Enormous progress has been made in recent years in developing techniques for malaria genetic surveillance. Senegal has been a hotbed of research here, with the launch in 2022 of CIGASS. In collaboration with CIGASS, Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, Harvard Broad Institute, IDM and the Senegalese PNLP – a consortium bringing together world experts in malaria genetics, epidemiology and modelling – MAP is working to develop the necessary methodology to translate this new genetic data into products which inform stratification and elimination efforts
MAP’s role in this collaboration is to bring to bear our expertise in spatio-temporal malaria risk mapping methods to understand the relationship between parasite genetic metrics and transmission. Several important open questions exist here:
- Can we identify inflection points in parasite relatedness which correspond to heterogeneities in transmission intensity?
- Can parasite genetic metrics be used to inform spatio-temporal statistical models of malaria risk?
- Can we use genetic metrics to discern transmission patterns (eg local vs importation) not identifiable with current datasources?