Transmitted by the bite of Anopheles mosquitoes, Plasmodium parasites are responsible for hundreds of millions of clinical malaria cases and half a million deaths every year. The Institute for Disease Modeling is committed to supporting global control and elimination strategy through our research. Whether through statistical analyses on surveillance data or the application of our individual-based microsimulation model of malaria transmission we are focused on understanding how to more efficiently reduce burden under limited resources, how to combine tools to achieve elimination, and how to design surveillance and response systems to maintain elimination. Working with programmatic, academic, and NGO partners around the world, our team is focused on the following:

  • Understanding malaria infection dynamics across diverse settings, including the relationships between exposure, acquisition of immunity, symtomaticity, and human infectiousness.
  • Understanding the spatio-temporal drivers of malaria mortality and optimizing intervention delivery to reduce morbidity and mortality in high-burden area.
  • Understanding the nature and implications of heterogeneity in exposure, heterogeneity in intervention coverage and usage, and human migration patterns.
  • Predicting the impact of new or developing technologies on malaria transmission
  • Designing stratification schemes and operationally feasible intervention packages likely to achieve and maintain malaria elimination.
Malaria

Global economic costs due to vivax malaria and the potential impact of its radical cure: A modelling study

Background

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Angela Devine, Katherine E. Battle, Niamh Meagher, Rosalind E. Howes, Saber Dini, Peter W. Gething, Julie A. Simpson, Ric N. Price, Yoel Lubell 

kbattle PLOS Medicine Research Malaria Thursday, August 5, 2021 - 21:36

A microplanning model to improve door-to-door health service delivery: the case of Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention in Sub-Saharan African villages

Background

Malaria incidence has plateaued in Sub-Saharan Africa despite Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention’s (SMC) introduction. Community health workers (CHW) use a door-to-door delivery strategy to treat children with SMC drugs, but for SMC to be as effective as in clinical trials, coverage must be high over successive seasons.

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André Lin Ouédraogo, Julie Zhang, Halidou Tinto, Innocent Valéa & Edward A. Wenger

aouedraogo ewenger BMC Health Services Research Research Malaria Wednesday, December 9, 2020 - 20:58

Vector genetics, insecticide resistance and gene drives: an agent-based modeling approach to evaluate malaria transmission and elimination

Vector control has been a key component in the fight against malaria for decades, and chemical insecticides are critical to the success of vector control programs worldwide. However, increasing resistance to insecticides threatens to undermine these efforts. Understanding the evolution and propagation of resistance is thus imperative to mitigating loss of intervention effectiveness. Additionally, accelerated research and development of new tools that can be deployed alongside existing vector control strategies is key to eradicating malaria in the near future.

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Prashanth Selvaraj, Edward A. Wenger, Daniel Bridenbecker, Nikolai Windbichler, Jonathan R. Russell , Jaline Gerardin, Caitlin A. Bever, Milen Nikolov

pselvaraj ewenger dbridenbecker jorussel cbever BioRxiv Research Malaria Monday, March 16, 2020 - 17:30

Using mid-infrared spectroscopy and supervised machine-learning to identify vertebrate blood meals in the malaria vector, Anopheles arabiensis

The propensity of different Anopheles mosquitoes to bite humans instead of other vertebrates influences their capacity to transmit pathogens to humans. Unfortunately, determining proportions of mosquitoes that have fed on humans, i.e. Human Blood Index (HBI), currently requires expensive and time-consuming laboratory procedures involving enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) or polymerase chain reactions (PCR). Read more Emmanuel P. Mwanga, Salum A. Mapua, Doreen J. Siria, Halfan S. Ngowo, Francis Nangacha, Joseph Mgando, Francesco Baldini, Mario González Jiménez, Heather M. Ferguson, Klaas Wynne, Prashanth Selvaraj, Simon A. Babayan & Fredros O. Okumu pselvaraj Malaria Journal Research Malaria Monday, March 16, 2020 - 18:15

Detection of malaria parasites in dried human blood spots using mid-infrared spectroscopy and logistic regression analysis

Epidemiological surveys of malaria currently rely on microscopy, polymerase chain reaction assays (PCR) or rapid diagnostic test kits for Plasmodium infections (RDTs). This study investigated whether mid-infrared (MIR) spectroscopy coupled with supervised machine learning could constitute an alternative method for rapid malaria screening, directly from dried human blood spots. Read more Emmanuel P. Mwanga, Elihaika G. Minja, Emmanuel Mrimi, Mario González Jiménez, Johnson K. Swai, Said Abbasi, Halfan S. Ngowo, Doreen J. Siria, Salum Mapua, Caleb Stica, Marta F. Maia, Ally Olotu, Maggy T. Sikulu-Lord, Francesco Baldini, Heather M. Ferguson, Klaas Wynne, Prashanth Selvaraj, Simon A. Babayan & Fredros O. Okumu pselvaraj Malaria Journal Research Malaria Monday, March 16, 2020 - 18:13

Reducing malaria burden and accelerating elimination with long-lasting systemic insecticides: a modelling study of three potential use cases

Background

While bed nets and insecticide spraying have had significant impact on malaria burden in many endemic regions, outdoor vector feeding and insecticide resistance may ultimately limit their contribution to elimination and control campaigns. Complementary vector control methods such as endectocides or systemic insecticides, where humans or animals are treated with drugs that kill mosquitoes upon ingestion via blood meal, are therefore generating much interest.

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Prashanth Selvaraj , Joshua Suresh, Edward A. Wenger, Caitlin A. Bever & Jaline Gerardin

pselvaraj jsuresh ewenger cbever Malaria Journal Research Malaria Monday, March 16, 2020 - 18:20

Senior Research Manager Jaline Gerardin, PhD, highlights IDM's work in modeling drug campaigns for malaria using a simulated population to determine if a focal treatment strategy would prevent over-treatment and ultimately lead to malaria elimination.

Submitted by sviswanath on Tue, 11/19/2019 - 11:22

Senior Research Manager Jaline Gerardin, PhD, highlights IDM's work in modeling drug campaigns for malaria using a simulated population to determine if a focal treatment strategy would prevent over-treatment and ultimately lead to malaria elimination.

Senior Research Manager Caitlin Bever, PhD, discusses the challenges of preventing and treating malaria and how modeling plays a role in determining which interventions would be the most effective for a particular country.

Submitted by sviswanath on Tue, 11/19/2019 - 10:58

Senior Research Manager Caitlin Bever, PhD, discusses the challenges of preventing and treating malaria and how modeling plays a role in determining which interventions would be the most effective for a particular country.

Would a serology-based rapid diagnostic test improve malaria surveillance in low-transmission settings?

Submitted by admmehaddi on Thu, 10/24/2019 - 21:48
In regions with low intensity malaria transmission, surveillance programs may struggle to estimate local transmission patterns using current rapid diagnostic tests. We use the mechanistic model EMOD to assess whether a rapid diagnostic test using serological biomarkers would improve surveillance performance.
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