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Biology and Pathology of the Malaria Parasite
Framework programme:
Project number:
EC contribution:
€ 15,900,000
60 months
Starting date:
1 April 2004

Keywords: Malaria; basic research; Plasmodium; Anopheles; integration; dissemination


Malaria is a parasitic disease causing a major public health problem in more than 90 countries inhabited by some 2 400 million people (40% of the world’s population). Malaria is estimated to cause up to 500 million clinical cases and over 1 million deaths each year, most of them children under five. More people are dying of malaria now than 30 years ago. Factors contributing to the rise of mortality rates are the rapid spread of parasite strains resistant to common drugs, the emergence of insecticide-resistant mosquito vectors and the continued absence of affordable, long-lasting preventive measures, such as a safe and efficacious malaria vaccine. The objective of this project is the creation of an interwoven and rationally structured network that integrates leading malaria research teams across Europe and Africa and provides central management, information and communication structures for strengthening European and African research in the field of malaria. The BioMalPar network aims to promote understanding the fundamental biology of the malaria parasite and its hosts, including mechanisms involved in pathogenesis and transmission of the parasite. The recent successes in characterising genomes of Plasmodium sp. malaria parasites and their hosts provide a unique opportunity for developing novel strategies to control malaria. The size and complexity of this task require a concerted effort that no one laboratory, or even institution, has the resources or expertise to accomplish alone. Since any new intervention that may be developed has eventually to be tested and applied in disease-endemic settings, strong research partnerships with leading groups from these countries are encouraged to be established at the early stages of research.

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