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World Malaria Day: EU Research

According to the World Health Organisation, in 2010, an estimated 219 million malaria cases occurred globally and the disease killed about 660 000 people, mostly children under five years of age.

Since 2002, the EU has invested more than €209 million in 87 projects carrying out research into the disease and how to control it. In addition, through its partnership with sub-Saharan Africa (the EDCTP initiative), the EU is supporting 32 clinical trials into new treatments with some €50 million.

Thanks to the efforts of the EU and international community, as well as governments and health-care providers in endemic countries, malaria deaths have fallen by 25% since the year 2000.

Press release: EU research project develops new malaria test tool

More background information: Contribution of EU research to fight against Malaria

Here are two examples of successful, EU-funded malaria-related research projects:

Blood sucking mosquito © Shutterstock

Putting the lid on malaria

Scientists from the United Kingdom and the United States continue the good fight against malaria by working on control measures for mosquitoes that transmit this deadly disease. They say they can introduce a number of genetic alterations into extensive laboratory mosquito populations over the span of a few generations using a tiny number of modified mosquitoes. Their work is presented in the journal Nature.

Malaria parasites © EPFL

Cancer drugs to kill malaria parasite

EU-funded researchers have discovered that drugs originally designed to inhibit the growth of cancer cells can also kill the parasite that causes malaria. They believe this discovery could open up a new strategy for combating this deadly disease, which infects 250 million and kills nearly 1 million people worldwide every year. Efforts to find a treatment have so far been marred by the parasite’s ability to quickly develop drug resistance. The research was published online in the journal Cellular Microbiology.


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