Improved diagnosis methods to contribute to malaria elimination efforts in Vietnam

  • Nguyen, Van Hong, (PhD Student)
  • Rosanas-Urgell, Anna (Promotor)
  • Van Geertruyden, Jean-Pierre (Promotor)
  • Quang Phuc, Bui (Promotor)

Project Details


Intensified strategies for malaria control in Vietnam over the past twenty years have successfully reduced the burden of this disease, from an epidemic situation at the end of the 1980s to a pre-elimination stage in 2012. As a consequence of this success, the Vietnamese government, the MoH and the National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology (NIMPE) have engaged and committed themselves into an ambitious program for the elimination of malaria by 2030. Current challenges faced by the NMCP are linked to the hidden and complex character of the parasite reservoir (sub-microscopic infections, mixed infections, simian malaria species), the increasing contribution of P.vivax malaria which is difficult to control due to its relapsing character and the poor adherence to the current treatment regimen, and the increasing resistance of P.faciparum to the first line treatment based on artemisinins. Therefore our research proposal aims at contributing to the recently defined malaria elimination efforts in Vietnam by using improved diagnosis methods to characterize the human parasite reservoir and to monitor anti-malaria drug resistance. Four specific objectives have been defined to reach this goal: 1) To accurately identify the burden and diversity of Plasmodium infections, including P. knowlesi, in human populations in Central Vietnam, by using improved molecular techniques; 2) To study the genetic diversity of the P. vivax parasite population in a 2-year cohort of P. vivax infected patients in Central Vietnam; 3) To monitor the dynamics of antibodies against the P. vivax circumsporoite protein after radical cure in a 2-year cohort of P. vivax infected patients in Central Vietnam; 4) To evaluate the efficacy of DHA– PQ for the treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum infections in Central Vietnam and identify potential molecular markers for resistance using genome wide sequencing. This research is the results of several years of close collaboration between the ITM and the NIMPE, Hanoi within the FA3 program. Indeed, Objective 1 has already been completed with three related papers published in international peer reviewed journals. The other three objectives are currently carried out with most of the field data already collected, and the molecular and serological analysis ongoing at NIMPE, Hanoi. The project is expected to be completed within the coming two years with the financial support of the FA3 program in 2013, and the ongoing UBS Optimus Foundatioin project in 2014 completed by self funding. Our research project is likely to generate several innovative results among which one of the most interesting is the initiation of a South-South collaboration with the Peruvian partners within the FA3 program, which is expected to strengthen our knowledge on the P.vivax epidemiology and on new tools for its elimination.
Effective start/end date1/01/1327/06/17

IWETO expertise domain

  • B780-tropical-medicine