Malaria remains the most significant parasitic disease in the world. Transmitted through the bite of an infected Anopheles
mosquito, nearly half of the global population is at risk, with an estimated 216 million cases per year in 91 countries. While progress has been made to reduce the burden of malaria around the world, rising resistance to existing malaria drugs and insecticides, geopolitical instability and increasingly inaccurate rapid diagnostic tests threaten these accomplishments. As such, it is a significant threat to both public health and deployed U.S. military forces, the majority of whom lack immunity to the parasite and are at high risk for malaria-related disability and death. Experts in malaria prevention and eradication have identified militaries as a reservoir for the disease, endangering elimination efforts. Addressing the threat of malaria to military and global populations is of critical concern to health diplomacy and international security and a challenge that requires sustained commitment to research and developing effective scientific, clinical, political and social solutions.
AFRIMS has long been a leader in studying malaria. Data from AFRIMS’s Artemisinin Resistance in Cambodia trial 1 study conducted in Western Cambodia in 2006 were the first to identify high levels of resistance to artemisinins amongst malaria caused by the Plasmodium falciparum
parasite. Between 2010 and 2013, AFRIMS reported the failure of first-line drug dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine to treat P. falciparum
malaria leading to drug policy change in Cambodia and continues to track resistance among malaria drugs. AFRIMS and its partners have generated data from pre-clinical and field studies for FDA investigational new drug applications included the recently approved drug tafenoquine.
The primary departments at AFRIMS involved with this research are Bacterial and Parasitic Diseases
and Veterinary Medicine
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