Last Updated: 20/12/2023

Ifakara Masterclass Edition 24- Genomic Surveillance: A MasterClass with Profs. Dyann Wirth, Sarah Volkman, Deus Ishengoma, Alistair Miles & Mara Lawniczak.

Published: 20/05/2021

Malaria Molecular Surveillance

The 24th edition of the masterclass hosted by Fredros Okumu from Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) and Sheila Ogoma from Clinton Health Access Initiative(CHAI) features Profs. Dyann Wirth, Sarah Volkman, Deus Ishengoma, Alistair Miles & Mara Lawniczak.

The discourse commences with a brief introduction of the basics of DNA and RNA codes and sequencing. There is mention of emerging evidences that show that mosquito genotyping can improve the understanding of mechanisms of speciation and the processes that influence the mosquitoes’ ability to transmit malaria parasites to humans and new technological and informatics advancements being leveraged in P. falciparum to identify genetic loci under selection and to find variants that are associated with key clinical phenotypes, such as drug resistance. Then the talk veers into application of genomic surveillance to aid understanding and eliminationg malaria. Genomic surveillance of drug resistance and its use to understand the transmission dynamics of the parasite together with its use in vaccine development and efficacy is discussed at length.

The experts give their take on the exciting prospects of genomics application in malaria as the generation of sequences and analytical pieces are becoming routine the important aspect now is to relate it to whats going on in the field and how that can inform better decisions for malaria control.  Besides parasite genomics, study on mosquito genomics to better understand insecticide resistance perhaps has more potential for immediate use as highlighted by the panel. Furthermore the talk covers the importance of capacity building, personal experiences and mentorship, forming essential partnership for developing genomic approaches and explores new opportunities for scaling up genomics in malaria-endemic countries.

Published: 20/05/2021

IHI 24

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