Impact of malaria elimination on immunity and risk of malaria rebound in Myanmar
Dr Aung Pyae Phyo
Wellcome Major Overseas Programme – Thailand and Laos
The increase in drug-resistant malaria in South-east Asia has led to calls to eliminate malaria from the region before it becomes untreatable and to prevent spread to high burden countries in Africa. One approach which has been tried is mass drug administration (MDA) where the whole community is treated with antimalarial drugs. The reason for doing this is that a proportion of the population carry malaria parasites at low levels which cannot be detected by usual diagnostic tests but can still spread from person to person. Results from studies in Cambodia and Myanmar suggest this approach can bring about a rapid decrease in malaria.
I will study the long-term effects of MDA in Myanmar in relation to immunity against malaria. I plan to study the immune response and its relationship to the reintroduction of malaria in areas where elimination has taken place.