Abdoulaye Djimde of the University of Sciences, Techniques, and Technologies of Bamako in Mali will use a metabolomics platform to identify biomarkers to detect dormant Plasmodia hypnozoites in a previously malaria-infected individual as a diagnostic method and to screen for new therapeutics. Malaria remains one of the deadliest parasitic diseases in the world, with 95% of deaths occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. Most research focuses on the most prevalent causative parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, but other strains, including P. vivax and P. ovale, are likely to become more dominant. These strains uniquely produce hypnozoites, which can lay dormant for years in the liver where they are undetectable and resistant to treatment. They will generate hypnozoite-containing liver cells in vitro and subject them to metabolomics analysis to identify hypnozoite-associated biomarkers. Candidate biomarkers will then be validated in serum samples from thirty infected individuals.
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