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Mali International Center for Excellence in Research Provides Base for Advanced Research and Training in Mali

LMVR researchers set up theircameras to film mosquito swarmsin Doneguebougo, Mali.
LMVR researchers set up their cameras to film mosquito swarms in Doneguebougo, Mali.
Simultaneous filming with two cameras enables the tracking of mosquitoes in 3D.

Malaria remains one of the most serious infectious diseases affecting Africa. NIAID-supported programs at the Mali International Center for Excellence in Research (ICER) in Bamako, Mali, focus on all aspects of the malaria problem, from studies on the behavior and genetics of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes to the design of disease-control strategies such as the use of insecticide-treated bed nets.

The Mali ICER is viewed by many as a model for research centers in developing countries. It provides robust training opportunities in infectious diseases and tropical medicine to help form the new generation of Malian scientists critical to the success and sustainability of the program.

The NIAID Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research (LMVR) conducts studies at the Mali ICER focused on two primary areas:

  1. Evaluating and applying molecular probes developed to detect drug resistance in malaria parasites.
  2. Determining genetic and immunological predispositions to severe malaria

Researchers at the Mali ICER also have collaborated with scientists at the NIAID Laboratory of Malaria Immunology and Vaccinology (LMIV) to develop sites for clinical studies of an LMIV-developed "blood stage" malaria vaccine. Researchers are testing the experimental vaccine to see if it reduces episodes of malaria parasitemia (parasites in the blood) in children exposed to the disease.

LMVR has established a research program at the Mali ICER on leishmaniasis, a parasitic infection transmitted by the sand fly. In Mali, the disease is poorly documented but studies at the Mali ICER have shown that cutaneous leishmaniasis (the form of the disease that affects the skin) may be widespread—though usually undiagnosed. As a result, Mali could be a future trial site for leishmaniasis vaccines being developed in LMVR.

In addition to NIAID support, the Mali ICER labs receive funding from several other international and U.S. agencies, organizations, and universities.

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Last Updated April 06, 2008