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Dr. Malla Rao
Deputy Branch Chief
Parasitology and International Programs Branch

International CentersĀ of Excellence for Malaria Research (ICEMR)

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Malaria Transmission and the Impact of Control Efforts in Southern Africa

Dr. Peter Agre
Dr. Peter Agre, PI for the Southern Africa ICEMR.

Principal Investigator: Peter Agre, M.D.
Lead Institution: Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore

Project Leads

  • William Moss, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Douglas Norris, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Sungano Mharakurwa, Johns Hopkins University

Collaborating Institutions

  • Malaria Institute at Macha, Choma, Zambia
  • Biomedical Research and Training Institute, Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Tropical Diseases Research Centre, Ndola, Zambia
  • University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • University of Zambia School of Medicine, Lusaka, Zambia

Research Areas

The overall goal of the Southern Africa ICEMR is to make substantial contributions to regional malaria control measures that can be sustained in the long term. This goal will be achieved through a combination of:

  • state-of-the-art research on malaria epidemiology, vector biology and the genetics of the malaria parasite in three different epidemiological settings in southern Africa;
  • collaborations with national malaria control programs to develop locally-adapted control strategies; and
  • training, career development and capacity building at research institutions in Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In addition, the research team will collaborate with other ICEMRs in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and South America.

Regional Impact

The proposed research activities will provide detailed knowledge of malaria transmission, including epidemiology, vector biology and parasite population structure, to develop control strategies for the regional elimination of malaria.

View Associated sites for the Southern Africa ICEMR: Zambia (Choma District, Nchelenge District); Zimbabwe (Mutasa District) in a larger map

Map description: Associated sites for the Southern Africa ICEMR: Zambia (Choma District, Nchelenge District); Zimbabwe (Mutasa District)


With decreases in the incidence of malaria, wider catchment areas need to come under surveillance to detect transmission. The reactive surveillance approach has been proposed for this problem. In this strategy, neighborhoods of index malaria cases presenting at clinics and hospitals are visited to detect additional malaria infections. The rationale behind this approach is that malaria cases tend to cluster in space and time. The determination of the number of houses around the index case to visit tends to be arbitrary and could be improved using preliminary data on prevalence of malaria and population densities. The ICEMR working in Zambia and Zimbabwe has published a paper describing methods to adopt a more informed approach to design such a study using our ICEMR field sites in Zambia as a case study. For more information, please see Efficiency of Household Reactive Case Detection for Malaria in Rural Southern Zambia: Simulations Based on Cross-Sectional Surveys from Two Epidemiological Settings, PLoS One, 2013 Aug 6;8(8):e70972. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070972. Print 2013.

Last Updated February 09, 2012

Last Reviewed April 05, 2011