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CRESIB coordinates an international consortium to fight malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax

The CRESIB has today presented the research programme on malaria by Plasmodium vivax, a parasite causing over 70 million yearly cases of malaria in the world. This new programme will be developed in coordination with the leading international centres and researchers on P.vivax. The aim of this study is to contribute to a better understanding of malaria by P. vivax and to support and accelerate the development of new control tools, with a special focus in vaccines. This fact will promote the creation and development of a research line on P. vivax in CRESIB under the direction of Dr. Hernando A. del Portillo, one of the few specialists in molecular biology and vaccine development against this parasite. The number of CRESIB labs will be increased, with an enlargement and restoration of current facilities to meet the needs of the centre.

Malaria is an infectious disease which can be caused by four species of the Plasmodium parasite: P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. malariae and P. ovale. P. falciparum and P. vivax are the most prevalent, the first being more virulent and responsible of most of the severe morbidity and mortality. Nevertheless, during the last years, there has been a growing interest in malaria by P. vivax, which, as well as causing millions of malaria cases every year, it also generates a high social and economic cost for endemic countries. It is estimated that about 2,600 million people live in risk zones for P. vivax: central and south-America, Asia, Middle East and occidental Pacific. Clinical and pathogen presentation of P. vivax is not well understood. Despite the traditional belief that clinical malaria caused by this species of the parasite is mild, there are evidences suggesting that it can cause severe clinical patterns and even death of patients.

The paradox is that even though malaria by P. vivax has large global disease burden, this is a poorly studied disease,
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Contact: Marc de Semir
mdesemir@clinic.ub.es
34-932-275-700
IDIBAPS - Institut d'Investigacions Biomdiques August Pi i Sunyer
17-Jul-2007


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