HOME > Research > Detail


Malaria parasite genomes provide insights and tools to control and elimination in Lake Victoria, Kenya


Scientists sequenced Plasmodium falciparum genomes to better understand malaria parasite populations and track drug resistance biomarkers in and around Lake Victoria, Kenya.


Scientists are turning to genomics to better understand the epidemiology of malaria and to inform control and elimination interventions and strategies. In the Lake Victoria region of Kenya, malaria burden remains very high despite more than a decade of intense control activities. A team of researchers from Osaka City University, Nagasaki University, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Mount Kenya University generated whole Plasmodium falciparum genome sequences from the lake region. Their analyses revealed that malaria parasites from this region appear distinct from other parasites from East Africa, while frequencies of known drug resistance markers were similar to those in other East African parasite populations. Their findings will help to develop improved surveillance tools to determine parasite transmission routes and aid clinical disease management.


・ JSPS KAKENHI (JP18KK0248, JP19H01080)
・ JICA/AMED joint research project (SATREPS) (20JM0110020H0002)
・ Nagasaki University—LSHTM PhD studentship funded by the WISE programme of MEXT
・ Medical Research Council UK (MR/M01360X/1)
・ BBSRC UK (BB/R013063/1)
・ Tackling Infectious Burden in Africa (TIBA) fellowship, the African Academy of Sciences
・ Medical Research Council UK (MR/K000551/1, MR/M01360X/1, MR/N010469/1,  
・ BBSRC UK (BB/R013063/1)


Lake Victoria at sunrise
A fisherman walks before an arriving boat on a beach in Mbita, Homa Bay County, Kenya.
                                                                                                  Credit – Akira Kaneko

A bird’s eye view of islands surrounding Lake Victoria, Homa Bay County, Kenya
Malaria burden varies by locales in the study area. Parasite prevalence is higher along
the  mainland coast and Mfangano Island than on Kibuogi and Takawiri Islands.
                                                                                                      Credit – Akira Kaneko

Malaria survey in a school on Mfangano Island
Local clinicians, laboratory technicians, and medical students from Osaka City University
collect blood samples from students in a primary school on Mfangano Island to determine
the prevalence of malaria infections.  
                                                                                                     Credit – Akira Kaneko