Malaria Epidemiology

Dumisile Nkosi, Pre-MSc Research Intern

Overview

I am a medical doctor who aspires to become a pharmaco-epidemiologist focusing on optimising treatments for infectious diseases affecting children and pregnant women. My current research work, under supervision (within the malaria epidemiology group), is focusing on understanding the burden of malaria in HIV exposed infants in Malawi. This will be the basis for my future research work which will focus on the chemoprevention of malaria with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine in HIV exposed and unexposed infants.


Projects

Research projects

Project Title: Impact of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine, given for malaria preventive treatment in pregnancy, on subsequent risk of malaria in HIV exposed infants between 6 to 12 months of age: a pilot cohort study in Zomba, Malawi.

Supervisors:
Dr. Anja Terlouw – Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Clinical Research Programme
Prof Karen Barnes – University of Cape Town, South Africa
Dr. Clifford Banda – Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme

Funding Body: Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Clinical Research Programme CORE Training Funding

Project Description:
Malaria in pregnancy and early childhood causes a significant burden in sub-Saharan Africa. Intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy (IPTp) using sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) in HIV-negative women has helped to reduce maternal malaria episodes, maternal and foetal anaemia, placental parasitaemia, low birth weight, and neonatal mortality. Women living with HIV receive cotrimoxazole, instead of SP, for malaria prevention in pregnancy. However, malaria parasites have shown resistance to SP and cotrimoxazole. As a result, recent studies have aimed at understanding if the use of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP), an artemisinin-based combination therapy, is a better alternative to SP for IPTp in HIV-negative women, and an add-on therapy to cotrimoxazole in women living with HIV. However, there is limited data on how this promising IPTp strategy (with a DP regimen) impacts malaria risk during infancy. My research is focusing on understanding the impact of IPTp with DP on malaria risk in infancy.