

This project is funded by the South African DSI/NRF South African Research Chair (SARChI) Initiative to Prof Birkholtz as SARChI Chair in Sustainable Malaria Control.


Current collaborations:

Prof Bryan Greenhouse, University of California San Fransisco, USA

Dr Jaishree Raman, NICD & WITS

Department of Health & SAMEC


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