The H3ABioNet Seminar coordinators and task force cordially invite you to join us for our ninth webinar for 2022, the October seminar titled "From the continent to households, malaria parasite clans, interconnectivity, and survival strategies".

Seminar Format

A seminar talk will be provided by Dr Alfred Amambua-Ngwa, Associate Professor, Disease Control an Elimination Theme, Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. International Fellow, Wellcome Sanger Institute. This intriguing talk will be 40 to 50 minutes long followed by 10 to 15 minutes of Questions & Answer as well as Discussion.

Seminar Date: Wednesday, 19 October 2022
Seminar time

8am EST/ 5am PDT / 1pm UTC / 3pm CET/ 2pm WAT /2pm LT/ 3pm CAT / 4pm EAT

Keywords: Malaria
URL to join the seminar:
Malaria parasites infected over 220 million individuals in Africa, killing 602000 in 2021 alone. This persistent survival of the main malaria parasite is thanks to its successful arms race with its hosts and deployment of a vast genetic diversity to adapt across variable transmission ecologies and interventions. Understanding the history, genomic variation, population structure and connectivity of malaria parasite across Africa, within regions and down to the households is essential for stratification of interventions and sustaining malaria control and elimination. Coordinating genomic collaboration across 15 African countries, the Plasmodium Diversity Network Africa (PDNA) identified major Western, Central and Eastern African sub-populations, and a highly divergent Ethiopian population. All populations were significantly admixed except for Ethiopia. There is gene flow of indigenous West African drug resistance haplotypes to the East and East African haplotypes from Kenya to West Africa. In West Africa, parasite populations are dwindling from Senegal and The Gambia, risking increased divergence and adaptation to interventions. Drug resistance markers and invasion/antigenic loci are most differentiated between populations, with signatures of balancing selection dominant on surface and host-parasite interaction genes. These genetic signatures are common across country populations, where geneflow and recombination determine the dynamics of clusters of infections that can be targeted for elimination. Infection clusters persist within villages spreading mostly from within households evident from identity-by-descent between parasite isolates. Genomic approaches have defined structure of malaria parasites in Africa, with the basic infection unit being the household, which should be the focus of new intervention approaches such as reactive household chemotherapy. .
About the Speaker

Dr Alfred Amambua-Ngwa, Associate Professor, Disease Control an Elimination Theme, Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. International Fellow, Wellcome Sanger Institute.
Dr Alfred Amambua Ngwa obtained BSc, MSc, and PhD degrees in Biochemistry (Molecular biology and immunopathogenesis) from the University of Buea, Cameroon. He joined MRC Unit The Gambia in 2006, engaging in cell biology, microarray, transcript analysis and genome sequencing to determine the diversity in erythrocyte invasion patterns and genetic signatures of selection of the deadliest malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum in Africa. In 2013, he was the first African recipient of an MRC Career Development Award, with which he started the Malaria Population Biology group with a focus on genomic diversity and drug resistance phenotypes in natural infections of malaria parasites. His current research includes phenotype-genotype association in malaria, human-Plasmodium parasite co-evolution, interaction, and transmission tracking to support malaria elimination strategies. He works closely with several partners across Africa including the Pathogen Diversity Network Africa (PDNA) and African Association for Antimicrobial Resistance and Management (AAARM). He Leads the Pan-African Malaria Genetic Epidemiology Network (PAMGEN), an H3Africa program across eight African countries with emphasis on human genetic interactions in malaria, parasite, and vector diversity. He actively participates in several consortia and projects to develop genomics and bioinformatics capacity in Africa funded through the African Academy of Sciences and the Science for Africa Foundation

Previous H3ABioNet webinars are available on YouTube

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