Improving the treatment of Plasmodium vivax

Year of award: 2016


  • Prof Richard Price

    University of Oxford

Project summary

Malaria affects more than a quarter of a billion people in Asia, with Plasmodium. vivax accounting for half of all cases. There has been renewed enthusiasm for global efforts to eliminate malaria, but the challenge with P. vivax is far greater than for P. falciparum. The main reason for this is the ability of P. vivax to cause recurrent episodes of malaria which arise from the dormant parasites that infect the liver. The parasite is also becoming more resistant to drug treatment. Better, safer and more effective treatments are needed to kill all parasites in the blood and liver.

We will conduct research in multiple sites in the Asia Pacific region to develop the tools necessary to contain drug-resistant parasites and eliminate P. vivax. We will assess the public health consequences of vivax malaria and examine how far drug-resistant parasites have spread. We will also investigate better ways of diagnosing patients at risk of disease.

This study will identify populations at greatest risk of recurrent malaria and contribute to the development of treatments that can be safely and effectively used in poorly resourced communities.