EDCTP2-European Union sponsored Collaborative Research on Vivax Malaria: A Training and Mobility Action.


UDs Investigates non-falciparum Malaria Transmission in its community

Dschang UDs/SIC-17/08/23.For many years now, it has been widely accepted that people of African ancestry do not get sick with malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax due to the absence of blood cell membrane proteins(Duffy proteins) that facilitate its entry into these cells. The “Duffy-negative” blood group, one of the more than 30 blood types, is mainly found in sub-Saharan Africa. In recent years, research results in Cameron and other parts of Africa suggest that P. vivax, had made its way into the blood of Duffy-negative people, but until now, the evidence remains controversial. To shed more light, the present study reasoned that if this parasite is circulating among people in Dschang and elsewhere, then they will be making antibodies to fight against it.

What is the project about?

 The VIBRANT (Vivax Burden, Range ANd Transmission) study, which is a career development fellowship to Dr Innocent Mbulli Ali; proposes to 1) map the seroprevalence and distribution range of Plasmodium vivax among febrile patients in three different geo-ecological regions(Dschang, Bertoua, Maroua) of Cameroon; 2) characterise the main P. vivax vectors in identified hotspots and define their role in the transmission of malaria in Duffy negative populations in Cameroon. The study will use cross-sectional hospital based surveys and innovative lab based methods to conduct this research in collaboration with Prof Carlota DOBANO based in the Spanish Research Organisation (Barcelona Institute for Global Health [ISGLOBAL], Spain). 

How does the University benefit from the fellowship?

The study will support the laboratory work of two Master degree students and one Phd PhD student, for capacity building in the University of Dschang. The research proposed will provide the first evidence base for strategic disease-control planning by the National Malaria Control Program. It will also facilitate the generation of scientific knowledge through open access publications and public engagement in Dschang. The community of Dschang and other study sites will benefit from the knowledge that could lead to better ways of controlling and eliminating the parasite. 

Who is supporting the activities of the research?

It should be noted that this research has received continuous institutional support from the RECTOR Prof Roger TSAFACK NANFOSSO of the University of Dschang through the dynamism of the Dean of the Faculty of Science, Prof Clautilde MOFOR TEUGWA and the CERVARENT. Dr Innocent Mbulli Ali performs this research in the Research Unit for Microbiology and Antimicrobial Substances under Prof Kuiate Jules Roger.

This project received funding from the EDCTP2 programme supported by the European Union and Novartis Global Health Basel Switzerland under grant agreement TMA2020CDF-3171”. 

For more information, please contact the Research Unit for Microbiology and Antimicrobial Substances of the CERVARENT, Faculty of Science building, Campus C of the University of Dschang.

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