Using parasite and vector serosurveillance to inform malaria elimination

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Masters by Research, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science, Post Doctor Researchers
Number of Honour Places Available
2
Department / Centre
Medicine
Location
Burnet Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Professor Freya Fowkes freya.fowkes@burnet.edu.au (03) 9282 2111 Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Julia Cutts julia.cutts@burnet.edu.au 0408397376 Personal web page
Dr Katherine O'Flaherty katherine.oflaherty@burnet.edu.au

Summary Malaria is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the Asia-Pacific region, however efforts to eliminate the disease are limited by a lack of tools to sensitively detect and monitor malaria transmission over time. This project will focus on understanding how human antibody responses to the malaria parasite and mosquito vector can be used as biomarkers of malaria transmission in populations. It will involve quantifying host antibody dynamics in populations naturally exposed to malaria and will incorporate laboratory-based research and statistical analyses.

Project Details

Malaria is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the Asia-Pacific region. Efforts to eliminate malaria are constrained by a lack of highly sensitive surveillance tools to accurately detect malaria transmission throughout the population. Serosurveillance is a strategy for monitoring malaria exposure and transmission by measuring the host antibody response to pathogen exposure.

This project with focus on identification and evaluation of antibody responses to both parasite (malaria causing Plasmodium spp.) and vector (malaria transmitting Anopheles spp. mosquitoes) candidate biomarkers to monitor ongoing transmission of malaria and efficacy of malaria interventions. Students will quantify host antibody dynamics following mosquito exposure and malaria infection to determine candidate parasite and vector serosurveillance candidates.

The project will combine laboratory-based research, including immunoassays (e.g. ELISA) and molecular techniques (e.g. quantitative PCR) in large cohort studies conducted in malaria endemic populations, with statistical analyses. Specific techniques could be tailored to the students interests and educational background. Interested students should contact Dr. Julia Cutts (julia.cutts@burnet.edu.au) or Dr. Katherine O’Flaherty (katherine.oflaherty@burnet.edu.au) for further information.



Faculty Research Themes

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine, Women's Health



Research Opportunities

PhD students, Masters by Research, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science, Post Doctor Researchers
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre

Medicine

Research Node

Burnet Institute

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